The Stone Rolled Away: Witnessing the Power of the Resurrection

Matthew 27
  /  March 31, 2024
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m inviting you to turn in your Bibles this morning to the gospel of Matthew for our reading of the resurrection account.

And while you’re turning there, I want to say welcome to each one of you. So good to have you here this morning. We have several guests that have joined us. And we want to say welcome. Glad that you are here.

That have joined us, and we want to say welcome. Glad that you are here. One that I will actually call by name, and is not really a guest, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen. Sister Gwen, it’s so good to have you in service this morning. And, we’ve been praying for sister Gwen.

Tie into as we look at, the resurrection of our savior. We’re going to begin reading, the resurrection of our savior. We’re going to begin reading, the resurrection of our savior. We’re going to begin reading, begin reading in Matthew’s gospel chapter 27 Beginning of verse 27, Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 20 7. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple.

And he was Joseph, who also in store was jesus, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be body. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had out of the great stone to the door of the sepulcher and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sitting over against the sepulcher. I just wanna pause here for a moment.

If we were to have read this text in Luke’s account, we would discover that it wasn’t just these two Marys, but it was actually several other women who had followed from Galilee that had particularly a because Luke records in this moment that 60 2 of our Now, the 60 2 of our the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together and day. We remembered that deceive that that that a while he was yet alive. After 3 days, I will rise. Command, therefore, that the sepulcher be made secure until the 3rd day, lest his disciples come by night and steal him away and say into the people, sepulcher sure, sealing the stone and setting a watch. And behold, there was a great earthquake for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the and for fear of him, the keepers did shake and became his dead.

Said unto the women, fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here. He is risen. As he said, come see the place where the Lord lay. Now, let me again pause.

Significant Because Luke’s account has recorded that they had taken particular note in where he was laid and now the angels have said come and and go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen. And behold, he goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see. Torpor. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy and did run to bring his disciples and they came and held him by the feet and worshiped and there, Let’s bow our heads in the This morning, we have rejoiced as we have sung together of your word that gives our faith meaning in and these next few moments as we look at your I pray, Holy Spirit, that you would illuminate this text to our hearts.

You know, the ones that are here this morning, those that are tuning in online, that the resurrection is just a story. It’s not a reality. And I would pray that this morning that their hearts would be so touched by your word that they would no longer view the resurrection as a story, but a reality in their lives. Accomplish the purpose for which your word is going forth today, Holy Spirit. For your glory, we pray it in Jesus’ name.

Amen. I had seriously considered I say seriously. The thought had gone through my mind. We’ve just come through a series of messages on the one another passages of scripture. The other Sunday, when we were in Sunday school class, somehow the subject had come up and I told them, I said, I think I’m gonna preach from one of, Paul’s texts that he says we are to greet one another with a holy kiss, to which everybody just kind of chuckled.

And the more I thought about it, I thought, you know, maybe I could somehow marry som that talks about righteousness and peace have kissed and somehow get us to the cross and the resurrection. Then I thought, maybe that’s a little stretch. So I put away all of those thoughts, and I brought us to Luke’s gospel this morning. Any time that we read a story or know an account that is a familiar account really, the wonder of the give you an example. When you have possessed something for a long period of time, possessed something for a long period of time.

Often times, you just view that as, well, it’s that particular thing. Whatever it is. If you ever watched a child on Christmas day, when that new shiny toy is unwrapped, and the wonder in their eyes. You know what I’m talking about? Alright.

Sometimes it’s not just the kids, right? Right? Oh, that gun that I wanted. Looking around to all the gun enthusiasts. Looking around to all the gun enthusiasts.

You know what? A couple years ago, I had my first pistol that I ever owned was a Taurus PT92. And, I sold that gun. And anybody who’s ever been a gun owner or is a gun enthusiast knows, and Taurus PT92, and I thought, someday I want to, I want to replace that. And a couple years ago, I started doing some researching, and I found a different version of it.

