Expecting Jesus – Easter 2020

Matthew 28:1-10
The new CEO of a company comes into work determined to
turn things around. Trying to prove himself to his new
employees he looks around the office and sees a guy leaning
against a wall doing nothing. He approaches the guy and
asks him, “What do you think you’re doing?”

The man replies, “I’m just killing time, waiting to get paid.”

The CEO is furious, “What do you make a week?”
The man tells him, “About $200 a week.”

The CEO pulls out his wallet and hand the man $400 and
says, “There’s your two weeks, now get out of here!” After
the man leaves he turns to his employees and asks, “What
do you think about that?”

One of the employees stands up and says, “I think he just
got the largest tip he’s ever gotten on a single pizza.”

Today is Easter or Resurrection Day
I hope you were able to join us this past Wednesday as I talked
about the crucifixion of Christ. It’s a somber subject and the
death He died was gruesome and painful, but as I mentioned at
the end of the lesson, that is not the end of the story for Christ.

Today we celebrate the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead
and has seated Him at His right hand!!

Matthew 28:1-10

The two Marys went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus
Looking for Jesus
v.1 says they came to look at the grave
Mark 16:1 “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene,
and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices,
so that they might come and anoint Him.”
They knew Jesus had been crucified and placed in the tomb of
Joseph of Arimathea.
They were expecting to find Jesus but they encountered an angel
Angelic Encounter
v.2 says an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came
and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

We know this was a real angel based on the reaction of the
guards. They shook and became like dead men. They were
terrified.
The Bible also says the angel’s appearance was like lightning and
his clothing was white as snow.
v.5 the angel tells the Marys he knows they are looking for Jesus
who has been crucified.

3 Angelic Phrases
The angel delivers 3 key phrases to the Marys

  1. Do Not be Afraid – this is no surprise to Jesus
    a. Since the normal reaction to seeing an angel is fear it
    makes sense that the angel would say this phrase, but
    more than that the angel is telling the Marys not to be
    afraid for another reason
    b. He predicted His death and resurrection 3 times in
    Matthew’s gospel – ch. 16,17,20
    c. Luke’s account in Luke 24:6-7 “Remember how He
    spoke to you while he was still in Galilee, saying
    that the Son of Man must be delivered into the
    hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third
    day rise again.”
    It was no surprise that Jesus wasn’t in the grave, they
    have nothing to fear. This was all part of God’s plan
    d. He is Risen! The angel reassured the women that
    Jesus was not there, He had been risen from the dead
  2. Come See – the place where He was lying
    a. The angel invited them to see where His body had been
    b. John’s gospel describes John and Peter running to the
    grave and going inside they saw the linen wrappings
    that covered His body and face. The place where He
    had been lying was empty. He was no longer in the
    grave. Death was defeated and Jesus is ALIVE!
  3. Go Quickly and Tell – the angel gives the Marys two
    messages to deliver to the disciples
    a. Jesus is risen from the dead

i. What a great and incredible message
ii. Everything God has planned has come to fruition
b. Jesus is going to meet them in Galilee
i. He is going ahead of them
ii. They will see Him face to face

Notice how the women responded – v.8 they left the tomb quickly
with fear and great joy. Still a little afraid after seeing the angel
but having great joy because of the amazing news they have just
heard and seen the empty tomb.

Encounter with Jesus
On their way to Galilee Jesus met them and greeted them.
Picture this, walking towards Galilee and Jesus walks up and
says, hey, y’all! Right after you find out He is no longer in the
grave.

Their response helps us know that it was truly Jesus in the flesh.
They grabbed Him by His feet and worshiped Him.

Then Jesus basically repeats the same three phrases the angel
had given them minutes earlier.

Don’t be afraid – Imagine how they must have felt knowing that
Jesus had been crucified, buried and now He is walking in their
midst?! Plus they were probably still a little frightened from
seeing an angel.

