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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

HE from MARK 16 - APRIL 4, 2010


April 4, 2010

          Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices early on the first day of the week, to anoint the body of Jesus. Mark says they came when the Sabbath was past. There may be more to that statement than meets the eye. The Sabbath really was past. From now on it would be the Lord's Day. Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday. He made at least five of His appearances on Sunday. The Church began on Sunday. The first gospel sermon was preached on Sunday. The first converts were baptized on Sunday. The Church observed the Lord's Supper on Sunday and at one point Paul told the Churches at Galatia and Corinth to receive a special offering for the poor in Jerusalem on Sunday which indicated their habit of meeting together on the first day of the week. John also began the writing of the book of Revelation on Sunday with his statement and I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. What a grim joke the Lord would play on the rejecters of the gospel and the nominal Church members if He staged His Second Coming on Sunday. WOW!
          As they approached the tomb the question uppermost in their mind was who shall roll away the stone from the door of the tomb? Mark says it was exceeding great. Three women realized they did not have the physical strength to do it. The door to the tomb would have been about four feet in diameter and weigh several hundred pounds taking several men to roll it from the slot. Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the tomb is the question of us all. Go to the grave of a departed love one and the question is there, "Who shall roll away this great big rock? For it is exceeding great." The three women did not have strength to roll away the stone, but neither did the combined strength of the human race have the power to roll away that great big rock.
          Why is it that every community has a cemetery? One mortician told me he was in a rotten business. He said I spend my life burying my friends. Every day is Halloween for those who dig graves, and manufacture embalming fluid and tombstones.
          Ever since time began mankind will never be able to fathom the combination on the locks of the pearly gates. All the factories, laboratories, engineering schools, scientists at NASA, working overtime ten thousand years would never be able to come up with an hypothesis or a mathematical equation that would give humanity the answer to the supreme question of all time. Who shall roll away that great big rock from the door of the tomb, for it is exceeding great? The man that can give us the answer to that question can name his own price. Only God could give us the answer and He named His price. The price was the shed blood of His Son and our Redeemer. The story of Mark sixteen is the story of the One who did have strength enough to roll away the stone even though it was exceeding great. It tells us about what HE did. First it says HE IS RISEN!


          He is risen is the announcement the angel made to the women. The three women saw a young man sitting on the right side of the tomb when they entered and they were amazed. This young man was at the most conservative estimate at least 4,000 years old. He was even older than that. He had been present when God laid the foundation of the earth and the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy. He was arrayed in a white robe. He was a young man. Not an old man or a middle aged man. He was a young man in the prime of life. Some folk have the idea that Church is for women and kids. Men sometimes think that religion is for them when they are too old to do anything else. This young man was no wimp. He rolled away the stone by himself even though it was exceeding great. Not only that but Matthew tells us that his countenance was as lightning and the entire macho Roman guard fell on their faces and became as dead men.
          Actually the story of the resurrection of The Lord Jesus is geared for the young. One church advertised for a preacher and among the qualifications, they wanted a man who was between thity-five and forty years old. Under thirty-five was too young, over forty was too old.
          The story of the empty tomb is the story of how the fountain of youth was rediscovered. Anything less than a young man would not suffice. I went to the fountain of youth in Florida about fifty years ago and drank from the fountain of youth and it did not do me one bit of good. Only once in human history did man say, "Sun stand thou still on Gibeon and moon stand thou still on the valley of Ajalon.” For the rest of us the sun of our earthly life reaches its zenith all too soon and poises there for a brief moment and then begins to set. But here at the empty tomb is youth forever. The words of the gospel hymn says it for us,
          I have heard of a land on that far away strand
          Tis the beautiful home of the soul
          Built by Jesus on high where we never shall die
          is a land where we never grow old.
          Mark tells us when the women entered into the tomb the angel was sitting on the right side arrayed in a white robe. This was his message; "He is risen! He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him.” Look at the place. Look at it. John tells us what they saw when they saw the place. They saw the embalming wrappings that encased the body of Jesus looking just like they were when they were wrapped around the dead body of Jesus, but there was no body in the wrappings. The resurrected body of Jesus did not need to unwrap Himself. The stone was not rolled away to let Him out any more than doors had to be opened to let Him in the upper room when He appeared to the apostles the doors being shut.
          There were no two ways about it. The angel was emphatic. He is risen! He is not here. He was risen because it was not possible that the bonds of death should hold Him. If it was not possible for the bonds of death to hold the Christ then it is not possible for the bonds of death to hold the Christ like.
But listen to that statement again. Behold the place where they laid Him. He showed them the place. It is always good to show others the place. Show them the place where it tells us where we are also buried. Romans the sixth chapter tells us, “We were buried with Him in baptism.” Show them the place. Show them the place, where Jesus told the Apostles, “This do in remembrance of Me,” and then show them the place where it says in Acts chapter twenty, verse seven. Upon the first day of the week we were gathered together to break bread. Show them the place where Paul said in Hebrews chapter ten; “Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is.” Show them the place. But not only does it say He is risen, but also here is something else that we are told HE did. He goeth before you.


