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Celebrating Easter's Significance
John 20:1-8, 15-18; 1 Cor. 15:3-6, 20-22 March 23, 2008

Christians celebrate a living savior. Four times in the book of Revelation Christ is called, ". . . the One who is, who was, and who is coming;. . ." No other belief system can claim truth like Christianity, because Jesus is Truth. No wonder so many of us will be found, Celebrating Easter's Significance.

1. Celebrating Easter With . . Sunday. 20:1

A. Celebrating On Sunday Because The . . Early Witness. 20:1a
1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark.

B. Celebrating On Sunday Because The . . Empty Tomb. 20:1b
". . . She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb."

    The vast majority of the first Christians came out of the Jewish tradition of Saturday Worship. It speaks highly for the significance of the resurrection that these people began, and continued, to worship on Sunday. Because of their firm belief in the resurrection Sunday soon became known as the Lord's Day.

2. Celebrating Easter With . . Seeking. 20:2-8

A. Celebrating With Seeking Because Of The . . Seekers like Peter and John. 20:2-4
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!" 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.

B. Celebrating With Seeking Because Of The . . Separation Of The Linen Clothes. 20:5-8
5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, SimonPeter 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. 8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed.

        Do you believe in the reliability of men like Simon Peter and John who went to the tomb seeking Jesus? Most of us would give a resounding yes! We can be very proud of the writing style and the verification of he the character of John and Simon. The separation of the linen clothes indicates no one left in haste but the act was planned and deliberate, and it may contain additional proof.

3. Celebrating Easter With . . Seeing. 20:15-18

A. Celebrating With Seeing Through . . Tears. 20:15-16
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."

B. Celebrating With Seeing Through . . Touch. 20:17a
17 "Don't cling to Me," Jesus told her,

C. Celebrating With Seeing Through . . Testimony. 20:17b
"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."

D. Celebrating With Seeing Through . . Telling. 20:18
18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them what He had said to her. HCSB

        With eyes full of tears Mary did not immediately recognize Jesus, but when she did she called Him, "Teacher." Jesus allowed this title, and the titles of "My Lord and my God," which Thomas gave to him. If He is not the resurrected Lord; would He accept these titles? Why did Jesus tell Mary not to touch Him? A few days later he told Thomas to touch His hand and His side. The best explanation I have seen says Jesus was not wanting Mary to cling to Him or get the idea He would stay with her and the disciples. The testimony of Jesus related about ascending to the Father seems to confirm that explanation. Mary then went to tell the disciples she had seen the Lord.

4. Celebrating Easter With . . Scriptures. 1 Cor. 15:3-6

A. Celebrating With The . . Endorsement Of Scripture. 1 Cor. 15:3-4
3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

B. Celebrating With The . . Eyewitnesses Of Scripture. 1 Cor. 15:5-6
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

        Baptist hold to a theology based on scripture alone, while some others place tradition or their creeds on an equal plane. We claim if the Bible is silent we must be silent, and where the Bible speaks we speak. We proclaim the resurrection of Christ because we believe the scriptures. The fact the Christ lives in our hearts after acknowledging His Lordship certainly leads us to boldly proclaim He lives. The eyewitnesses reported from scriptures further confirms this truth. Interestingly the so-call hidden gospels do not present details of the resurrection. A gospel must have the truth reported about the resurrection.

5. Celebrating Easter With . . Substantiation. 1 Cor. 15:20 - 21a & 22a

A. Celebrating With The Substantiation Of Being In . . Adam. 1 Cor. 15:20-
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man,. . ." 22 For just as in Adam all die,. . ."

B. Celebrating With The Substantiation Of Being In . . Christ. 1 Cor. 15:201b - 22b
". . . the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22b ". . . so also
in Christ all will be made alive. HCSB

        Death began in Adam and continues unto this day. If you are in Adam (not a Christian) you will die physically and are dead spiritually. If you are in Christ (A Born Again Believer) you are alive spiritually and will pass from death into a resurrected life. Therefore, we worship Celebrating Easter's Significance.  Amen? Amen!