Instead of just the matte black that I’d had the first time, I found the polished stainless steel. And I remember getting it, and I had to go up to the, the gun store where it was shipped to. And I remember opening that up, the nice gray, pocket that it and you you don’t want to get fingerprints really on it. Some of you know what I’m talking about. May not be able to equate it to that, but you know what it is in your life that it’s that item.

And I’ll tell you where that pistol is. Awe at it. But we hear it over and over again. And some it just becomes another. And I wonder sometimes if we don’t do that even with the resurrection.

We’ve heard it over and over again. Yes, Jesus. Oh, halalorades. Do we really understand what happened that first Easter the wonder and the excitement. I wish somehow I wish somehow we could maybe transport ourselves back.

That. To them, it’s not it’s not an old story. To them, it’s a broken It was filled with all sorts of fear and doubt and tears and sorrow. If you and I could somehow capture the feeling that they had and what they had experienced, you and I would understand the feelings of hopelessness. Morning, when we pick up our reading this when we pick up our reading, the the it’s fear that’s caused the disciples to be locked away in an uprare.

Loss that they had experienced was so palpable, that feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of hopeless despair, feelings of floaters, fear that cripples our ability to go about life, and our being that it’s something that just lingers with to the tomb this first Easter morning. I want you to turn your attention for just a few moments to the tomb, the brokenhearted women who were surprised by the dawn. I want you to notice the surprise that came at the dawn, the first Easter. The texts that I’ve chosen for us to look at, we picked up actually before Resurrection Sunday. The world had been shattered by the darkness of Christ’s death.

The The world had been shattered by the darkness of It seems that the scribes and the Pharisees had won, that Satan had accomplished the task of destroying the king of glory. And with Christ’s death, J. J. A. R.

E. J. A. R. E.

J. A. R. E. J.

A. R. E. J. A.

R. E. J. A. R.

E. J. A. R. E.

A. R. E. A. R.

E. A. R. E. A.

R. E. A. R. E.

A. R. E. A. R.

E. A. R. E They had watched not only their lord die, but with for hope of a restored Israel now laid in a tomb. Their hope of a restored Israel now laid in a tomb.

If we were to have rewound the story just a little bit farther than where we picked up, even as close as the upper room jockeying for position in the kingdom that was to draw. They’re arguing who will be the greatest. In fact, James and John’s mother was jockeying for positions for them in this new kingdom. But that’s all gone. The hopes of restored Israel were in shambles.

Their dreams had perished as well with the crucifixion. A their dreams of a future peace in Israel was All of their plans were shattered by the crucifixion. Their plans of prosperity and a renewed Israel were now encased in a tomb of despair. Now keep in mind, for years, the nation of Israel had been experiencing the blossom of hope. The Phar it’s one that many had started to whisper, could this be the micaia, now is dead and gone.

Mary and Mary and the women from Galilee had sat and they had watched the process take place. They had watched the process of their Lord be wrapped in cloth, wrapped in the spices that had been provided and was buried. If If you have ever experienced the collapse of a dream or a plan, then maybe you have a little taste of what it must have been like to be these women. If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, the death of a child, the heartache of a divorce, the dissolvent of an engagement, the reversal of a business deal that has wrecked your business. Maybe you understand just a little bit what they felt.

Dream The dream was now a nightmare. Hope was gone, shattered. Luke records that the women from Galilee who had followed Jesus are now sitting watching all of their hopes and all of their dreams, the future peace of Israel be wrapped and laid for burial. Without a world without a word, these worm these women watched. They watched the silence that the tomb brought.

Matthew only records that Joseph of Arimathea was present Nicodemus was a part of this. They had rushed the burial of their lord. O’clock, the beginning of the Jewish SAB, Joseph has gone back into jurors, the body of his A disciple of the Lord. The pride is gone back into Jerusalem. Sought out pilot.

Beg for the body of Jesus. And gathering what is necessary for the proper in roar from the nails that have held him to that cross. They’ve carried him to Joseph’s They’ve begun the process drawer. Mary and Mary and the other women have watched this and realized that the full process of burial is not able to be accomplished. A part of it is, but not all of it.

