TEXT: John 20:1-10:
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 329.
Matthew Barrett said, “By raising Jesus from the dead, God declared his satisfaction and approval of the payment Christ made on our behalf, for our sins, on the cross. The resurrection of Christ changes everything. Without it, we have no gospel, no salvation, no saving message, and certainly no future hope.”
Proof for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a curious thing. When investigators look for evidence of a crime, they love to have eyewitnesses who SAW SOMETHING. They can build a theory about what transpired based on what somebody saw. No investigator would listen to a person claiming to be a “witness” based on what they did not see. But the evidence for the Resurrection begins, not with what people saw, but with what they DID NOT SEE. Mary Magdalene, the other women, Peter, and John all went to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning. They DID NOT SEE Jesus’ body there, and Peter and John concluded, based on this negative evidence, that Jesus had risen from the dead.
At this point, their eyewitness testimony is based on the absence of key evidence. Nobody could confirm that Jesus was actually alive. Nobody had seen Him yet. Peter and John made up their minds based on faith and what they did not see in the tomb. Now, John uses three different terms to describe the act of seeing that was done on Resurrection Sunday. In our Bibles, the word that is repeated is “saw.” John saw, then Peter saw, and then John saw again. However, in the original Greek, three different words are used.
When John arrives at the tomb, he says that he “saw the linen clothes lying.” The word used here is “bleppo.” It means to perceive by the use of the eyes; to discern mentally, to observe, to perceive, to discover, to understand; to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, to contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, to examine. When John arrived at the tomb, he did not know what to expect. He knew that Jesus had been buried there. Based on Mary Magdalene’s frantic announcement that Jesus’ body had been taken, he probably feared the worst. Maybe he thought he would see signs of violence, a ransacked tomb. But, when he got there, what he saw arrested his attention. He gazed upon the linen clothes lying neatly and turned his mind to contemplate what this might mean.
Then, Peter arrived at the tomb, and he, too, “seeth the linen clothes lie.” The Greek word used here is “theoreo.” It means to be a spectator, to look at, to behold; to ascertain, to find out by seeing. In the Gospels, this word is often used of the crowds who came to watch Jesus. They wanted to know who this Man was and what was going on with His preaching and His miracles. That is how Peter approached the tomb. His mentality was, ‘I’m going to get to the bottom of this situation. I’m going to find out what’s going on.’ “Seeing” for him was somewhat of an investigator’s tool. He wanted to unravel the mystery of why Jesus’ body was not in its tomb.
Finally, we read that John entered the tomb “and he saw, and believed.” The Greek word used here is “eido.” It means to know, to get knowledge of, to understand, to perceive. This is sight connected with knowledge and belief. This is sight that leads to action The word is used of the Magi who “saw” Christ’s star in the East and came to worship the newborn King. The word is used of Herod who perceived that this newborn king was a threat and ordered all male babies in the region to be killed. This word is used of Christ who saw those who were sick and was moved to heal them. Again, this is sight connected with action. While John at first saw and wondered, now he is seeing with the intention of making a decision.
Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state, “But John perceived that the missing body and the position of the grave clothes was not due to a robbery. He realized that Jesus had risen from the dead and had gone through the grave clothes. The tomb was open not to let Jesus’ body out but to let the disciples and the world see that He rose. This section of John’s Gospel is a powerful eyewitness testimony which strikes the perceptive reader as being psychologically and historically true.”
After what John and Peter saw — or did not see — in the tomb, they made the decision to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. They did not have the whole picture then, but we have the whole picture today. Not only John’s and Peter’s eyewitness testimony, but the testimony of all twelve of the disciples and over 500 others who saw Jesus alive after His body was found missing from the tomb. Based on this evidence, will you make the decision to believe as John and Peter did?
Charles Wesley wrote:
See, the Lord is risen indeed,
To Death delivered in your stead;
His Rise proclaims your Sins forgiven,
And shows the living Way to Heaven:
Go tell the followers of your Lord
Their Jesus is to Life restored;
He lives that they his Life may find;
He lives to quicken all Mankind.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is what makes it possible for you to gain spiritual life today and eternal life with God in Heaven. If you believe in Him like John did and place your faith and trust in Him for salvation, you, too, will be raised from death to everlasting life with God. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.