A resurrection sermon is most often a sermon emphasis for Easter Sunday. But just as it is good on Easter to preach a message related to another Biblical truth it is good on a regular Sunday to preach about resurrection.
Of course you are aware that we worship on Sunday because it is the
day of resurrection. So every Sunday is Easter Sunday. And on this day
we want to paint a word picture to the resurrected Christ.
Therefore we can trust the report of procedural evidence related to the death of Christ. Notice verses 33 and 34. The soldiers went to break the legs of the 3 crucified men. They did this so they could not push themselves up to relieve the pain of breathing. With their legs broken death would be hastened. Note verse 33 states Jesus was already dead. This is procedural evidence. It says Christ is dead.
But there is also physical evidence as one of the soldiers pierced Jesus
in the side with a spear. The statement then tells us "...immediately there
came out blood and water." Those in the medical field tell us this is physical
evidence of death. Today we have a heart and a brain monitor. When they
no longer signal a heart beat and a brain wave, death has occurred. The
physical evidence of blood and water mixing gives the physical evidence
that Jesus is dead.
If Jesus really resurrected the accusations against validity of this event should be easily refuted. One such accusation is that Jesus just appeared to be dead. He really just fainted and after a while in the cool tomb regained consciousness. The absurdity of this claim is evident when you realize the body would have about 100 pounds of spices placed on and around it. Surely this would have awakened Jesus.
The grave clothes were arranged in such a manner that deductible evidence is available to conclude no one left here in undo haste. This wasn't a robbery or an attempt to fool someone. But as Morrison asked in his book, "Who moved the stone?" If Jesus just fainted, how did He get out of that sealed tomb? The weight of that stone might easily be around one ton.
Secondly, the thought is suggested Jesus' friends moved the stone and took his body. But one must ask , what were the guards doing while these friends moved the stone. A guard could have his life taken from him because he lost a prisoner or failed an assignment. But why would the friends of Jesus want to be part of such a hoax?
Thirdly, it is suggested the disciples just went to the wrong tomb. Now that's a great argument to build your anti-resurrection philosophy upon, isn't it. Somewhere along the way it would have become clear that they had gone to the wrong tomb. Why then give your life to a ministry based upon a mistake. The book titled FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS relates a terrible death for all the apostles but John. Why would they die these kinds of death for a mistake. The evidence clearly argues for a resurrection.
A fourth suggestion is offered to put down the resurrection. It is the hallucination theory. That is the disciples just hallucinated. Jesus didn't really resurrect but the disciples thought he did. They wanted to believe this so they did. If you read you verse 9 of chapter 20 you will seriously doubt this theory but turn to 1Cor. 15:5-8. Here it says He appeared in the resurrected body to over 525 people. Could they all have just hallucinated. But again I must ask why live and die for a hallucination.
Charles Colson talking about the Watergate situation said it is in way a proof of the trustworthiness of the disciples story concerning the resurrection. He compares the attempt of the men involved to all stand behind the same story and if necessary to all tell the same lie. But after only a few weeks James Dean decided to try and save his own neck and he blew the lid off. Colson says if they couldn't keep their story with the power of the government behind them why should we believe eleven men would die for a lie about a resurrection.
A fifth suggestion is His enemies stole the body. If that were true, one must ask the question why? It might have been a funny prank but after that what purpose does it serve. Then when you see the Christian movement begin to spread and many people believing Jesus arose wouldn't somebody come forward and confess. Surely somebody would have produced the body and refuted the resurrection story.
Back in the 50's it was reported in India that the bones of Buddha had
been discovered. It caused a revival of Buddhism all over India. One monk
asked a Christian missionary, "Don't you wish they would find the bones
of Christ so you too could experience a revival?" The missionary answered,
"If even one verifiable bone of Jesus were found it would not be a revival
but a ruining of Christianity." We serve a risen Savior.
It is interesting to note a progression as several people come to the realization JESUS IS ALIVE. John sees and believes , verse 9. Mary touches and believes verse 11-18. Other disciples see and believe, verse 19-23. But notice Thomas in verses 24-28 as he must have further proof. For Thomas proving is believing. But in verse 29 Jesus says trusting is believing.