Mark’s account tells us that on the morning tells us that on the. These ladies have gone and they’ve secured more them, where Jesus is buried. There’s something that is silencing about the death of our, do you say when your hopes have been shattered? What words can you give to comfort somebody who’s been robbed? And their And there’s a I imagine with the despair that the women had experienced, to the maybe until they got a little closer and they began to ask some questions.

And just picture them as they neared the and just picture them as they neared the I can just picture them as they neared the tomb. Now, Mary, we’re gonna need your help this morning to roll the stone away. Well, Mary, you know that I have a bad back. This because And as they near the tomb, what do they find? They don’t find a tomb with a stone rolled in front.

They find a tomb that is open for all to see. The Easter story is not only filled with hope, but If you ever wondered what it was like to have been a guard. These guards are temple guards. We when the scribes and Pharisees went back into after Jesus had been buried, they went back to Pilate and we want you to set a guard about this. Because this deceiver has said that after 3 days he’s gonna again.

So set a guard over the tomb. We don’t want the disciples to come and steal his body. And Pilots says, you have a guard secured as well as you want. And Pilots says, you have a guard secured as well as you want. Secured as well as you.

You can’t tell me that those guards were not informed and had full knowledge again. And they were probably told, now listen, more than likely the disciples are gonna try to come on the 3rd day and take his body, so be ready. Now picture this with me for just a moment. Imagine you’re one of the guards. You’re in a cemetery at night, And they had thoughts about the spirit world just like we have thoughts about the spirit world in our day.

I know that because you remember when Jesus came walking on the water? What did the disciples say? Is it a ghost? Just a puresthistoris with their they’re gathered around guarding this tomb. It’s And sta Yeah, Joanna heard that.

What was then, so And you imagine the surprise on their face when they turn around, tomb that they were guarding for the purpose to keep the disciples? The stone is now moving. And it’s not because disciples are there, but it’s because an angel is present rolling the stone away. Tell me that the dawning of that 1st day wasn’t a surprise to those guards. Imagine what a surprise it was to the scribes and Pharisees Were telling you Jesus isn’t there.

And the stone started rolling away, and we turned around, and it wasn’t and it wasn’t. It was a disjprals. We can’t explain it but there was a man in shining tomb. And what a surprise it must have been when those guards came in and said, and the surprise of the dawn for Mary and the women. Doubt they were familiar with David’s Psalm, Psalm 30.

Night. Joy, comes in the morning. How are we going to get in, how will we finish this process? Imagine the surprise when they came to the and the stone was rolled away. And there was open access, but and it was scripture says, goes his way, or Peter goes his way, or and what’s surprised, and what’s removed.

The stone that had separated the disciples and these women from their lord had been rolled and these women from their Lord had been rolled away. Let me just remind us this morning. The stone was rolled away, not so Jesus could get out. The stone was rolled away, not so Jesus could get out. The stone was rolled away, not so Jesus could get out.

The stone was rolled away, not so Jesus could get out. The stone was rolled away so that you and I could get in to see the truth of the resurrection of the Lord. Hallelujah. Justice didn’t need that stone rolled away for his departure. But you and I needed the stone rolled away so that our faith could take hold.

The place of the dead had become the billboard of the place of the dead had become the billboard. The it was supposed to be a reminder of death, now became evidence of a raiser The only way that I know how to help us grasp the reality of the in modern terms would maybe be to give us an for a for a for a for a And when you get there and you park your vehicle and you begin to walk in the direction of where your loved one had been. And you get you see a pall of that you’re going to see. And the closer you get, you realize that it’s not just any pile of dirt. That’s the pile of dirt that covered your loved one.

On top of that pile of dirt is a vault lid. At this point, Matt Moyer is getting a little bit perturbed. Somebody’s disturbed. One of the gravesites that he’s been a part of. And imagine that you get there and to your your horror, your shock, your surprise, of your loved one lay there, but they’re -And, the surprise at dawn is that their loved one is no longer there.

