2020-04-12 – Mark 15.33-16.20 – Rising with Christ
Bible Text: 2020-04-12 – Mark 15:33-16:20 – Rising with Christ | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2020-04-12 – Mark 15.33-16.20 – Rising with Christ
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Happy Easter and Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Last Sunday we waved our Palm branches in honor of King Jesus and the observance of the first Palm Sunday. According to God’s word, we can have hope knowing we will stand before Him again in heaven one day soon, waving those same Palm Branches. Everyone will see Jesus for who He really is. Then we will know Him fully, we will praise Him, and honor Him as our Lord and Savior forever more. Amen?
In Today’s message we are going to walk through the Resurrection story of Jesus, and reflect on what that really means for us here today. Then I will offer up a few take-aways for you to consider as you move forward as a Christ follower..
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 15:33, of the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
You may know, the Easter or Resurrection His-Story of Jesus is written about in all four of the Gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And today we are going to read through Mark’s testimony. This is not a short story, so as I read today’s passages, you can choose to read along in your Bibles, or just listen if you wish, maybe even close your eyes if you feel so lead. This is the Death to Resurrection story of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Gospel Truth that has eternal implications and most worthy of our attention.
Up to this point, in summary since Palm Sunday, Jesus had taken on all the sin of man while He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He accepted His appointed roll as the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sin. Afterwards He was arrested, beaten, and subjected to an illegal trial. Then He was sentenced to death on the cross, mocked and humiliated as He carried His own wooden cross to a hill called Golgotha, “The Place of The Skull” or Calvary. He was nailed up on that cross, hanging between two thieves that day. It pains my heart to think about all that Jesus endured for me. (Photos and reflection of Golgotha).
As the people were laughing and ridiculing Him, Jesus begged His Father God to “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. Then our Bible says at the ninth hour, Jesus felt for the first time that He was separated from Father God as a result of all our sin that He was carrying. Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then finally, He said “It is finished”. He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.
This all occurred in just one long and excruciating “Good” Friday. Jesus was on trial at 6 am, and He died at 3 pm. His mother Mary was in the crowd along with some of the apostles during all this, and I am sure they were just heart stricken by what they witnessed. They didn’t want to see all this happen to their Savior, their brother and their friend, but they couldn’t just run away and abandon Jesus either. I am sure this experience burned in their hearts and minds forever more.
Now we will read the final accounts as written by the young John Mark.
Starting at Mark 15 verse 33, this is his testimony:
15 The Death of Jesus
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 35 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “See, he’s calling for Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a stick, offered him a drink, and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”
37 Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing opposite him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger, and of Joses and Salome.
41 In Galilee these women followed him and took care of him. Many other women had come up with him to Jerusalem.
The Burial of Jesus
42 When it was already evening, because it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, came and boldly went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body.
44 Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had already died. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he gave the corpse to Joseph. 46 After he bought some linen cloth, Joseph took him down and wrapped him in the linen. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were watching where he was laid.
Let us pause here for a moment. I could hardly imagine what they were thinking, and what they were feeling. Even though Jesus told them many times that this was going to happen, how do you prepare your heart for such an excruciating event? Jesus was dead, and the uncanny thing is that He didn’t do anything wrong; He did nothing to deserve the punishment and pain that He endured. Jesus and His disciples spent better than three years together, through all kinds of challenges and miraculous events. I would imagine they were also wondering what was going to happen to them now that Jesus was gone. Dare they keep up the ministry after seeing what the authorities did to Him? Were they next?
16 Resurrection Morning
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise.
3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4 Looking up, they noticed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.’”
8 They went out and ran from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.
Appearances of the Risen Lord
9 Early on the first day of the week, after he had risen, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with him, as they were mourning and weeping.
11 Yet, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it.
12 After this, he appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. 13 And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either.
The Great Commission
14 Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. 15 Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”
19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.
This is the end of the book of Mark, and Mark’s testimony of Jesus’s Resurrection.
I would argue, this is the most important event since the creation of man. Nobody refutes the fact that Jesus Christ was alive. Nobody refutes that fact that He was crucified on the cross at Calvary. Nobody refutes the fact that the stone was rolled away and the grave was empty. These are undeniable facts that even the Jewish historians well documented.
The fact that Jesus appeared after His resurrection, first to the Women, then Apostles, then Disciples, and according to 1 Cor 15:6, “even a crowd of 500 most of whom were still alive” at the time of Paul writing, should legitimize the fact that Jesus Christ was alive and is still alive today. And although in the reading of this message it seemed like Jesus only had a brief stay, He actually stayed with them for 40 days after He rose, teaching them, having fellowship with them, eating with them, and preparing them (and us now) for His Great Commission.
We celebrate today not because Jesus died for our sins on the cross, but that He rose from the grave on the third-day. For if Christ did not rise from the grave, then effectively none of what He said previously in His three and a half year ministry would be considered valid or true.
Jesus is Alive ladies and gentlemen, Jesus is Alive indeed. Praise the Lord, Jesus was alive then and He is still alive now. According to Dr. David Jeremiah,
unlike other religions, we have a risen savior. Buddha died and he is dead. Mohamad died and he is dead. Krishna died and is dead. Only Jesus Christ is the true Living God, who we can have an active and personal relationship with even today. And you know what, He loves you so much.
I heard about a Teacher once gave the students the task of writing a paper about Greatest living person; one student chose to write about Jesus. After doing so, the teacher said it was a good paper but it was supposed to be about somebody that was still living. The student replied: “teacher, Jesus is alive”.
Do you believe that Jesus is Alive? That is the key Question. And if you believe Jesus is Alive, are you willing to live for Him, and if need be even die for Him?
I don’t necessarily mean die physically like Jesus did for us on the cross, although some are called to do that, but what about dying to self, and dying to sin.
The Apostle Paul said that he had to choose to die to himself daily. And that goes for each one of us as well. This life we live is tough, especially with all the sin underpinnings of the world all around us. But those that have chosen to live “in Christ” receives the Holy Spirit the moment they accept Christ as their Savior. That Holy Spirit will help you lead a better life. Like Paul, we will still are tempted in the flesh, but you now have the counselor sealed in your heart to help you live a life more in keeping with God’s will. Like Paul, we must choose to die to our sinful flesh daily.
But it all starts with a decision. You have to choose to accept Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord. And after that we follow up with Baptism. Just like Jesus and the disciples were baptized, we too have the privilege of being baptized ourselves. The Title of this message today is Rising with Christ. When these pandemic restrictions are loosened and we can meet again together in this church, then we are going to offer a Baptism service. That will be a glorious day indeed.
As these last verses spelled out for us, when we are baptized, we share in the death, burial and resurrection with Jesus. When we are baptized we are telling the world that I died with Christ, I was buried with Christ, and I was resurrected with Christ. We are born again, and now we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
On this very special Resurrection Sunday, I want you to realize what Jesus did for you on that cross at Calvary. But even more important, I want you to celebrate the fact that He rose from the grave and is alive today. That is the true miracle, worthy of our praise and adoration, so let us do that together right now. Would you please rise with me now as we prepare to close.
Maybe it is time for you to step out in faith, and give your life to Jesus.
We are going to pray together and conclude with one verse of the song Amazing Grace. If God is pulling on your heart-strings today, please consider accepting His invitation into His eternal security.
Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father..