Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 592 · 4 months ago

The Resurrection

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Mark 16:1-8

The great truths by which we might know you and know how we ought to live. Help us to understand them, help us to remember them and to delight in them, to hide them in our hearts and walk in all your ways through faith in Jesus Christ. We asked that you would bless us in these things now, reading and preaching of your word, and we pray this in Jesus name. Man. I'm so I had planned to preach Ezekiel Twenty six through twenty eight, but then at the last minute I changed my mind and because I wanted to preach a little bit more on the Gospels and the resurrection this evening. So I'm going to share with you a message if shared once before, Mark Sixteen. So if you turn with me, they're Mark Chapter Sixteen, and we'll read about the resurrection from this Gospel. Unsurprisingly to me and hopefully to you, these passage is not unrelated to Ezekiel, twenty five and twenty six, because all the scriptures are related to each other and they're all connected. In those passages, which will come to the future, we see like the cities before tire is mocking Israel in her destruction and in her downfall. Has This perspective that she the citied of tires, so great and important, and God will help them to know that he is God, he is the Lord. In a similar way, here in Mark Sixteen, we see the Lord reminding us of how to truly think about him, how to think about the work of Christ. And let's turn to it now and remember. So Mark Sixteen verses went through eight. When the Sabbath was past,...

Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James, and Salom a broad spices so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb and they were saying to one another, who will roll away the stone for us, from the entrance of the tomb, and looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled back. It was very large. And entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white, white robe, and they were alarmed and he said to them, do not be alarmed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him, but go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. And they went out and fled from the Tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid, maybe seated. So, as we know, and as we've been singing about and praying about and thinking about all day, the resurrection is a Great Triumph of Christ, a triumph of believers. We sang a moment ago. Rise O Church, lift your voices. Christ has conquered death and hill sing as all the earth rejoices resurrection. Anthems Swell Right, the music is building, everything is charged. There's great victory, common worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the risen king. So the resurrection is we looked at this morning from first Corinthians fifteen. It proves our freedom from death and sin. It guarantees our own resurrection, our own glory, are imperishable state, and so we rightly thank God and praise him and rejoice. But my question...

...to you is, where is any of that in Mark Sixteen? Where's the rejoice the risen king? Where is the praising? Where's the excitement? Where is the the the victorious feeling that comes with knowing Jesus has risen from the dead. Is that what we hear in Mark Sixteen? It's not. Mark ends his book with these followers of Jesus coming to the tomb of their dear friend and teacher to anoint him, expecting the stone to be in place right. Notice how they say who will roll away for the stone, the stone at the entrance of the Tomb. They expected to be blocked. They expect to come and anoint him, who is dead, unsure how even this small act of devotion won't end in failure. But when the time comes, they see that the stone is not there, or it's there but it's rolled away, and Jesus is missing. And this young man, who else where is identified as an angel, says to them don't be alarmed, he has risen from the dead. Well, it sounds like this was hard to take to heart, because alarm is exactly how mark expresses their reaction here at the end of the section, in Verse Eight, he says they fled right, they running away. They fled from the tomb, trembling right, shaking and astonishment. Trembling and astonishment had seized them right when you are seized by an emotion. That's a very intense thing right. It's a strong word to use. They don't just feel this way or have this thing, they are seized by it, seized by trembling. We might call it uncontrollable trembling, uncontrollable astonishment, and even says and they were afraid. They became overwhelmed with fear to...

...the point of uncontrollable trembling. Now you might expect this reaction at the news of someone's death, but what about the news of someone's resurrection from the dead? Why were they so afraid? You might say that we are astonished at their astonishment. What makes sense of this, and I want to reflect on this with you for a few minutes. The first thing to remember is that, of course, we have the benefit of looking back. We look back on the resurrection as an event and the well established past. They were the very first ones to experience this, very first ones. At this point in the history, no one was expecting Jesus to rise from the dead. Doesn't mean they shouldn't have expected him to rise from the dead, but no one was expecting him to rise from the dead. Before this point, everyone exists expecting him to become king of Israel, to throw off the Roman government, to re establish a theocracy as it was under his father, great, great, great, great, great great grandfather David. Just a week earlier, Jerusalem was in a frenzy of throwing palm branches and a not and singing about Jesus coming into the temple as a king. Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed in the coming of the king is our father David, Hosanna in the highest but all these expression expectations, all of these hopes, were crushed and the same people turned and crucified him a few days later. Remember on his cross it said, ironically, or meant to be ironic, King of the Jews. For the followers of Jesus, this seemed very much like the end of the story. The great hero who is going to change everything was now dead, publicly humiliated, shamed and...

