And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (KJV)
I. Introduction: "4 Perspectives" of the Resurrection
When it came to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, - none of the 4 Gospel writers were actual eyewitnesses,- and there’s no record -of any human eyes -ever seeing it -when it happened, yet, God -sent the Holy Ghost -to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -and each one of them- wrote 4 different perspectives -of that “great getting up morning”.
Matthew -wrote about it- as a “prophetic proclamation”, from “the Royal throne in Heaven”.
He wrote it this was because the Jews as a nation -refused to believe -that Jesus was the Messiah but believed the “big lie” perpetrated by the chief priests -who paid off the “tomb watchers”and told them to say -that his disciples -came at night -and stole the body from a “sealed tomb” and under the nose of “sleeping guards”.
Luke, wrote about it-from the "human perspective".
Luke wrote his perspective from this paradigym-because as soon as it happened, “two men” (angels)-in shinning garments -asked those -who came to the empty grave: Why are you seeking the living among the dead?
John wrote about it -as “divinity speaking to humanity”,-
The Holy Ghost compelled John to write from this perspective because this was written- that you might believe -that Jesus is the Christ, -the Son of the Living God and if you believe it-, you would have eternal life -through his holy name!
Mark writes about -“that great getting up morning”- both from a “servant’s perspective” and as “a life changing event” that literally changed the whole world -because Mark said: -“signs and wonders”,” power and protection” -would follow all those -that would believe -but damnation -awaited all those who would not.
II. The Gravesite: "Early Sunday Morning"
By the time -Mary Magdalene, -Mary-, mother of James and John -and the rest of the women -got to the tomb -to anoint the body of Jesus, -the stone had already been rolled away, -the tomb was empty,- an angel was there -making “a grand resurrection announcement”, -but the body of Jesus -was nowhere in sight !
It was early in the morning. -That’s somewhere -between the darkest hour -in the night -and right before -that pitch darkness -gives way -to the flowing rays- of the dawning day.- It was early. That’s before -the lesser light- of a Harvest moon goes completely dim -and fades into nothing -as the greater light of the morning sunrise- starts to yawn, -and stretch out the arms -of its bright cosmic rays -and rise from the east, -pushing away -the stillness of the night -and start forth writing its signature on a new day…I tell you -it was that early on that Sunday morning, “that great getting up morning” that Jesus rose.
III. " Strange Things"
Well…”strange things” --happened on that morning. There was an earthquake, -there was an angelic descent, - there were “security guards”- on post, but sleep- and not on guard. -that great stone -that once blocked the entrance -to the tomb was been rolled away the “death shroud” that wrapped Jesus body was neatly folded on a flat slap but Jesus was nowhere in sight… I tell you -“strange things” happened on that day! But, when you really think about it,- “strange things” happened -between Palm Sunday -and Crucifixion Friday.
A. Palm Sunday
Well, on” Palm Sunday”,-there was a great Coronation-. On that day-, Jesus was touted -and celebrated- and hailed as- the King Of the Jews as he rode a borrowed donkey down the main street that led into Jerusalem to the jubilant cry of a joyous crowd. On that day, -the people showed him the homage -that was fit for a king, -Coats and palm branches -tossed in the street- lined the way, Jubilation was in the air. People were ecstatic and shouting for joy because their Shiloh had come. Jesus brought joy for their sorrows. He gave them hope for their tomorrows. Healing for their hurting bodies, Cures for their blood issues..He fed their hungers. He watered their thirsts. He healed their broken hearts and showed them the way of salvation. Can’t you hear them in their jubilation? Hosanna, Hosanna, Blessed are thou, the son of David! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.
B. Crucifixion Friday
Now when we fast forward -5 days later - you get to see another “strange thing”…you witness -a great Crucifixion! Crucifixion -in and of itself -wasn’t strange -but this crucifixion -was very strange. -It was strange -because many of the people -in that same crowd -that cried Hosanna -5 days ago -with great joy- now are part -of an angry -evil lynch mob -full of ignorant- misguided unbelievers -led by jealous,- arrogant Pharisees and Scribes. This crowd’s shouting: crying crucify Him, crucify Him!
What a strange -turn of events, because Jesus had given his people love and miracles, but now, they are giving him over bloody murder. Jesus had given them hope, but now they are giving him unholy havoc. He came to deliver them and give them salvation but now hanging on the cross they have given him over to suffering and shame…Look at them spitting on him and spitting out their venomous words at the very one who loved them with an everlasting love; and was now about to die for them that they all could have the hope of heaven and a right to the tree of life.
What a strange turn of events: Now you got the finite passing judgment on the infinite. You got the false, the great pretenders lying on the Way, the truth and the Life. You got humanity trying to decide the fate of Divinity with future history hanging in the balance. Look at this: momentary organized, dignified dust poised and ready to crucify the very one who spoke this formed dust into existence and made man from formed dust, breathed soul life into the nostrils of formed dust, and man became a living soul.
Now, add to this the scene at that great crucifixion… there were 3 men on 3 crosses, a dying thief, a repentant thief and Jesus our seeking Savior…there was 3 hours of darkness that ran from the 6th hour to the 9th hour…from high noon to 3 in the afternoon…, On Jesus’ cross Jesus’ charge was nailed above his head written in 3 different languages: Hebrew; the voice of revelation ...Greek; the voice of art and philosophy and Latin; the voice of power and Law …Not only that …Jesus experienced a 3-fold mockery from all 3 segments of society and yet every one of them said the same thing: He saved others but himself he could not save: If you are the Son of God save yourself..and come down so we will believe…You see, they didn’t understand what was really at stake on Jesus’ staying on the cross.