Go and take word to My brethren – this is a slight change from
the angel’s word, he told them to go tell Jesus’ disciples that He
had risen from the dead. Jesus uses brethren to show the
relationship He has with His disciples. But the intent of the
message is the same. Take the good news to others.

There they will see Me – this is just one of many different
instances over a 40 day period where Jesus showed Himself to
many people Alive and well. Risen from the dead. This was also
something that Jesus promised when He instituted the Lord’s
Supper in Matthew 26:32 “But after I have been raised, I will go
ahead of you to Galilee.”

Now, look at Matthew 28:16-17 “But the eleven disciples
proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had
designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but
some were doubtful.”

They were actual eyewitnesses to the resurrection.
They watched as a crown of thorns were twisted on His head,
They winced as the nails were pounded into His hands and feet.
They wiped their tears as He gave up His spirit and sacrificed His
life for theirs.

Some worshiped Him, but some doubted.

I want to ask you a very direct question this morning
Did you come expecting to meet Jesus?

The Marys came to the tomb expecting to find Jesus dead and
still in the tomb. But the reason we are here today and the reason
we attend church every Sunday is to worship Jesus!
Because He is alive and has risen from the dead!!

John’s gospel tells of Mary weeping outside the tomb where
Jesus had been. She wasn’t expecting to meet Jesus there.
In fact, when she saw Him, she thought He was the gardener and
that he had moved Jesus.
But when He spoke her name, she knew it was Him. She clung to
Him so much that He had to tell her stop clinging to Me for I have
not yet ascended.

Some people come to church expecting to meet Jesus.
That is how you should approach worship each and every time
you attend worship – expecting to meet Jesus.

There are some who may be watching today who have some
doubts about who Jesus is and what He has done.

Let me share some good news with you.
Jesus can handle your doubt.

Turn with me to John 20:24-29

Thomas said he would not believe unless he saw his nail scarred
hands and put his hand in His side.
Yet when He saw Christ he believed.

I love the words Jesus said in v.29, “Blessed are they who did not
see, and yet believed.”

We can’t see the place where the nails pierced His hands and
feet, and we can’t see the scar on His side, but we can believe
that everything that God has told us is true. The Bible tells us that
by grace we are saved through faith.Ephesians 2:8
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Here is the Good News from God’s word.

God created man in His own image
He was in perfect fellowship with God

Sin entered the world through man.
Everyone who is born is born with a sin nature.
Sin separates us from God.
Sin has consequences and must be punished

God said that the consequence of sin is death

But God loved the ones He created so much He showed them
grace and mercy.
Mercy is when we don’t get punishment we deserve
Grace is when we get a gift we didn’t earn

Nothing we can do can get us back into fellowship with God

While we were still sinners God sent Jesus to come take our
punishment for the sins we committed.
He never sinned as was perfect.

The punishment that was meant for us because of our sin was
suffered by Jesus. The blood He shed on the cross takes away
our guilt and places us in right fellowship with God.

But here’s the thing…we have to accept His gift.
If we leave His gift on the cross then we will eventually suffer our
own death and be forever separated from God.

If we receive His gift then we receive forgiveness of sin and the
gift of eternal life with God.
God doesn’t force anyone to make any decisions. He leaves it up
to us.

When you realize that you can’t do enough good things and it’s
impossible for you to work your way into heaven and you see the
amazing grace God has shown you, your natural response will be
just like the Marys who worshiped Him. You will surrender your
wants and wishes and seek diligently after God.

If you are watching this morning and still have doubt about Jesus
would you just pray and ask God to help you with your unbelief.

Then get with someone you know has a relationship with God and
ask them to help you understand it better so you can get past
your doubt.

As a closing point of application for believers Jesus instructed
believers to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in
the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to obey all He has commanded them.

That is a call of every believer to share Christ with someone else.
This amazing news of the empty grave is not something we ought
to keep secret. Let’s share it with others!!!