20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter
and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was
Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take
Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene *announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.
The Last Word from the Cross:
Surprising, not Surprise
Intro: You are driving and are in a big hurry. 60 becomes 65 and 65 becomes 70. 70 becomes… are you kidding me? Are those red flashing lights in my rear view mirror? You are watching a scary movie. In the movie there are a couple of teens talking in the living room. They hear mysterious noises upstairs. Earlier they watched the evening news and heard that a mad man is on the loose. The couple hears the noise again, and then hear it another time. They look at each other and decide to quietly check it out. As they reach the top of the stairs and enter the bedroom. They hear a noise behind them and turn to see an axe wielding man standing there.
You and your family are watching Funniest Home Videos. The family cat is walking on the edge of the fish tank. All of a sudden the dog runs up behind the cat. The cat jumps and lands in the fish tank and the tank flips over on the dog.
Do you know what all of these have in common? It was the surprise of the situation. It was not the surprising situation but the surprise. You know what is going to happen in a horror movie. It may scare you but it is not surprising that it will scare you. When ever you speed getting stopped may surprise you but you know it could happen. We know while watching FHV that something funny is going to happen. Especially if cats and dogs are involved.
On that Resurrection morning it seemed that everyone was surprised that Jesus rose from the dead. Surprise! Jesus is alive, but it wasn’t really a surprising. It was surprise. Can you believe that Mary went to the tomb on that particular Sunday morning and didn’t know that Jesus was going to be alive? If I wasn’t so me, I would have believed that Jesus was going to be alive. But I am me. So I would have been like Mary and all of the other apostles and disciples who were still coming to grips with fact that
Jesus died just a few days ago. Several people saw Jesus laid in the tomb. Mary and the women who went to the tomb, went there to finish preparing Jesus body to continue to stay dead and not smell so bad in the process. They also went there to continue to grieve.
When they got to the tomb – Surprise! Jesus body was gone. They met an angel – now that was surprising. They were given no clue that they would meet an angel at the tomb that morning.
In the words of Gomer Pyle; Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…
Mary met Jesus, too.
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. (and this wouldn’t freak you out? She took this right in stride. Even if you didn’t have ADHD the reason you came to the tomb would have changed immediately. Angels?) 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”14 When she had said this, she turned around and (Whoa and just whoa. What is everyone doing in this tomb? Mary had to have been born with some extremely calm genes. I would have been spinning my legs and arms like Shaggy running away from a green goblin. But Mary…) saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).
Mary wasn’t surprised by the angels. She wasn’t even surprised by Jesus at first. But when Jesus called her by name she cried out; Teacher. She was surprised that it was Jesus standing right before her. This was a surprise but it should not be surprising. Here is why it is not surprising. The Hebrew people were looking for the Messiah. Jesus indicated that He was the
long awaited Messiah.
But look how many times Jesus said He was going die and in three days rise again. I’m going to start in the book of Matthew and go through the Gospel of John.
Jesus said, for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.
and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
For Jesus was teaching His disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.”
“They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”
the men(angels) said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words,
The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
John 16:16 – Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
It was not surprising that Jesus rose from the dead. He told so many what was going to happen. They should have expected it but they did not. Their experience did not prepare them for this kind of thing to happen. Jesus told
them and told them but they could not comprehend it. Jesus resurrection wasn’t surprising. He came for that very reason. He told friend and foe alike that He was going to rise from the dead.
John 12:32 – Jesus said, “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” Jesus is alive and we lift Him up in proclaim and Jesus is still drawing people to salvation through Him!
Allow me to challenge you a little bit today. What did you come expecting today? To see people that you haven’t seen for a while? Sing some great resurrection songs? Hear a message? Give an offering. Hear a prayer or two. That has happened. That wasn’t surprising.
But, what if you sensed God speaking to you today? What if someone cried out, “Lord what must I do to be saved?” and was saved today? What if the Spirit of God moved in this place and the building shook? What if someone stood up and began to testify to how great Jesus is? That would be a surprise! It would be a surprise wouldn’t it? Unless you knew that was going to happen, it would be a surprise. But it really wouldn’t be surprising.
I want you to know that Jesus came to earth to seek and to save that which was lost. We are the lost ones He was talking about. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. He came that we might have life and to have it in abundance.
He came to save us from our sin. That is why His name is Jesus. Because He will save His people from their sins. Jesus said if any one is thirsty let him/her come to me and out of his/her life will flow rivers of living water.
He came to indwells us with power and presence of the Holy Spirit. God came to “Rock our World.” If God is moving in your life it may be a surprise but it is not surprising. This is why Jesus came. This is what happened after the resurrection of Jesus. He made it possible for anyone to call of the name of the Lord and be saved.
We don’t call on the name of the Lord to be saved unless God’s spirit is moving in our lives. Do you ever get a little uncomfortable at church? A little odd feeling inside? That could very well be Jesus speaking to your heart. (It could be the 2 Easter eggs and the 3 cream eggs this morning. You didn’t eat any but you still feel that way? Do ya think?)
Back on topic.
So if you are sensing God’s spirit in your life, it may be a surprise but it is not surprising for Jesus is not willing that anyone would perish but that everyone would repent and receive eternal life.
Do you remember the one word that Jesus spoke to Mary that surprised her? He said, “Mary.” Jesus had spoken to her just a second before and it did not register. But when He called her by name, she cried out teacher. Oh my! We can almost hear Jesus say her name. Mary’s emotion is almost palpable. You can almost feel her joy and excitement. Jesus called her name. Was it the same way that He asked her, her name before he cast out the demons
in her life? Now she knew, that Jesus was speaking to her. Is Jesus calling your name this morning? He wants you to have new life. He wants you to know where you will spend eternity. He wants you to have as your purpose to trust Him in all you do. Do you hear Him speaking to your heart today?
If you do then cry out like Mary did. Maybe not Teacher but cry out Savior – save me! At Christmas and on Easter I always want to preach an extra strong message. I want people to be inspired and moved. I want to be interesting and insightful. I want to be clever and funny. I want people to leave thinking church was great today. Even if I am able to accomplish all
of this, the impact of today will not last halfway through this week, if you didn’t hear Jesus call your name this morning.
Nice thoughts don’t sustain us. Great insight doesn’t empower us. A great story doesn’t change our life’s trajectory. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that will have eternal impact on us. Seek Him until you hear Him speaking to your life. And when you hear Him, call on the name of Jesus. Not sure how to do this? I would love to help. Just let me know now or call me this week. There are many others here who would love to help you.
Now is the time to respond to Jesus, He has responded to your presence here this morning. As you listen to the music, speak your commitment to Him this morning.