“WORSHIP, PROPHECY, TRUTH, RESURRECTION”
“Worship, Prophecy, Truth, Resurrection” – each of the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, spoke of all these things. This morning we will touch on all of them, but our focus will be on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that wondrous event we remember and celebrate today.
All four gospel writers told the same story, but each one told it to a different group of people. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that each of the four men who wrote the gos-pels point out different details and emphasize different things. All four of them tell the truth, but all four of them relate the truth from a somewhat different perspective.
II. Matthew (Jesus the Christ as Messiah and King)
Let’s begin by looking at the resurrection through the eyes of Jesus’ apostle, Matthew. Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience. Therefore, he presents Jesus as the long- promised Messiah and King of Israel. Jesus is God in human flesh, and thus He is shown in Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew 1:23 (an angel speaking)
23 “Behold; the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
So let’s take a cue from Matthew. We’ve come here to worship Jesus Christ the risen King. Are you a believer this morning? Such worship is the norm for believers. Mat-thew speaks of it throughout his gospel. He reminds us that Jesus (as Messiah and King) is worthy to be worshipped. In fact, from the very beginning of Jesus’ life on this earth, worship is seen in the Magi (“the Wise Men”).
11a And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him…
At the end of His life on this earth, after His resurrection and before His ascension, wor-ship is seen in the disciples.
17a And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him…
And in between, during the course of Jesus’ ministry, when the devil tried to tempt Jesus to commit sin, the Lord confronted Satan and commanded him to do something that he will never do.
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD you God, and serve Him only.’”
On that first Resurrection Sunday morning two women went to the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid.
~ Turn with me to Matthew 28:1 as Sue comes to read for us.
1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.
3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow;
4 and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who has been crucified.
6 “He is not here; for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
7 “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
8 And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.
9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him.
Thank you, Sue. “And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him.”
What an example for us! How do we worship Him? Can we fall at His feet as did the two Marys outside of the tomb on that first Resurrection Sunday? Of course, we can’t do that literally, but we most certainly can do it figuratively. How? We can do it by following Him, committing ourselves to Him, living our lives for Him, loving Him, obeying Him, revering Him, and honoring Him. That’s worship!
III. Mark (Jesus the Christ as Servant or Slave)
Let’s consider Mark’s gospel. Also known as John Mark, he was the young protégé of the Apostle Peter. In his account of Jesus’ resurrection he even mentions Peter by name. Mark’s gospel was intended for a Roman audience. So he doesn’t present Jesus as a king at all. Instead, Mark presents Him as a servant and slave. And you can be sure of one thing. The Romans of the first century understood what a servant (or slave) was.
Most of the people living in the Roman Empire in the first century were slaves. They could relate to the presentation of Jesus as a servant, one sent by God to humbly give His life as a ransom.
Mark 10:42-45 (Jesus speaking)
42 And calling them (the disciples) to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them;
and their great men exercise authority over them.
43 “But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;
44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.
(Key Verse) 45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give His life a ransom for many.”
It was some time before this incident that Mark told his readers of Jesus’ prophecy con-cerning His death and resurrection. Listen to Mark…
33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be deli-vered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death; and will deliver Him to the Gentiles.
34 “And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”
Jesus has been tried, found guilty, condemned, mocked, tortured, crucified, and buried. And now, it is the third day, the first day of the week, early Sunday morning.
~ Turn with me to Mark 16:1 as Kelly comes to read for us.
1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices that they might come and anoint Him.
2 And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.
6 And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they had laid Him.
7 “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.’”
Thank you, Kelly. “…there you will see Him, just as He said to you.” Is there any skepticism in your heart today about just who Jesus Christ really is? This one angelic statement should be enough for you to set aside your doubts. Remember, this angel is speaking on “first day of the week,” Sunday morning. The last supper had taken place on Thursday night. And it was there that Jesus had prophesied this very thing.
*Mark 14:28 (Jesus speaking)
28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Now Jesus’ tomb is empty. Of course, it is. He is on His way to Galilee, just as He said.
Prophecy! Every detail and every word – always accurate and always to be trusted.
IV. Luke (Jesus the Christ as Son of Man)
Luke was the Apostle Paul’s close friend and companion.
He was a Greek physician, a well-respected and learned man. Not surprisingly, he writes his gospel to a primarily Greek (or learned) audience. He presents Jesus as a perfect man – The Son of Man – a term Luke uses nearly thirty times in the gospel that bears his name. A perfect man is a concept or an ideal to which the Greeks could relate. The gospel Luke wrote is generally considered to be the most detailed and historically accurate of the four.
The other gospel writers weren’t overly concerned with being sure everything they said about Jesus was reported in chronological order. They were more concerned with truth about Jesus, the things He said and the things He did. But Luke was a man of science, and details and chronology were of critical importance to him. He cared about the order of things and the flow of history.
How important is that? Again, Luke’s intended audience was primarily his own people, the Greeks, the scholars, the educated people of the day. Such an audience would be interested in details and historical accuracy. In fact, they would have demanded such writing if they were to take Luke’s gospel seriously.
Note also that it was this same Luke who wrote The Book of Acts, the New Testament book that tells us of the beginning and early history of the church. I’m glad Luke was concerned about details and the flow of history. It’s in Acts that he gives us a very care-fully laid out and detailed picture of the founding and earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:1-4 (Luke speaking)
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,
2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us,
3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excel-lent Theophilus;
4 so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
Luke is going to offer us details and specifics. In v. 3 he even says to his friend Theo- ohilus that he will “…write it out for you in consecutive order…”
~ Turn with me to Luke 24:1 and we’ll follow along as Ginny reads for us.
