- Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
- And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.
- And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
- And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there about, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
- And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
The Wrong Place to Look
The word “Resurrection” is defined as a return to life from the dead. It was essentially believed among the Jews that no one could come back from the dead. Resurrection is to be distinguished from resuscitation or reanimation of the physical body.
I would like to submit to you today that Resurrection is the foundation of the entire New Testament. It is the basic of all the New Testament letters. Paul even said in (1 Cor. 15:53-55), “For this corruptible MUST put on incorruption, and this mortal MUST put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? Of grave, where is thy victory?”
For many writers and many theologians, Resurrection was thought of not as an event for each individual at death but as a corporate event. God would raise all of His elect at the end of history.
Paul talks about this general or corporate resurrection in 1 Cor 15:20-22. He basically says, Jesus’ resurrection is an act of God. God raised the Son from the dead as the first fruits in anticipation of the general resurrection. So, that means that the resurrection of us, as believers, would follow as a result of Christ’s resurrection.
But for us right now, “resurrection” only speaks to us, and it confirms to us that Christ Jesus is available for us right now, as He was for those who He walked with daily before His crucifixion.
But much like the Women who made their way to the tomb early one Sunday morning looking for Jesus, we too are looking in all the wrong places. In the churches of today, so many people are trying to associate Jesus with the Law and commandments.
I’ve got to say that, Yes, it is very important to follow the commandments. But the simple fact that you can follow MOST of them, and not ALL of them is the very reason why you will have to face condemnation on your own.
You are in the wrong place to look if you are hoping to establish a relationship with Him through your keeping of the Commandments. The Commandments can never save us, they just lead us to the Savior who has already saved us.
We need to understand this morning that there are some things that we do BECAUSE we are Christians, and for so many years we think that we are to do those things to make us BECOME Christians.
If you think coming to church every Sunday associates you with the Savior, you are looking in the wrong place.
If you think paying your tithes will associates you with the Savior, you are looking in the wrong place.
If you think holding a certain position in the church associates you with the Savior, you are looking in the wrong place.
If you think singing in the Choir, or carrying out different function of church work associates you with the Savior, you are looking in the wrong place.
We will see this morning that the only way that any of us can become associated with our Savior is through faith. For we are saved “through Faith by Grace”. Not only are we saved but, “We walk by Faith and not by Sight”.
It saddened me this morning to understand that we’ve got people who are looking to meet their Savior, but they are looking in all the wrong places. What saddened me the most about this is that they are the kind of people that you can’t convince them that they are looking in the wrong place.
It saddened me that we’ve got people who can’t get along with one another, but they are on their way to heaven anyhow.
It saddened me that we’ve got people who can’t seem to learn how to love one another, but they feel like they are going to make it to the city.
It saddened me that we’ve got people who can’t treat everybody the same, but they just know for sure that Jesus is on His way to get them.
I need to serve notice on you this morning, most of us are in the wrong place to be looking for Jesus.
Most of us have gone to the wrong city.
Most of us have taken the wrong turns.
We are searching in the wrong neighborhood.
We are knocking on the wrong doors.
We are asking for the wrong person.
We find here in our text today that on the first Easter Morning, even some faithful followers of Jesus was looking for Him in the wrong place. This resurrection account is told by all four gospel writer.
Even though some of the events are different in our eyes, the concept from all of them is still the same. It was an empty tomb. You have to wonder this morning after all of Jesus’ teaching, after all of the prophecy concerning His death, burial and resurrection, what was it that made them go looking in the wrong place.
In Matthew 21:11 we find that the people of that day took Jesus to indeed be a prophet. Even later in that chapter when the Pharisee wanted to lay hands on Him and bring harm to Him, they would not because of the people’s perception of Him being a prophet.
That being so, why didn’t they believe what He said? But Early in the morning the record states that they came unto the tomb, bringing spices which they had prepared to anoint His dead body.
You know the story, when they got there, they found the stone rolled away. I submit to you this morning, the stone was not moved to let Jesus out, but to let those who were coming get in.
Scripture says, they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Here they were with spices and oil, they had come to the wrong place to see Jesus.
While they were there they saw two men who stood by them in shining garments. Those who came looking for Jesus was afraid, and the angels said to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
In the next few verses we will understand why they were in the wrong place.
The Angels Announcement
The first reasoning we have is the Angel’s Announcement. Verse 6, “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee”. The Angels that were standing there in shining garments made this bold announcement to those who visited this empty tomb.
He is not here, but is risen. Not if you don’t mind, let me paraphrase this for you. He is not in here anymore, for he has awaken out of His sleep. Paul made so many references to the dead as being sleep in many of his letter.
He said in 1 Cor 11:30, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”. Later in that same letter, 1 Cor 15:51 he said, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, he said, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him”. So, I submit to you this morning that the angels was only making an announcement that Jesus has awaken out of His sleep.
They said, remember all the thing that He told you was going to happen while He was still with you in Galilee? How the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
I would like to make mention here how Christ have foretold us how He is going to come back for His church, the believers without spot or blemish, but many of us today are still focused on the wrong things.
It makes you wonder, are we really listening to what God is saying to us. How can we become doer if we don’t ever become listeners first?
The resurrection was foretold
Verse 7 & 8. “The Son of man must be delivered into the hand of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words”.
We often say it, but when will we ever come to the realization that God is not a man that He should lie. He is a God that cannot lie.
In Matt 16:21, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must to unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and be raised again the third day”.
In Matt. 20: 18-19, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day he shall rise again”.
He said in John 2:19, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”.
Out of all these prophesies, all of them ended by foretelling them that on the third day, He will rise again, but yet here it is the third day, and they are going to the wrong place looking for Jesus.
The last reason why they went there was their simple unbelief. Those women returned from the tomb and told all these things which their eyes had seen to the eleven disciple, and to all the rest.
Verse 11, “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not”.
When will we ever learn that “Unbelief” is the wrong place.
Throughout scripture we have been able to witness the unbelief of religious men.
Abraham, In Genesis 17 when God promised him a child in his old age.
Moses, In Numbers 11 when God told Him the Host of Israel should be fed.
Zacharias, In Luke 1 when God promised him that he should have a Great Son.
And the Disciples here this morning, when they were told of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.
But I come by Johnson Creek here this morning to let you know,
If you are in UNBELIEF, there is no way that you will be ever to find out how good Jesus is.
The Lord sent me by the Creek this morning to let many of you know that you are looking in the wrong place.
You won’t be able to know that He lives
As long as you are going to the clubs on Saturday night,
And then trying to sing in the choir on Sunday Morning.
You won’t be able to know that He lives,
As long as you are running around with hatred and malice in your heart.
Coming to church on Sunday testifying that you are a child of God.
You won’t be able to know that He lives,
As long as you are always pulling your sisters and brothers down.
The bible says that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we do other.
You need to realize this morning that
Jesus got up out of the tomb,
So that we might be able to get up
Out of our unbelief.
Peter got up and went running down to the tomb.
When he got there he saw the grave cloth laying on one side,
And the napkin that was around his head laying on the other side.
God sent His son—they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon; an empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
How sweet to hold a new-born baby and feel the pride and joy he gives; but greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.
And then one day I’ll cross the river; I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; and then, as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory—and I’ll know He lives.
Chorus: 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.