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TPC - CD 00(K001) - Good News From The Graveyard!

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Graveyards are typically places of sorrow and loss. But the tomb where Jesus was buried became a place of very good news! Join us this Resurrection weekend as Pastor Jeff brings the joyful message, “Good News From the Graveyard!”

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Good News From the Graveyard!

Matthew 27:57-66, Mark 8:31, 10:34, Matthew :28-6,  John 11:25, John 14:6, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 15:3-8

April 12, 2020

 

 

Notes

The Bible records that after Jesus’ death on the Cross:

 

Bible Verse

Matthew 27:57-66 (NIV)

57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.

58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.

59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.

63“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’

64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”

66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

Now, all four gospels give the account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. But only Matthew tells us about the Roman government placing a squadron of soldiers at His tomb to make sure the disciples did not come by night and steal His body away. This was the great fear of the religious leaders—and it was they who went to the Roman Governor Pilate and said: 

 

Bible Verse

Matthew 27:64-65 (NIV)

64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

Now, the “guard” Pilate commissioned to the burial site was a group of four Roman soldiers whose shift changed every three hours. The changing shifts assured that the tomb would be guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers who were awake, attentive, and fully alert. We’re told that when the Roman guards got there, they proceeded to seal the stone. This was done by wrapping a string or rope around the stone and placing a soft clay seal in the middle of it. The seal was then imprinted with the Roman imperial insignia. The soldiers knew that if the seal was broken under their watch it would cost them their life.

Now all of this was done because Jesus had repeatedly said publicly and to his disciples privately that, after being killed, He would rise from the dead on the third day.

 

Bible Verse

Mark 8:31 (NIV)

31He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Bible Verse

Mark 10:34 (NIV)

34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

So there was no denying that Jesus had claimed He would rise from the dead after being killed. So now we have the amazing sight of four burly Roman soldiers standing guard over the tomb of a dead man for three days and nights in 3 hour shifts. 

That said, it is ridiculous to imagine the disciples, who had ALL FLED in fear and gone into hiding when Jesus was arrested… 

*approaching the tomb in the dead of night

*getting past 4 Roman soldiers guarding it for their life, *breaking the seal, 

*rolling back the huge boulder, 

*and kidnapping the dead body of Jesus while the soldiers looked on!

The Bible records what actually happened that first Easter morn:

 

 

Bible Verse

Matthew 28:2-6 (NIV)

2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.

4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

So by the supernatural power of God, Jesus was raised from the dead. And the great stone across the tomb was moved by an earthquake caused by the appearance of God’s mighty angel.That’s why I’ve called this message, “Good News From the Graveyard.” Graveyards are usually places of sorrow and loss. But the empty tomb of Jesus is a place of victory, joy, and good news! 

Now, some have asked, “What’s the big deal? How does this story from over 2,000 years ago that happened on the other side of the world matter to me today?” 

  • I mean, we’re in the middle of a terrible plague. 
  • The economy is in deep trouble. 
  • Many have lost their jobs. 
  • Many more are about to be evicted from their house or apartment. 
  • On top of that, violent storms and earthquakes are striking different parts of the country.  

So how does this matter in our current situation? 

Let me tell you the number one reason why the resurrection of Jesus matters to us all.

 

  1. The resurrection proved Jesus was who He said He was!

 

Notes

You see, the resurrection Jesus promised would happen was what we might call His GRAND FINALE.  Since He had promised that God would raise Him from the dead, His entire ministry and message were riding on it!  If Jesus had not been resurrected then everything else He had promised and taught would be instantly nullified.  And that matters A LOT because our eternal future rides on what Jesus said about Himself!

Like this statement: 

 

Bible Verse

John 11:25 (NIV)

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

So if EVEN HE did not rise from the dead, how could His followers believe that placing their faith in Him would bring them the eternal life He promised?

Here’s another one: 

 

Bible Verse

John 14:6 (NIV)

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

Jesus claimed that placing faith in Him was absolutely necessary to being saved and making it to heaven. So if He had NOT RISEN as He promised, this statement would have been a cruel joke… It would have proven that He wasn’t THE WAY anywhere!

And here’s a big one:

 

Bible Verse

John 3:16 (NIV)

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

The word “begotten” that Jesus uses here means “one-and-only, or one of a kind—or, the only one of its kind.”  In other words, Jesus is saying…

  • There’s no one like Me.
  • My immaculate conception in Mary’s womb through the power of the Holy Spirit was the only conception of it’s kind…
  • It never happened before and will never happen like that again!

 But if He hadn’t risen from the dead, ALL of these claims of His were only the ramblings of a badly deluded man and His followers were terribly deceived. But the Bible says He DID rise from the dead! 

Paul triumphantly declares,

 

Bible Verse

1 Corinthians 15:20 (NIV)

20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

He goes on to write, 

 

Bible Verse

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NIV)

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

New International Version (NIV)

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Notes

So what does this tell us? His resurrection proved He WAS the only begotten Son of God, just like He claimed. It proved He IS the way, the truth, and the life. That He IS the one and only way to heaven.  That He CAN and DOES give eternal life to those who place their faith in Him. And one day soon He WILL return to earth to gather His church to Himself. And He WILL one day rule the world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

And until then, we can say along with the famous song: 

 

Quote

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living just because He lives!

,

 

Notes

So I close with this assurance:

Because He lives, Dark days won’t last! It was a dark day, when Jesus was led down the road, carrying His cross, while the crowds yelled and cursed at Him. It was a dark day, when they laid Him on the cross, and drove the cruel spikes into His hands and feet. It was a dark day when darkness fell over the entire land from noon until 3 while He hung there. But Easter Sunday was just around the corner, and then the night was turned to day! Dark days won’t last! And because He lives, nothing is impossible with God! 

If God could raise Jesus from the dead, He can raise you up out of your trouble and despair! The same power that stood Him up filled Him with life again is the same power of the Holy Spirit that lives in you as a believer! And because He lives, better days are coming!  When we get past this present grief, and the pain of it, when we get past these hard times, we know that better days are coming. Because it seemed like hard times were there to stay when they laid Jesus in the tomb. But now that tomb is empty. And it brings us Good news from the graveyard. He is risen!  

Because Jesus lives we know better days are coming.

 

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