          He goeth before you into Galilee. He told them before He died that after the resurrection He would go before them into Galilee. He said, “Go tell my disciples and Peter.” "Go tell Peter." Why would He say, go tell Peter when Peter had denied three times that he even knew Him. He said go tell Peter because Peter has wept. He said go tell Peter because Peter has repented. He said go tell Peter because Peter has suffered. He said go tell Peter because he has sinned. He said go tell Peter because I forgive him. He said go tell Peter because he is your brother. He said go tell Peter because I love him. He said go tell Peter because I want to use him. Jesus did not say go tell Peter because he cursed and denied Him, but because of his repentance and his tears. There is no comfort here in this story for people who have not repented.
          He said go tell Peter and the others that I go before them into Galilee. One has to wonder why make that long trip. They were all in Judaea at the time. It would be many miles away and transportation was not what it is now. For the benefit of those of you who don't know any better there were no planes or busses in the Holy Land in the time of the Apostles, so why would He tell them to go all that distance when He could just as well have met them in Judaea? It is a question worth pondering.
He may have gone to Galilee before them because some things the Lord wants us to do requires effort. Sometimes it is not convenient to do what the Lord requires of us. There is no way a Christian can acquire a familiarity with the word of God without effort. One preacher gave a New Testament to a young man as a High School graduating gift and he wrote this statement in the flyleaf. This New Testament is for reading, and not for looking at. I can’t say much for the preachers tact, but if was good advice. Surely there are a lot of things that many can think of doing on the Lord's Day besides tying up at least a half a day going to the worship service.
          Another reason He wanted them to go to Galilee was because Galilee was in the north and Judaea was in the south. And He wanted to give the news of His resurrection a wider hearing.
          I read recently of a boy about five years of age that was being fitted for a new suit. He looked at himself in the mirror and said, “I will sure look good at Sunday school next Sunday.” The sales lady said, "Are you going to Sunday school next Sunday?" The kid said, "Where else is there to go on Sunday morning?" The woman said, "That is the best sermon I ever heard."
          He may have gone before them into Galilee because Galilee was a despised place, Nazareth was there and the saying was can any good thing comes out of Nazareth? Judaea was the center of religious activity. Maybe the Lord wanted to show that the gospel was for the worst of sinners. I go before them into Galilee, maybe it was because He wanted to put emphasis on the need to carry the gospel to the entire world.
          Now let us remember that Jesus had made an appointment for us each week at the Lord’s Table. I read of a Christian Church that had their Easter Sunday services at a big city convention center recently where thousands would attend. The announcement was made that since so many people would be present who didn't take the Lord's Supper on a regular basis it would be better not to have the Lord's Supper on that day because the many visitors would feel awkward to have the loaf and cup passed under their nose. What an opportunity to preach a sermon in action for the unsaved. Remember whether you keep the appointment or not, there is an appointment that you will keep. It may be awkward and embarrassing for some but we all shall appear. No one will be too busy to keep it. It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment. You will keep that appointment. Now here is something else that He did.