...now in a tomb, utterly defeated and, worse, even killed. The people had turned on Jesus and Jesus had failed to save himself, and now these people would turn on them and the savior they thought was going to save them was now dead. How who do they turn to for protection? Who Do they go to for salvation, when their savior, the one who was supposed to save them, was not there? And so many of them, like Peter, distance themselves from their former teacher. They doubted, they deserted, they denied him before men and in their own hearts. Now, of course, the three women here were not deserting Jesus. They were there at the tomb, but they were not eagerly awaiting the resurrection either. Note that they did not get up early to worship their resurrected king. Let's go see Jesus, it's the third day, right. They weren't excited and anticipating and filled with expectation and hope. They got up early expecting to annoy their dead teacher. When the stone was rolled away. They didn't give an another look, a look and say look, it's happening. They were alarmed, they were surprised, they were not filled with great joy. Know all of this was very shocking. Instead, without the sure hope and expectation of Jesus's Resurrection, the events of this past several days were likely the most overwhelming and emotionally overwhelming these people had perhaps ever experienced. So when they hear this angel say he is not here, he is risen. Perhaps this was just one more thing that they couldn't take. This was not good news, this was their...

...world spinning out of control. But the fact of the matter is that, though the world as they perceived it, was spinning out of control, that was only their perception of things right, it wasn't really reality. What was happening in the world, is it? It was all going exactly according to how God had planned it since before he even made the world. Remember, the Messiah had come. According to the Scriptures and the fullness of time, he had come. There wasn't a slight, the slightest hiccup in the entire plan. Everything was working according to the Eternal Plan of God. So then, why is everyone panicking, even at the good news of the resurrection? I think they became unnerved because they failed to hear and to believe what God had told them about them coming. Messiah, excuse me, Jesus, had been speaking about this, he'd been telling them this, he'd been teaching them these but they misunderstood and they didn't remember and they didn't hear things that we must remember, we must hear and we must believe. For one, they misunderstood the Messiah's purpose. The scriptures tell us a lot about the savior of God's people, about what he would accomplish once he came. The Promised Messiah Would Have Dominion over the Earth. He would rule in a way that would surpass Adam. Isaiah eleven six says this. The Wolf shall dwell down or shall dwell with the lamb. The leopards shall lie down with the young goat and the calf and the lion and the fat and calf together, and the little child shall leave them. Lead them the peace that's described here, and Isaiah six eleven six is coupled with prosperity. Listen to Amos thirteen. Behold, the days are coming to Claire as the Lord, when the Plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of the grapes, him who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip with sweet wine and all the hills shall flow it or shall flow with it. The Promise Messiah would bring about the second exodus, overwhelming and overcoming enemies and ruling his people in a way that surpassed Moses. Listen to Jeremiah twenty three seven through eight therefore behold. The days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say as the Lord lives who brought up the people out of Israel, out of the land of Egypt, but as the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the House of Israel out of the North country and out of all the countries where he had driven driven them. They shall dwell in their own land. The promise Massiga and other words, would be a king who would dwell in righteousness and wisdom. He would dwell and rule a kingdom filled with peace and prosperity that would surpass anything the world had ever known, anything Israel had ever experienced, even under some of her greatest kings. Psalm one hundred and ten one says that his enemies would be made his footstool. Psalm to six says that the ends of the Earth would be his possession, and even the angels would help accomplish this. Listen to Isaiah seven, the prophecy there of the increase of his government and of peace. There will be no end the increase of his government and of peace. There will be no end. It just keeps going and going and going and on the throne of David and over his kingdom, or on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice, with righteousness, from this time forth and forevermore, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. This is just a sampling and we're only reading from the Old Testament and we haven't even gotten into things Jesus taught about, Jesus spoke, the examples that he...

...gave, the miracles that he did. This is a sampling, just a little bit, of the promises and the objectives of what would come with the coming Messiah. But, as so often happens between men and God, we expect so little of him. We expect so little, we trust him so little, we remember so little. And so when Jesus came, when the Messiah came, despite the grand announcements, despite angels and the sky and miracles happening all over the place, they didn't understand his purposes. These prophecies were promising a messiah who went far beyond anything Adam, Moses or David ever were. The Messiah was not going to just bring his people into Jerusalem or even Eden. These earthly copies of the spiritual kingdom. But this exodus would be for a world to come. Hebrews to five says, and opening up a new age, even as Hebrews Twelve says, a new heavens and a new earth. This place that Jesus went aug it would inaugurate would not just be the temple complex under Rome. It would be an eternal, immense, indestructible kingdom where only the most expansive rest, prosperity, peace and joy could reside forever. And the people in that kingdom, as we talked about this morning, from first Corinthias fifteen, would be us, people that he saved and people that, in their resurrection, are made fit for that kind of kingdom. But even if the disciples had understood the purpose of the Messiah, they also misunderstood the mode of the Messiah. These glorious ends would not be achieved all at once, nor they would they be inaugurated in some kind of glorious...