IV. " Cannot versus Will not"
Now… just to show you how dense they all were ….none of them knew the difference in a divine cannot and a human could not! It wasn’t that Jesus humanly could not come down…He had legions of angels on standby in heaven ready to come to his rescue but He made up in his mind in the Garden of Gethsemane that he will not!.and..cannot not ! come down… God told them to stand down because… The nails didn’t hold him…It was the love of God that held him on that Cross….So, he cannot come down because if he did, our souls would still be lost… The truth was Jesus decided in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Father’s will would be done …This si why Jesus prayed to the Father said: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do…. Jesus could not come down from the cross just to save himself…but he cannot come down so that everybody else could be saved…
Not only that, Jesus experienced pain from 3 perspectives of life:
First, he felt chronic physical pain: pain from being wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities …pain because the chastisement of our peace was upon him, but by the pain of his stripes, our pains can be healed ! My brothers and sisters, as bad as rheumatoid arthritis can be and as painful as it actually is, nothing was more painful than the sin that Adam and Eve heaped on all of mankind that awful day in the garden because they disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. As a result you don’t always have to sin to experience pain, but because of sin we all have to deal with pain.
Second, he felt emotional pain: pain from the anguish and agony of bearing all of man’s sin. He felt our angers and murders. He felt our lying and cheating. He felt our adulteries and fornications. He felt out blasphemies and unbelief, even our slanders and our slights. Isaiah said in Isaiah 53:3-4 “He is despised and rejected by men; a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Third, he felt the pain of separation: because at some point, while on the cross Jesus could not feel heaven’s connection. He couldn’t feel the presence of God the Father because bearing all of the sins of man and being made sin for us and not a sinner for us coupled with the fact that God hates sin, Jesus being made sin broke the com-link between holiness and humanity on the cross. That ought to tell every one of us that sin is a circuit breaker that shut off our connection to a Holy God. I don’t know how you feel- but I believe - the worst feeling you can have as a child of God is calling on the Lord and not only does he not answer but you can’t even feel his holy presence.
Another strange thing happened On the cross at Calvary, -when you break down everything Jesus said while hanging on the cross he really didn’t say that much verbally but there was awesome power in everything HE did said- There was 1 forgiveness prayer, I heard him say: (Father forgive them for they know not what they do) 1 cry of anguish, I heard HIM say: (Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachtani- My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?) 2 behold statements merging His mother with her new son , (Woman behold thy son,Son, behold thy mother) 1 cry of thirst, (I thirst!) 1 statement of finality, ( IT IS FINISHED) 1 declaration of a thief’s salvation because the death took a quick interlude to offer the invitation to a brand new life. I heard HIM say: (Today thou shall be with me in paradise) and finally 1 statement of submission of his spirit back to the Father ( Father into THY HANDS, I COMMEND MY SPIRIT!), After all this, nothing else needed to be said.! I come to tell you while I’m on my way to my seat, but nobody died like Jesus died.
V. When Jesus Died
When Jesus died: The S u n went on strike and refused to shine….The moon had a massive hemorrhage and dripped away in blood….there were things that experienced the power of UP: the veil in the temple was torn UP from top to bottom…that meant that God tore down the wall of petition that separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies so you and I can go to the Rock of our salvation….When Jesus died…the graves of the dead saints opened UP…the dead saints themselves came to life and they all got Up from the graves and marched in a victory celebration in the streets of Jerusalem, became the first fruits of salvation and went UP to glory…
Satan made a big mistake and thought that if Jesus was crucified that salvation for all of men would be lost. But he forgot that one promise that Jesus made. When the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the rugged cross ….they nailed nails in his hands and nailed him in his feet….they placed a crown of thorns upon is head then, they took that cross and dropped it down in a study hole putting it in an upright position..and when they did that…. it lifted Jesus UP from the earth! And I heard Jesus said:… if I be lifted UP from the earth…I’ll draw all men unto me…They buried him in that borrowed tomb but early, early, early that great getting UP Sunday morning…Jesus rose… yes he did…he got UP from the grave and said ALL POWER is in my hand…and because he got up on that day…You and I can experience 2 greeat getting UP mornings…I don’t know about you…but
I’Il experienced one of them already….at the age of nine in Sunday school at 1st Corinth Baptist Church…I heard the voice of Jesus say: it’s time to make a change. I remember… something got a hold of me… I got Up out of my seat my….all of a sudden… feet got light…my soul got happy and I felt alright…I walked down to the altar… gave my hand to the pastor but I gave both my hands and heart to God..i came to Jesus just as I was weary wounded and sad…I found in him a resting place and he made me glad…
But you know what? I waiting for that last great getting UP morning…The bible said that one day Jesus Christ will come back out of heaven to this earth with a shout ….the voice of an archangel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ will rise UP first…then we who are still alive when he come will be changed in a moment the twinkling of an eye and will be caught UP in the clouds to meet Him in the air…on that great getting UP morning fare d well…fare d well…Do you know him…Have you tried him ain’t he alright’’’say yeah….yeah….awwwww yeahAin our lives one of these days there will be another great getting up morning! Some glad morning when this life is over I’ll fly away to a home on God’s celestial shore…….