Sermon Overview & Prayer: "And Behold"

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Matthew 28:1-10 SERMON PRAYER POINTS: Easter Sunday

These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

Matthew 28: 1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 5 ...the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.

Douglas O’Donnell – How interesting that God didn’t select the Sabbath (Israel’s holy day) as the resurrection day. Instead, he chose the next day to be the new holy day.

For this is the day God selected for the resurrection of His Son and therefore this is the day we gather as a church to celebrate the risen Christ of the cross.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help me to view Saturday evening with great anticipation, and Sunday morning with joyful celebration. Lift my heart from simply being glad for the “weekend”, to the awe-filled wonder that Christ the Lord is risen today! Hallelujah! And may that joy inform my gathering and interaction with my brothers and sisters as we worship you, on the first day of the week!

It is no surprise these ladies are making their way to the tomb at dawn hoping to anoint Jesus' body...So great was their love for Jesus that no threat of retribution for being a follower of their crucified leader was going to keep them from going to his tomb...

PRAYER: Lord, may your love for me compel a faithful, humble, courageous, and obedient love for you in every situation, circumstance, and season of life.

v.2 And behold there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.”

PRAYER: Father, when I am tempted to fear, unbelief, or despair, may the Holy Spirit remind me of all that Jesus said. Remind me of his promises, of his love and care, his rule and authority, his nearness and faithfulness, and his return.

v.8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

The same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, preached in Galilee and died outside of Jerusalem was resurrected physically from the dead.

PRAYER: Lord, with whom can I share the wonderful news that the tomb is empty...that Christ has risen!?

May I treasure each moment of your nearness and comfort, your presence and your peace, and your assurance of forgiveness and grace.  And please prompt and empower me to joyfully share the good news wherever you lead.

What difference should this all make in our lives?

PRAYER: Father, thank you that...

1) First and most important, the resurrection is the public demonstration and declaration that God the Father that he is satisfied with Christ’s death on the cross in our place for our sin.

John Stott - He who had been condemned for us in his death, was publicly vindicated in his resurrection.

The Cross secured forgiveness of sin. The Resurrection assures us of forgiveness of sin.

PRAYER: And Lord, thank you that...

2) The resurrection assures us of God’s love

That love is revealed in v10 when Jesus says: “Go and tell my brothers…”

Though they abandoned him-His love for them remains steadfast. John 13:1 “…he loved them to the end.”

And these women model for us the only appropriate response to the risen Christ of the cross we behold in this passage and the forgiveness of sin and assurance of his love revealed in this passage.

Beholding the risen Christ should provoke adoring the risen Christ.

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In this passage, Matthew encourages his reader to “
behold” the drama of the Resurrection! Two women, who had been faithful to Jesus throughout His ministry, witnessed two different appearances. First, an angel appears to comfort and to commission the women. Then, to their astonishment, they find an empty tomb and a living Savior who greets them as friends. This Resurrection publicly demonstrates God’s satisfaction with Christ’s sacrifice. It also assures us of God’s love for Jesus’ new brothers and sisters, the Church. Finally, the women’s worship models the only appropriate response to the risen ChristDiscussion Questions:

  1. CJ encouraged us not to grow familiar with the drama of the resurrection story. What details of the story did you find freshly surprising after listening to the sermon?
  2. CJ said that the cross secures our forgiveness and the resurrection assures us of it. How does this encourage you to fight your sin and/or to avoid legalism?
  3. Christ showed his love for his disciples by calling them “brothers” despite their unfaithfulness to him. What is one area of life where you can find fresh hope in Christ’s mercy towards you despite weakness, suffering, or sin?
  4. How can you imitate the women’s response of worshipping the risen Christ in your daily life—work, school, family, community group, etc.?
  5. The women’s joy at Christ’s resurrection could not be contained. They ran to tell others the good news about Christ. How does the truth of the resurrection motivate you to joyfully pursue evangelism?