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they (the women) came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel;
5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?
6 “He is not here, but He has risen!
Remember how He spoke to you while he was still in Galilee,
7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
8 And they remembered His words.
Thank you, Ginny. “And they remembered His words.” Jesus’ words are truth – abso-lute truth – always. He said He would be raised from the dead and he was. Truth! He said He is coming again and He will. Truth! Every word that passed His lips was truth. How could it be anything else? Listen, if we remember His words and if we obey His words we will walk in truth. Jesus Christ is truth. And let’s be very clear…Jesus doesn’t merely have truth, or relate truth, or teach truth, or pass truth along to us from some other source. He is truth. Isn’t that exactly what He said about Himself? “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6).”
Even His enemies, the Scribes and Pharisees, those who hated Him and plotted to kill Him, could find in Jesus nothing but truth.
21 And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and you are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.”
Time and time again Luke’s gospel reminds us that Jesus spoke truth.
24a “Truly I say to you…”
27a “…I say to you truthfully…”
Luke 23:43 (to the repentant thief on the cross)
23 “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Truth is found in Jesus Christ. Absolute and eternal truth is found in Jesus Christ alone.
V. John (Jesus the Christ as Son of God)
John was the apostle whom “Jesus loved.” To be sure, He loved them all. But His rela-tionship with John was special. I think most of us can relate to that. We have many friends, but there’s always one to whom we are closer than the others. Such was the case with the Apostle John. Thus, the gospel John wrote is different than the other three. Matthew tells us of the King of the Jews. Mark presents a servant/slave for the Romans. Luke gives us a perfect man for the Greeks – The Son of Man. But John speaks of Jesus’ deity – The Son of God.
John’s gospel is written to everyone everywhere. It has one single purpose – to present the Lord Jesus Christ as God in human flesh. And John wastes no time in doing so.
John 1:1-3 (John speaking)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
~ Please turn in your Bibles to John 20:1 as Ed comes to read for us.
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.
2 And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb.
4 And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first;
5 and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.
6 Simon Peter therefore also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there,
7 and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.
8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.
9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;
12 and she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.
13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 When she had said this, she turned around, and beheld Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seek-ing?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them,
‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”
Thank you, Ed. In v. 9 it says this about the disciples: “…as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” But they soon would both under-stand and believe it. They would establish the church. They would preach the gospel. And they – along with Paul and the other apostles – would change the world.
The four passages of Scripture that have been read to us this morning speak of the resur-rection of Jesus Christ. But there is more than the testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There is also the testimony of the Apostle Paul. He wrote the letter we now call 1 Corinthians to the church he had founded in the city of Corinth, Greece, less than twenty-five years after the resurrection. Turn with me to…
*1 Corinthians 15:3-8
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (it was prophesied)
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (it was prophesied)
5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Aramaic for Peter), then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now (still alive when Paul writes this letter in 55 A.D.), but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Still, there are those who refuse to believe. But who would refuse to believe the testimo-ny of more than five hundred eyewitnesses? Those who refuse to believe do not have the evidence on their side. Quite the contrary, both the historical evidence and the testimony of hundreds of people stand against those who deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Where do you stand this morning? Do you deny His resurrection? If so, let me make a few points that must logically accompany your denial.
• If Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead, there is no reason for us to cele-brate this day at all.
• If Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead, there is no reason for us to be here this morning.
• If Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead, the passages we have heard are fabrications, and there is no reason for us to believe anything the Bible teaches.
• If Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead, there is no reason for Light-house Bible Church, or any other church that calls itself Christian, to exist. None!
Paul said as much. Listen to him…
*1 Corinthians 15:12-20a
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;
14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
15 Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised;
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; (and) you are still in your sins.
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
20a But now Christ has been raised from the dead…
He was resurrected from the dead! He is alive! We believe it! In fact, we stake our eter-nal souls on it. And we celebrate it today and every day. Listen, there is a resurrection to come. The Bible teaches that all the dead of all the ages will finally be resurrected. John says so.
28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His (God’s) voice,
29a and shall come forth…”
Luke says so.
15b …there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
And Jesus says so. Listen to His words as recorded by Matthew…
*Matthew 25:31-34, 41
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
32 “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
Come to Christ. Trust Him and Him alone to save you. Your good intentions, your good deeds, your community service, your church membership – all of these are good, in and of themselves. But none of them has any power to save your soul.
That is because an absolutely holy God demands that same absolute holiness from any who would enter into His presence. And the very best of us fall so far short.
Romans 3:10, 23
10 There is none righteous, not even one.
23 …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
We can only come to God through His beloved Son. The Lord Jesus Christ was and is absolutely holy. And when we receive Him and His finished work on the cross, He brings us before His Father and makes us holy. You and I cannot become holy on our own. And that is why we need Him! Contrary to what the world tells you, there is simp-ly no other way. Biblical Christianity allows for no other possibility. I can say that with absolute assurance and complete confidence – because Jesus said it first!
6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
No one! No Buddhist, no Hindu, no Muslim, no Jew, not even anyone who calls himself a Christian, but who has not repented of his sin, and put his faith in Christ alone for sal-vation – no one comes to the Father but through Him.
On this “Resurrection Sunday” you can be assured of your own resurrection to eternal life. Trust Christ and Him alone. Call on Jesus today. Repent of your sins. To repent simply means that you are willing to turn from your sins and turn to Christ, place your faith in Him, and you will be saved. You can count on it!
*Romans 10:9-11, 13
9 …if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus as Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;
10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disap-pointed.”
13 For “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
~ Pray ~
Pastor Jim Timms
Lighthouse Bible Church – Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – 262-949-1007 – www.lighthouselakegeneva.com