Sermon #91 Series: Matthew
Title: The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Text: Matthew 28:1-10
Reading: Office: Rex Bartley Auditorium: Larry Criss
Subject: The Resurrection
Date: Tuesday Evening - August 6, 1996
Tape # S-81
The title of my message tonight is The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Our text will be Matthew 28:1-10. Let’s read these ten verses together.
"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (2) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (3) His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: (4) And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. (5) And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (7) And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (8) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. (9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. (10) Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me."
The resurrection of Christ is the single greatest event in the history of the world. Without it, our Savior’s incarnation, life, and death as our Substitute and Surety would be altogether meaningless. The resurrection of our Lord is so vital a doctrine that those who deny it deny Christianity altogether. Without the resurrection there would be no such thing as Christianity. Without this, we are yet in our sins, our faith is vain, our hope is a delusion, and our religion is a mockery of men’s souls! If Christ was not raised from the dead, redemption was not accomplished, justice was not satisfied, he is not God, and we are yet under the wrath and curse of the Almighty.
1 Corinthians 15:13, 14, 17 "If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: (14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain...(17) "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."
Today, we seldom here anything preached about the resurrection, except at Easter. But that was not the case in the New Testament. Those who had seen the risen Lord and had experienced the power of his resurrection in the new birth went everywhere preaching “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 4:2; 17:18). That is to say, They preached salvation accomplished for sinners by the crucified, risen Christ. This is what Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:23-24), before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:10), and to the Gentiles (Acts 10:4).
Paul preached the resurrection constantly. Wherever he went, this was his message.
· In the Synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:30, 37).
· Before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem (Acts 23:6).
· Before Felix the Governor (Acts 24:15, 21).
· Before King Agrippa (Acts 26:8).
· To the Church at Rome (Rom. 6:3-6).
· To the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:4; 2 Cor. 4:14).
· To the Galatians (Gal. 1:1).
· To the Ephesians (Eph. 1:20).
· To the Philippians (Phil. 3:10.
· To the Colossians (Col. 2:12).
The great apostle to the Gentiles longed to know Christ “and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."
Peter spoke of our living hope through the resurrection. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
And in Revelation 1:17-18 John tells us how that he saw and heard the risen, exalted Christ. "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Our Lord himself declares his resurrection to be the foundation and cornerstone of our hope. He says, in John 11:25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" and in 14:19 "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also."
You cannot avoid seeing that this matter of our Lord’s resurrection is vital to Christianity, as you read the New Testament. It is a prominent theme. Unlike most matters of divine revelation, the Holy Spirit pointedly shows us evidence, upon evidence, upon evidence that the resurrection of Christ is an undeniable, irrefutable fact of history. Indeed, of all the facts recorded in Holy Scripture about our Savior, the resurrecetion is the one thing that is proved clearly and fully. The evidence is simply so overwhelming that it would be impossible to prove anything in the world to a person who rejects it. This thing was not done in a corner.
1 Corinthians 15:3-9 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: (6) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (7) After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. (8) And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. (9) For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
Someone once said, “The resurrection of Jesus is the Gibraltar of Christianity and the Waterloo of infidelity and rationalism.” J.C. Ryle wrote, “It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt which He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle which he fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our Surety and our Substitute by our heavenly Father in heaven.” Thanks be unto God, he who was delivered for our offences was also raised from the dead for our justification (Rom. 4:25).
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the proof of our redemption by his blood and the basis of our confident hope that we, too, shall soon be raised up from the dead.
I want to show you five things about the resurrection of our Lord in this message. May God the Holy spirit be our Teacher.
1. The Glory of It.
2. The Terror of It.
3. The Comfort of It.
4. The Message of It.
5. The Assurance of It.
I. First, as we meditate upon the resurrection of our Savior, we should always have a sense of THE GLORY OF IT.
We are told by Matthew that “There was a great earthquake.” Then we are informed that “The angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.”
Our Lord did not need the help of an angel to roll the stone away from his tomb! But God was pleased to make his Son’s resurrection a glorious thing, accompanied by signs and wonders. Therefore, when his Son arose Conqueror of death, hell, and the grave, he shook the earth and sent an angel wrapped in glory to the scene.
I stress this because we need to always remember that our Lord’s resurrection was a type, pledge, and picture of our own.
· As the grave could not hold him beyond his appointed time, it shall not be able to hold us.
· As the angel of the Lord witnessed his resurrection, the angels of glory shall both witness and be instruments of our resurrection. They shall gather God’s elect in the day of harvest.
· As our Savior arose with a renewed, glorious body, but still a recognizable material body, so too we shall rise with glorious yet material bodies in the last day (1 John 3:2).
Take comfort, my brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God. Be patient. There is a day soon coming when you and I shall appear with Christ in glory! Here we often meet with trials, sorrows, and persecutions. In this world our lot is one of suffering, weakness, pain, decease, bereavement, and death. But glory awaits us! We shall rise again!