The loss of their Messiah was replaced by the joy of his presence as Jesus comes in. You remember the account in John’s gospel. Up and begins to speak to her. And Mary, the covering that was over her eyes was lifted and she observed this is her lord because of the presence of her lord. Empty tomb, but they don’t know all that’s going on.

And as they’ve gathered in Jesus, comes into that upper room, what happens? Their fear that had locked them away was turned to joy as they worshiped their risen savior. But there is one more group of people that has been surprised by the dawn. And I would say that that is all of humanity, You and me this morning. Because of Christ’s resurrection, the world has seen the power of what a risen savior can do in the life of a fallen person.

Traits that have been dependent upon their drug of choice have been delivered, and then lost, the sin that used to encumber them has been delivered and they now have purpose. They’ve been restored to new life, despair that has been turned is that Jesus died for all men and was raised for all men. How many Jews are here this morning? JENNA: Yeah. JENNA: How many Jews are here this morning?

JENNA: Yeah. JENNA: All of us are here this morning. JENNA: All of us are here this morning. JENNA: All of us are here. JENNA: All of us are Gentiles.

And through Christ’s death and resurrection, because Christ is risen. Your faith now has made. Because Christ is risen, the shackles of and sin have been because of story. That the enemy wants for us to think that the enemy or that Christ is still buried and there is no hope? God has rolled the stone back so that you and I can go into the tomb to observe that there is a risen savior.

There is one who has the power to give us hope and meaning and life. We live in a world that is marked by the fall of your the surprise of the dawn is that But the surprise of the dawn is that that captivity, kimbi, that death can be made life. Those of you that may be familiar with the story, Those of you that may be familiar with the story, back in 1980, Lee Strobel was working for the Chicago Tribune. A celebrated writer, investigative reporter had been awarded a very high honor, 1980, for his work in a particular investigative trial that had taken place. It was right in that period of time that his wife, Lesley, they had experienced a very traumatic occasion with one of their children.

And through that, they were, Leslie was So moved by what she was hearing and her reading of the gospel accounts, Leslie became a follower of Jesus Christ. But Lee wasn’t buying it. Lee was a proclaimed atheist. Skeptical of everything, and to be skeptical of. And so it’s Leah’s had become a follower of Jesus Christ.

Leah set out on a course. This transformation this transformation in her life. But he’s there was also a part of me that said, I want the old right, that this cult is some infiltrating my wife’s mind and taking over. And so, I want the old and so they set out on a course to disprove the resurrection. And you know that systematically, he began the process of investigating every part of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection.

And When he came to the understanding When he came to the understanding that there was no other way after looking at the historical evidence of the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Why? Because of the surprise of the dawn. We’re standing together this morning as we close.

Maybe there are some here this morning that you’re still shackled by sin. The what it means to have been buried in a true I’m here to tell you this morning. There’s an empty tomb that reminds us that there’s a risen savior who wants to surprise you by the dawn of Easter. There’s a God in heaven who sent his son to pay the penalty for your sin and my sin, not just to be nailed to a cross to give his life’s blood, but to be raised from the dead, to overcome death, to overcome hell, to overcome sin, to overcome the enemy, so that you and I can have new life. To overcome the enemy so that you and I can have new life.

Their heads, their the story. The holy spirit is saying to someone here. The holy spirit is saying to someone here today. And there is there is salvation through the resurrection of Jesus. And if the Holy Spirit is talking to you and saying, you know what, It’s time this morning that you put your faith in the Lord Jesus.

It’s gift of salvation that is through the resurrection of J. R. D. I would I’d invite you to come and pray this morning. Buried under the weight of your sin, sobriety under the weight of your sin.

And I tell you this morning, that Easter has dawned. There is Let me just encourage you to reach out and fade to the god who has power, who has power over your the and the fact that we have gathered together to celebrate about our that it was purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross. It is through your death that our debt was paid. It was through your death that the wrath of God was poured out on our saviour. Raiserrection that we have new life.

And I pray this morning this morning, they would reach out to the risen in. And I to set us for. And I pray this morning that you would set our hearts, to run-in the ways of your name. Amen. Amen.

The Lord bless you. You are dismissed.

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