...entrance or battle. The Great Messiah, Warrior King prophesied about in the prophecited prophecies, would rule over the whole world. The first he would die by its hands. This was highly unexpected and it's very counterintuitive to us, because our constant hope is that man is going to achieve greatness somehow. Apart from dealing with sin. We're always thinking and always falling into this era that somehow we can just ignore the sin in the world, ignore the sin in our lives, and just sort of start climbing the ladder until we get to the Kingdom of God. We think goodness and holiness are on some kind of sliding scale, but God demands Absolute Holiness, absolute perfection. We need a deep and everlasting change in our hearts. We need a forgiveness of sins that removes our sins completely from our from God's judgment over us. So in order to rule over the righteous, he first had to make us righteous, and that would not be easy. It would involve the mode of the Messiah, would involve His crucifixion and his death and his suffering under the wrath of God, not because of anything he did, but because of the things we did, the things that we deserve. Jesus, the Scriptures say new no sin, but he became sin so that sinners like us might become sinless. They didn't see this coming. About a week before Jesus is crucifixion. James and John and their mom saw enter up to Jesus and and asks demand that they place...

...are the he placed them in positions of honor when he comes into his glory. Put us on your right hand and your left hand, Jesus. Of course, they say this would out the other disciples listening. They try to sort of maneuver and and politically force themselves into this place of position to this coming glory. It's really interesting is Jesus doesn't deny that the glory is coming, but you know what he says to them? He says you don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what you're asking. Mark Thirty eight says, are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am to be baptized? It was going to come in this mode that they weren't expecting. Peter says, all fight forever with you. He and he tried. He cut off the ear of one of the the people in the mob that were coming to get Jesus, and Jesus Says No, not that way. And it was at that point that Peter started his denials. The mode of the Messiah was not what most people anyway were expecting. On the cross, Jesus would drink the cup of Wrath. He would be baptized by the waters of Judgment for sin, so that for us the Cup of the Covenant wouldn't be a cup of Wrath but a cup of salvation, and our baptisms would not be the washing of judgment but the washing of regeneration. But for most of Jesus's ministry many people didn't understand this. They didn't understand it when he had died. They did not understand that this Kingdom of glory would come through a Ministry of suffering. And the final thing that they misunderstood where the specific details about his plan, not just...

...the mode in general. But remember, Jesus tells them so. For example, in Mark Ten, thirty three through thirty four, we read this to Jay James, and Johnny says, see, we are going up to Jerusalem and the son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the gentiles and they will mock him and spit on him and flog him and kill him and after three days he will rise. We are reminded of the level of the detail revealed to his disciples and our passage as well. Remember, when the angel speaks to the women, he tells them go, tell the disciples and Peter that he is going before you and Galilee, there you will see him, just as he told you. All right, parents, perhaps you have been in a position where you've said to your children, did you not listen to what I was saying? I told you I didn't hear. I told I didn't hear. Right, sometimes this happens. Kids, don't worry. Parents do this too. No, no, they don't. Now we do. Sometimes we hear things and just sing one ear out the other, and that somehow seems to have been what happened. Whether it was through a lack of belief or not listening or something, Jesus was amazingly specific with his disciples about what was going to happen, and he said it multiple times. In Mark Fourteen, another passage, Jesus said, but after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee. Sometimes when we don't listen, it's because we come with this these preconceptions about how something already is we're...

...not listening because we think we already know. We're not listening because we think we've already got it figured out. And so when these words come to us, or like noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, nose, whatever, then I'm going to do what I'm going to do over and over again. His followers either misunderstood him or didn't listen to him. My guess is it's because they, like all these others, and would continue to happen in the Ministry of the apostles, misunders stood how great Jesus really was, but also the mode by which he would achieve this greatness. And this is why their world was turning upside down, this is why they were so quick to turn away from Jesus as the Messiah once he was condemned to death. And the Gospel does this. It is a stumbling block. It takes our bad presuppositions, are bad listening, our forgetfulness and it makes us fall. We come to the Cross of Christ, and I know what not like that. The Gospel, in some ways, in our according to our flesh and according to our rhisdom and according to our power and according to the ways that we think things ought to be. That makes us stumble. It makes us, who seemed wise and seem powerful and whatever, actually see me and look pretty foolish. Just as their world seem to be spinning out of control, so does ours. So do ours. When our when we misunderstand and don't listen to God's word, when we don't listen and we don't remember, and when we when we when we just fill it with the things that we already think are true, we often will find ourselves afraid, frustrated, sometimes in bittered or confused. We think the things that God has promised are...

