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Believing The Truth     John 20:1-9, 14-18      April 24, 2011


Introduction 

This Sunday is certainly the Sunday for Believing The Truth. Amen? Amen!

 

1.   Believing The Truth Through The Confirming . . Evidence. John 20:1-2

       A.   The Evidence of The . . Stone’s Removal. 20:1

1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that

       the stone had been removed from the tomb.

 

       B.   The Evidence of The . . Savior’s Removal. 20:2

2 So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have

       taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”


       Marg Magdalene came to Jesus’ tomb and would have asked someone to move the stone so she could anoint the body of Jesus. The stone had been moved and she was surprised, angered and suspicious of the soldiers or others who might have ulterior motives. She looked into the tomb and saw the body of Jesus was gone. She suspected foul play so she ran to get some of the disciples. She did not give the resurrection a thought. She thought the worse rather than the best.

 

2.   Believing The Truth Through The Confirming . . Experiences. John 20:3-7

       A.   The Experience of . . Seeing for Yourself. 20:3-5

3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together,

       but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying

       there, yet he did not go in.

 

B.   The Experience of . . Seeing for Yourself. 20:6-7

       6 Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there.

       7 The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a

       separate place by itself.


       We In Missouri like seeing for our selves and therefore we are the “show me state.” Simon and John wanted to see for themselves, so they did. I personally like to have my experiences confirm what I believe. It seems I can be more authentic. John and Simon saw what Mary Magdalene proclaimed, “Jesus was gone.” What caused this absence of the Lord? The napkins are not placed like someone left in a hurry if the body was stolen the thieves would not have taken the time to arrange these napkins like that. I am told if you plan to come back then fold your napkin but if not just leave it any old way. Did Jesus leave a message that He is coming back?

 

3.   Believing The Truth Through The Confirming . . Evaluations. John 20:8-9, 14-16

       A.   The Experience of John and Peter As They . . Evaluated the Evidence. 20:8-9

8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed.

       9 For they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead.

 

       B.   The Experience of Mary As She . . Evaluated the Evidence. 20:14-16

14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus. 15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve removed Him, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!”—which means “Teacher.”

       Peter and John heard the Lord talk about His resurrection but they did not fully comprehend or understand it. Seeing the empty tomb, Simon stepped back to further evaluate, but when John saw the empty tomb he believed. When one believes it helps others to evaluate the truth. Later Jesus made His resurrection even more prominent to all the disciples. Then Mary while in the garden saw Jesus but did not realize it was him. Have you ever had a similar experience of running into someone you knew when you were not expecting to see them?

When Jesus spoke her name she knew it was Jesus. I think His voice would say her name in a way no one else did.


4.   Believing The Truth Through The Confirming . . Encounter. John 20:17-18

       A.   The . . Clarifying Encounter with The Resurrected Lord.

17 “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God.”

 

       B.   The . . Communication of Mary’s Encounter with The Resurrected Lord.

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her.


       Did Mary realize Jesus although resurrected from the dead was not going to stay here on earth? The way she was clinging to Jesus would give the impression she did not ever want to let go. Jesus told her He needed to ascend to the Father and she needed to go tell the disciples what she experienced. All of us can have great experiences in our relationships with the Lord that would make us just want to enjoy rather than go tell. Mary did go tell and many more got to experience the resurrection. If we are really Believing The Truth we will want to share. Amen? Amen!