          He appeared first to Mary Magdalene from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mary was a woman who could not forget. She could not forget what it was like to share her body with seven big, whoppin, rotten, stinking, filthy, putrid, dirty, lewd, obscene, coarse, gross, polluted, vulgar, despicable, low down, good for nothing demons. A woman was first in transgression, so it was a woman who would be first in seeing the risen Lord. He appeared first unto Mary Magdalene. Mark also tells us about something else that He did. He appeared unto two of them in another form.


          Luke tells us that there were two of them on their way to the village,of Emmaus. He says they did not know Him at first because their eyes were holden. Mark tells us why their eyes were holden. He appeared to them in another form.
In another sense many have eyes today that are holden. They cannot see the terms of pardon revealed in the New Testament. They have never heard. Sometimes a preacher for fear of criticism may not be as explicit as he should be on the terms of pardon in an attempt to please everybody. One church leader told me his preacher does not speak as plainly as he should on the plan of salvation. Get them in first and then let them find out the truth for themselves. Of course the preacher may not be aware he is doing this because his eyes are holden by trying to please everybody.
          The resurrected body of Jesus is different. Now He can pass through walls even if the doors were shut. He can disappear and then appear. Yet He was the same Jesus. He still had concern for their welfare. He helped them catch a boatload of fish. He showed compassion for the weeping women at the tomb. Mary thought He was the gardener until He spoke her name, then she recognized His voice. When He appeared to the Apostles on the evening of the resurrection day they thought He was a spirit until He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still disbelieved for joy He asked for something to eat and they gave Him a piece of broiled fish and honeycomb and He ate it before them. He was the same yet there was a difference. No one now leans his head on His bosom. The old familiarity is gone. The Devil is not tempting Him now; His enemies are completely out of the picture.
          We also in our resurrected state will be seen in another form. Different yet the same. Paul says this body is sown in corruption and raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. We shall appear in heaven in our resurrected body in another form. When He shall appear we shall see Him as He is and we shall be made like Him. Now notice what He said unto them.


          He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He said preach the gospel. The gospel as Paul defines it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said preach it. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. This was just part of what He said. In Luke He told them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all the nations beginning from Jerusalem. The scriptural response to the gospel is believe it, repent of sins, and baptism for the remission of sins. Peter gave an example of the proper response when he told the believers on the day of Pentecost to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and then he added a further blessing namely the gift of the Holy Spirit. To believe is to believe all of it, and to believe not is to believe none of it. He that believeth not shall be damned. And now just one final word. He was received up into Heaven.


          He told them these signs shall accompany them that believe they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, if they drink any deadly thing it shall in no wise hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
          At this point He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Paul repeats this when he says that Jesus made purification for sins and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He said it again when he said that we have a great High Priest who sat down on the right hand of God.
          After His Ascension they went forth and preached everywhere, and the Lord confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Today this same program is given unto us. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. This broadcast of the gospel can be heard on some stations all over the world from pole to pole to any one, any place, if they are on line. In Christ there is no east or west, no north or south. We have heard it said many times that east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet. Go east and never change your course and you will never run into the west. Go west and never change your course and you will never run into the east. However Christ makes all directions come together. For Christ is Christ and rest is rest, And love true love must greet. In east and west hearts crave for rest; And so the twain shall meet, the east is still east, the west is still west at Jesus’ nail pierced feet. He is not here for He is risen even as He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
          Now these final words from the Apostle Paul at the end of the book of Hebrews: “Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus. Make us perfect in every good thing to do His will working in us that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory for ever and ever Amen.”