...impossible, and so, out of that doubt, we begin to look for those things in the world. You know this has happened to you, and the things that you desire the most are the things of this world and not the world to come. Do you desire pleasure more than holiness, or wealth more than worship, or looking good more than being godly? These kind of things tell us our heart is in the wrong place, that we're not listening, that we don't understand, because the peace and the prosperity that we rightly seek are impossible with man. They do not come through the things of this world. They only come through God and through the suffering servant. They come through death, they come through denial, they come through giving up, not by building them up. We receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken because we ourselves have fortified it with a bunch of our works or whatever. We receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken because it's not made with human hands and because it's given to us. The things of this world eventually come crashing down around us, never delivering on what they deceitfully promised. And Ezekiel, that's what they're experiencing as as the temple falls, as the people are scattered. That's what the nations are experiencing, who are mocking Jerusalem. But the good news for the whole world is that what is impossible with man Mark Twenty seven is possible with God, and that's exactly what the resurrection proves. And what we see in this passage is that, despite our lack of perception and our weak faith, despite our problems, God is continually and steadily working to carry out...

...his plan. He doesn't see the fear of these ladies, or the Tomb, or the absence of the disciples or any of this, and say okay. Well, I guess we have to shut it all down. It didn't work out after all. They were supposed to be here, they were supposed to be excited. No, God just keeps moving on, keeps moving on. Peace and prosperity and a kingdom ruled in righteousness seem always out of the grasp of men, and it is. But the Messiah came into this world as the God man to achieve these ends, and he did. And the victory that he has, the righteousness that he has, his strength, his power, all of these things are made evident and vindicated in the resurrection. There is no death in the resurrection, and we see it not only in that, but we see it in his in gathering of his disciples, despite the desertion and des doubt of his disciples, specifically peters. The Lord is then working him already. Go Tell Peter, go tell Peter, he says here he is bringing them back to himself. And, as we know from other parts of the scripture, though, the women fled here in fear and said nothing more. This was brief. It didn't last forever. They quickly became evangelists, good news spreaders. The trembling stopped. Their hearts were filled with faith and they soon told the disciples what they saw and what they heard, and the good news of Jesus's work on the Cross and his resurrection from the dead began to spread, and spread fast. And this is how God...

...works with us all the time. It's a picture of that and the beginning of that here in human history. He steps into our lives and he reorients our hearts, he reorients our minds and our expectations. He makes us stumbled by the Gospel, but he also makes us live guy the Gospel by that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. He teaches us and he opens our minds and our hearts so that we might hear and understand and listen and re member and believe. And when this happens and when we believe and we accept the truths of God, when we see the Messiah as he is, that's when our trembling stops, that's when our fear starts to go away, because when we see that the Messiah has in fact come into the world, has in fact triumphed over his and our enemies, has in fact swallowed up death in his victory, when we stop defining the ourselves and according to the things of this world, and begin looking them them and defining ourselves and seeing ourselves in Christ and the Kingdom of God that is to come. We find peace, we find rest, we find hope, and that's what eventually happens here, a hope that spread out into the world and has continued from generation to generation even to here today, where we here, where we see and we tonight believe in the word of God and the Messiah who came, our great king. May God open our eyes to see the great salvation that has come in the resurrected Christ. It's so that we might see all of our lives by the light of heaven itself. Let's pray. Our Lord, God...

...and King, Great Savior of all the earth, we praise your name for your mediation for us and for the work you did on our behalf. We thank you that you did not come into this world in your in your incarnation, and destroy us all. We're thankful that you did not come and glory and put to death all of your enemies right there and then, for surely we, along with all else, would have died. But instead you knowingly, willingly went to the Cross and died for our sins, so that our hearts might be subdued, so that we might live with you forever, so that we might no longer be enemies and children of Wrath, but we might become sons and daughters of the king, the risen king, so that we might in receive an inheritance that is imperishable, so that we might receive bodies that are imperishable, so that we might no longer be afraid and astonished and shaking, but that we might be immovable, confidant and bold in this life and even more so in the life to come. Lord, we asked that you would bust apart our our misconceptions, our misunderstandings, our doubt, our lack of faith. We asked that you would take away our confidence in ourselves and in the flesh and in the things of this world. We asked that you would break us and even cause us to die to ourselves, that we...

...might live in you forever. We asked that you would strengthen in the these things in us, oh Lord, and that as we and as we grow in them, that we would grow more and more and that you would be glorified in your work through us. We pray this in Jesus name on men. All right, let's stand to.

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