1 Corinthians 15:1-8
A. This year, I have done a little extra preaching on the Resurrection. As a norm, I preach on Calvary just before Easter and on the Resurrection Easter Sunday Morning. I am putting a little more emphasis on the Resurrection this year.
B. I feel that we often put too little emphasis on what God so greatly emphasis.
1. Jesus Christ was declared to be God by the Resurrection - Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
2. We are saved through faith in the Resurrection - Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
3. We have a blessed hope because of the Resurrection - 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
C. The list could go on but that is not my subject this morning. I want to look at a couple of verses this morning that will help us to realize just why Christ appeared to so many in so many different manners.
Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (After his passion, the sheep were scattered! Things in this life will scatter the sheep.)
Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? (Here, at the empowering of the church, we find the disciples in one place and in one accord.)
D. I want to look at a few of the Post Resurrection Appearances of Christ and what they meant to the believer.
1. He Appeared To Mary Magdalene – To Comfort A Sorrowing Heart – John 20:10-17 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
a. How Mary Magdalene loved the Lord - John 20:15-16 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
b. He had forgiven her much and she loved much - Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (This Post Resurrection Appearance shows us that are saved that it is well with our soul!)
2. He Appeared To The Disciples On The Emmaus Road – To Encourage Confused Disciples - Luke 24:13-15 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
a. They were looking for the Kingdom Age - Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
b. When they knew Him They Were Jubilant - Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (This Post Resurrection Appearance gave heart to the Disappointed!)
3. He Appeared To Simon Peter – To Restore A Fallen Saint - Mark 16:7 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.
a. Peter denied Christ thrice - Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
b. The Lord sent word of His coming - Mark 16:7 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.
c. Simon confessed thrice of his love for the Lord - John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (Leighton Ford once said, “God loves us the way we are but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” This Post Resurrection Appearance shows our Lord’s love for us, even when we are in sin. He comes to restore us!)
4. He Appeared To The Ten Disciples – To Give Peace To Their Fearful Hearts - John 20:19-21 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
a. The disciples were fearful for their lives. The Lord Jesus was no longer with them in the flesh to protect and comfort them. The Comforter was not yet given and their hearts were afraid.
b. Our Lord spoke Peace to their fearful hearts. (This Post Resurrection Appearance speaks Peace to our fearful hearts! Has your heart ever been fearful? Because He lives, we live also and we are assured that He will be with us until the end.)
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
5. He Appeared To Thomas – To Reassure A Doubting Soul - John 20:24-25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
a. Thomas doubted the resurrection. We find in Luke 7:19-22 John the Baptist had the same doubts: “And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.”
b. Christ came to Thomas - John 20:27-28 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (This Post Resurrection Appearance did away with the doubts of a believer. Have you ever had doubts? The Lord will give you the assurance that you need if you will simply look to Him.)
6. He Appeared On The Mount Of Olives - To Promise God’s Power For Service - Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
a. He promised them the Power of the Holy Ghost - Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
b. He promised them the Power of Witness - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (This Post Resurrection Appearance promised the power of the Holy Ghost to serve. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” God equips us for His service with)
7. He Appeared To Saul Of Tarsus – To Show A Lost World The Way Of Salvation – Acts 9:1-5 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
a. God saved the “chief” - 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
b. If He can save the “chief,” He can save all of the Indians! - Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (This last Post Resurrection Appearance gives hope to all of mankind. Christ died for them and they can be saved through faith in that Risen Saviour!)
Conclusion: I am glad that Jesus did not just resurrect and ascend back into Heaven. He did not leave His church comfortless, but showed himself alive by many infallible proofs.