April 17 - Message Update

Behold, The Risen King! – Matthew 28:1-10 – Pastor Eric

 

Sadly, it seems like we are surrounded by violence, war, and chaos on a weekly almost daily basis.  As Christians, we wonder, what are we to make of all violence and evil that we see in our world today? How can we explain to people that they don’t have to live in fear?  How can we ourselves live free from fear?

 

In the resurrection story, fear was very present in the hearts and minds of those at the tomb of Jesus.  Fear was a real feeling and concern during the most unprecedented event in history. 

 

When we come to the empty tomb, we can come and see that Jesus is the answer to our fears.  Jesus provides for us this timeless and meaningful truth that when we behold Jesus Christ as the Risen Savior and Lord, we have nothing to fear.  We don’t need to be entombed by our fears, but we can be liberated from fear by power of God.

 

(1) Don’t be afraid for Jesus Christ is the Sovereign King, who controls all things.  There isn’t anything in life that doesn’t pass through the very hands of our God and nothing happens outside of the divine will of God.  Jesus Christ as the Sovereign King rules and reigns over all things, even moments of tragedy and suffering. (Matthew 28:1-4)

 

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, Mary of Joses, come to the tomb.  They come to the tomb expecting to see their Master dead.  Jesus’ body is supposed to be lying in a tomb forfeited by a heavy boulder and surrounded by armed guards.  They have no hope of a resurrection, and they come to behold something beyond their wildest hopes and dreams.

 

The stone was rolled away not to let the risen Jesus Christ out but to let the women in to see the empty tomb. You see, Jesus Christ didn’t need the stone rolled away to resurrect from the dead, He had already done that. He had already risen from the dead in bodily form, but the stone had to be rolled away for the women and the disciples to witness the greatest feat ever done in history.  Moving stones is nothing for our God, because He has already moved Heaven and earth. 

 

God not only controls a stone, Heaven and earth, but He controls mankind. The most powerful, strong, and mighty warriors of that day were afraid. The ones who were assigned to guard the dead have become dead, while the one who is supposed to be dead is alive. The guards who are to be feared by man are actually the ones who are in fear, and the women who are to be afraid are actually the ones who have nothing to fear.

 

So we too, like Mary and Mary, can behold God’s power in a way that is upside down compared to our world’s standards and expectations.  Our God is firmly in control of everything from nature, the supernatural, the powers of man, and even evil in this world.  We must surrender control over to Christ so that He can remove any fear from us.

 

(2) Don’t be afraid for Jesus Christ is the Savior King, who overcame sin and death. Jesus came to die on a cross and resurrect from the dead in order to offer us new life in Christ, both now and for an eternity.  Jesus came to secure eternity for us.  This eternal security allows us to not to fear death, and it actually allows us to long for the day when we will be in Heaven with our God. Jesus is the Savior King who rules and reigns with grace and mercy. (Matthew 28:5-8)

 

After the earth-shattering scene of the stone being rolled away, the angel explains to the women that Jesus was crucified and dead. Jesus was killed to bear the weight of the sins of the world.  Jesus became sin to be the atoning sacrifice, which brings us peace with God.  Jesus settled the greatest debt in history by paying for our sin debt with His very blood. He took on the wrath of God meant for you and me.  We should never ever rush away from the sacrifice of the cross for it helps us to appreciate His resurrection and love.

 

The greatest moment of tragedy, the cross, leads to the greatest moment of triumph, the resurrection.  Christ has risen from the dead. He is not a defeated king, but He is the victorious King.  There is nothing to despair or fear, because Jesus is alive, He is alive indeed!!

 

We are then beckoned and welcomed to look into the empty tomb to behold the resurrected Son of God.  We are to behold Jesus as our Messiah, who offers us freedom from the fear of death that we will be able to live forever and ever in Heaven glories with our God. We must come, repent and believe in Christ to receive His eternal free gift of salvation. (Romans 6:23)

 

(3) Don’t be afraid for Jesus Christ is the Sympathetic King, who is always there with us.  Jesus promises never to leave us nor forsake us.  He will always be there with us and for us no matter what happens in life.  Jesus is the Sympathetic King who rules and reigns with sensitivity and compassion. (Matthew 28:9-10)

 

We are instructed again to behold Jesus. This is a comical scene by the way, that Jesus meets the women as He says “Greetings!”  In our modern-day language, it is “Hello!” Definitely not an orthodox greeting. It’s not the greeting you’d expect, but Jesus never does things the way we might think anyway.  In this simple and profound greeting, Jesus changes everything for these women to meet them in their grief and sorrow.

 

Previously, Jesus had transformed Mary Magdalene’s life as she was a demon possessed woman.  She went from being an outcast in society to an insider in God’s glorious kingdom. She was riddled with evil, but now she was redeemed by God. (John 20:11-18).

 

Mary had been there to behold Jesus’ suffering, but now Jesus had been there to hold her in her suffering.  Mary had stood by Jesus in His darkest hour, and now Jesus had been there to see her through her darkest hour.  Mary had come to care for Jesus’ broken body, and now Jesus had come to care for her broken heart.

 

Mary’s life was once again transformed by the power of the Jesus’ love and compassion. The resurrected King had brought triumph and joy once again to Mary’s broken heart. Jesus’ care and sympathy had restored hope once again to remove all doubt and fear from Mary Magdalene. 

 

And if Jesus can transform a demon possessed person and a hurting soul like Mary, then we can be assured Jesus can and will do the same for us.  There is nothing too painful and too broken for our God to heal.

 

For Jesus is carrying for you, even before you even know that you have a care to be cared for.  Jesus is beholding you, even before you need to be seen.  Jesus is right there with you in the mess of your life, and He knows you by name.  He is calling you back to Himself.

 

Only Jesus has the power to take away any fear and any sin like He did for a lady name Mary, and He will do so for you, if you would behold Him today, if you would trust Him right now, and if you would give Him control of your life.

 

When you and I behold Jesus as the Risen Savior and Lord, then we will truly see that we have nothing to fear.

 

Praise Songs:

The Solid Rock, The Lion and the Lamb, Because He Lives, Cornerstone, Doxology