II. Second, I must speak a word to you who are yet without Christ about THE TERROR OF IT.
Whenever you think of that great day, do not forget the terror that seized these hardened Roman soldiers and the terror that will seize your soul when Christ shall appear.
Matthew 28:4 "And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men."
Those soldiers had witnessed many dreadful sights. These were men of blood. Nothing much bothered them. But as soon as they saw God’s angel, not the risen Christ, but just his angel, they froze with fear.
How will you react to the blast of God’s trumpet, the glorious appearing of our great God Jesus Christ, God’s avenging angels, the glory of his saints, and the great white throne? Fear and terror will seize your soul. You will be unable to speak. But your very soul shall wail before the Son of God whom you have despised. When you cannot hide from his presence, you will melt like wax before him.
Revelation 1:7 "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
Revelation 6:15-16 "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:"
May God give you grace to lay these things to heart. Be wise and consider what your last end shall be. Remember, there is a resurrection! There is a judgment yet to come. There is a thing such as you have never imagined called “the wrath of God and of the Lamb!”
III. Third, I want you who are born of God, when you think of the resurrection of our Lord, to always get THE COMFORT OF IT.
Matthew 28:5-6 "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
These words were spoken by the angel and recorded by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit for the benefit of God’s elect in every age and in every place. They are full of meaning. They tell us that we have no cause for fear in this world. Whatever may come your way in this world, whatever trouble or trial you may face, remember the resurrection of your Lord and be at peace. The best news you will ever hear came from a graveyard! “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Child of God, that means...
· Our Savior is King.
· Our Sins are Gone.
· It is well with our souls.
It is certainly true that our Lord shall appear in the clouds of heaven and the earth shall be burned with fire. The graves shall give up their dead. The sea shall give up its dead. The judgment shall be set. The books shall be opened. The dead shall be judged. The angels of God shall divide the good from the bad and the bad shall be burned with everlasting fire. But there is nothing in all this to make believers afraid!
Clothed in the righteousness of Christ and washed in his blood, we shall be found without spot and blameless before him. We shall be found in that Ark which cannot be hurt when the flood of God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth. Then, and not until then, shall both the wicked and the righteous understand the Psalmist’s words, “Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12).
IV. Fourth, as we think of our Lord’s resurrection, be sure you get THE MESSAGE OF IT.
Matthew 28:7-10 "And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (8) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. (9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. (10) Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me."
First, our Lord appeared to these two faithful women who had come to honor his body. They had been the last to leave him after his death and the first to come to his tomb. What a great reward he gives to their faithfulness! These two women were...
· The First to See the Risen Lord!
· The First to Hear the Risen Christ!
· The first Preachers of the Resurrection!
I want you to see this - Our risen Lord’s first thought and first word was for his people. He said, “Go, tell my brethren!” Does that fact not touch your heart? These words, “MY BRETHREN,” deserve an eternity of thoughtful contemplation! The disciples were weak, frail, erring, and filled with unbelief and sin, just as we often are. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ calls them and us “MY BRETHREN!” Just as Joseph comforted his brethren who had sold him, so the Lord Jesus comforts and encourages our hearts. Sadly, the disciples had not lived up to their profession, but had yielded to the fear of man, just like we often do; but Christ is still not ashamed to call them and us “MY BRETHREN!”
Mark (16:7) tells us that the angelic messenger was especially concerned for Peter. He seems especially commissioned to give a message of grace and forgiveness to the most fallen of those whom the Master calls, MY BRETHREN!”
If the Son of God is not ashamed to call us his brethren, let us never be ashamed to own him as our Lord.
V. Fifth, I want you to carry this message about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ home with you, enjoying THE ASSURANCE OF IT.
The fact of our Lord’s resurrection is so basic and fundamental that it undergirds and assures us of many other things. When we look down into the empty tomb and up into heaven upon the risen Christ, we are assured that...
A. The Word of God is All True!
Our Lord arose from the dead exactly as he said he would (Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17;9, 23).
B. Our Savior is God Almighty.
Only he who is himself God has power over life and death.
Psalms 68:17-20 "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. (18) Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (19) Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (20) He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death."
C. Redemption is Accomplished.
· Justice is satisfied!
· Our sins are pardoned!
· Righteousness has been brought in for us!
D. God’s Elect Shall all be Saved!
John 17:2 "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
E. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Coming Again!
John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
F. There will be Another Resurrection.
Job 19:25-26 "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"
Psalms 73:24 "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory."
Isaiah 26:19 "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
Hosea 6:2 "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."
John 5:28-29 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
G. After That Great, General Resurrection, Comes The Judgment!
Do we understand the solemnity of living in this world before God Almighty? I doubt it! But let me try to impress these facts upon our hearts.
1. Soon we must die.
2. We will meet God in judgment at the last day.
3. We will spend eternity somewhere, either in heaven or in hell.
Hebrews 9:27-28 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words."