A significant event in the lives of insignificant people – John 20:1-18

Happy Resurrection Day to everyone!

A warm welcome to all of you.

It is such a joy and privilege to be in God’s presence with his beloved people. I am once again glad that God has enabled me to preach from his word.

As we always say, we’re not standing here because of our smartness and eloquence but only because of the grace and mercy of God that he chooses to reveal himself through his word and through insignificant people like us.

Today, being the Resurrection Day, we will look at a passage that describes the resurrection event of Jesus to help us GRASP its relevance in our lives and to help us respond in faithful OBEDIENCE.

After Jesus was brutally killed – Afflicted, Humiliated, Rejected & Separated, the bible tells us that his body was buried in a tomb with a big stone rolled at the entrance and guarded by the roman soldiers.

Our passage today from John 20 begins by telling us that …

“On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb”

I want us to pause here for a moment and understand what’s going on. To Mary and the people, it may have simply appeared that the stone at the tomb had been taken away. There could have been various explanations for that.

In Matthew 28:11-15 Matthew tells us what the roman guards and the Jews did –

*While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ ****And if this comes

to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” ***So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

Unlike whatever the story has been told to this day, brothers & sisters, I want us to understand that Jesus’s resurrection from death was one of the most significant events in human history. Jesus’s resurrection from the dead completed the glorious mission that the Father had intended.

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus a significant event?

Jesus’s Resurrection is a significant event because …

It was the display of God’s immense power

To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. Why? Because if God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has the power to raise the dead.

If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship.

Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse death into life, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave

*1 Corinthians 15:54–55 – When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” ***“O death, where is your victory?    O death, where is your sting?”

In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

Jesus’s Resurrection is a significant event because …

It validates Jesus’s claim as a Son of God

Matthew 16:1-4 – And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

The phrase “sign of Jonah” was used by Jesus as a metaphor for His future crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. It meant that as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and came out the third day, so will the Son the God.

Jesus answered with this expression when asked by the Pharisees for miraculous proof that He was indeed the Messiah.

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he validated his claim as a Son of God.

Jesus’s Resurrection is a significant event because …

It brings hope to this dying world

*1 Peter 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ***to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The bible tells us that when God created the world, the heavens, and the earth, animals, and birds – he also created man and women in his image and likeness. God’s original plan for man and women was to live in fellowship and friendship with him and thereby inherit the earth by bearing children and living in absolute harmony with God and each other.

But instead of walking in obedience to him, when the serpent tempted them, they were driven by selfish ambition to become like God and they chose to rebel against their creator God and decided to fix their lives their own thing.

The day Adam and Eve choose to disobey God, they lost harmony with God – A Holy God couldn’t stand the unholy men and drove them out of his presence. They and even the children they bore ended up as God-haters, selfish and mean, and to this generation, that is the state of every child, man, and woman born into this world – Disharmony with God – Hopeless and sinful.

In Romans 1:28-32, Paul shows God’s response toward disobedient people

Romans 1: 28-32 – And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

I wonder what if God had decided to turn away from us forever and let us continue in sin. Have you wondered what would have happened to us if God had taken away all his gracious provision on earth from us?

We would have killed and butchered each other to death.

But God chooses to stick around with us. He chooses to love us. He chooses to be committed by keeping his part of the friendship.

The bible tells us that while we were sinners, he sent his son Jesus on earth, to live the obedient life we were supposed to live, earn righteousness from God and exchange it with our sinfulness on the cross of calvary, thereby giving us an opportunity to restore our broken relationship back to God.

If we confess and repent of our wrongdoings and trust in the finished work of Jesus we can be renewed and restored.

Jesus’s resurrection is a significant event because it completes the task for which he was sent on earth – to restore us back to the Father.

He did this for insignificant people like us – the ones who should have been afflicted, humiliated, rejected & killed because of our separation from God.

Mary Magdalene, who first came to the burial place of Jesus, the first person Jesus met after his resurrection, was a demon-possessed woman – Luke 8:2 tells us that Jesus healed her from evil spirits and her infirmities.

The disciple she first ran to, Peter, was a betrayer, he denied Jesus 3 times just a couple of days back.

The other disciples of Jesus acted foolish and dumb when they reached the tomb and did not understand what was happening. verse 9 says, they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Friends, just like these guys, we too belong to the insignificant category. Possessed, failure, selfish, sinful, foolish, dumb, forgetful, good for nothing category.

But here’s the beauty of God.

Only a divine visitation from Jesus is capable of opening our eyes to see him, embrace him, and believe in him.

John 20: 11-16 – But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[b]  “Rabboni!”. – I SEE YOU!

Friends today could be your divine moment where Jesus is revealing himself to you.

And there could only be two responses from us –

One – We say I see you Jesus, but I choose to walk away because the world looks more fascinating to me, I think I like the darkness more than the light or

Two – We say, I see you Jesus, and I choose to trust in you because this world and the things of this world are fading away – Everlasting life, joy, and peace are only found in you because this is why I was created for – To know you and to be known by you – So here I am.

Our response should be … Jesus I confess I am a sinner and I repent of them … I need a savior to deliver me … therefore I put my trust in you.

Finally, if you have responded to Jesus and his love and found that liberating and peace-giving, then we all be like Mary.

John 20:18 – Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Today, we get to hear the good news of Jesus because a bunch of disciples who witnessed the resurrected Christ went out and announced it to the world – almost every one of them was killed and martyred for their faith and bold proclamation. They were faithful in spreading the good news of Jesus, no matter what – Only because they saw and valued their life in eternity with Jesus as more precious than anything else in this world. It is our turn to do the same.

Let’s pray!

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