"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 56

The Meaning Of His Resurrection

Read: Mark 16

Text: (Mark 16:6 KJV) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

Theme: There is nothing more important than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Introduction:

QUESTION - Does it really matter that the Bible claims that Jesus is alive? Why / why not?

QUESTION - Examples?

QUESTION - Examples? Have you ever known anyone who claimed to believe in Christ, but faltered at the empty tomb… just couldn't quite believe that?

ILLUS. I have a good friend who sat at my kitchen table. He claims to be a Christian, but we were examining those claims in light of scripture. I asked him, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ is actually alive today, and that He bodily and physically arose from the dead and lives even as we speak?" He answered, "Of course not."

QUESTION - Do you agree? If so, explain why you think the resurrection is the most important truth in your life. If you disagree, explain your reasoning.

QUESTION - Do you agree? Explain your reasoning.


I. His resurrection means you have no excuse for unbelief.

(Or stated positively, you have a reason to believe!)

A. Many did not believe He WOULD rise again.

(Mark 16:1 KJV) And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

QUESTION - What were they doing?

QUESTION - Why were they doing it?

QUESTION - What does this action on their part teach us about what they believed?

B. Many did not believe He HAD risen again.

(Mark 16:11 KJV) And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

(Mark 16:13 KJV) And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

(Mark 16:14 KJV) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

(Mat 28:17 KJV) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

QUESTION - If you had been there, would you have been any different? Would you have believed or doubted? Explain.

QUESTION - What do we learn about the nature of belief / disbelief from the experiences of the disciples here?

1. We learn from this that God's word is true!

(1 Ki 8:56 KJV) Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

(Ezek 12:25 KJV) For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.

(Luke 21:33 KJV) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

2. We learn from this that UNBELIEF IN GOD'S WORD DOES NOT MAKE IT ANY LESS TRUE!

ILLUS. - Bumper sticker, "God said it, I BELIEVE IT, that settles it." (BUT, the truth of God's word stands whether we believe it or not!

QUOTE (Billy Sunday) - "A man is a fool who thinks, because he does not believe in Hell, that his opinion shuts the door and puts out the fire."

(We live in an age where some think there is no such thing as black and white… no such thing as a FACT… everything is relative. However, the claims of scripture are FACT, whether we believe them or not!)

C. The resurrection was the UNDENIABLE PROOF backing up His claims.

QUESTION - How so?

1. No resurrection, no deity.

(But the resurrection proves / demonstrates that He is, indeed, GOD!)

(Rom 1:4 KJV) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

2. No resurrection, nothing to believe in, for He is only a man.

(But the resurrection proves that there is something to believe in, because He is GOD!)

(1 Cor 15:14 KJV) And if Christ be not risen, then is … your faith … vain.

3. No resurrection , nothing to preach about, for He is only a man.

(But the resurrection proves that we have A LOT to preach about, because He is GOD!)

(1 Cor 15:14 KJV) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain,

4. No resurrection , no forgiveness of sins, for He is only a man.

(But the resurrection proves that we can have forgiveness of sins, because He is GOD!)

(1 Cor 15:17 KJV) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

5. No resurrection, no hope for eternal life, for He is only a man.

(But the resurrection assures us that we will, indeed, live forever with Him, because He is GOD!)

(1 Cor 15:17-18 KJV) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

6. It is the resurrection that sets Jesus Christ apart from all others.

ILLUS. "The late Dr. Harry Rimmer, while traveling in Egypt, was negotiating with the then Secretary of State who was a refined and cultured Egyptian. In a conversation regarding their respective faiths Dr. Rimmer stated that, 'We believe that God has given to man three revelations of Himself. First, we believe that He has revealed Himself in the work of creation.' 'We, too, believe that,' interjected the Egyptian. 'We believe that God has revealed Himself in a gook, the Bible,' continued Dr. Rimmer. 'We, too, believe that God has revealed Himself in a book, the Koran,' replied the Egyptian. 'We believe that God has revealed Himself in a Man, and that Man is Jesus Christ,' added Dr. Rimmer. 'We believe that God has revealed Himself in a man, and that man is the prophet Mohammed,' said the Egyptian. 'We believe that Jesus died to save His followers, said Dr. Rimmer. 'We believe that Mohammed died for his people,' replied the Egyptian. 'We believe,' continued Dr. Rimmer, 'that Jesus is able to substantiate His claims because He rose from the dead.' The Moslem hesitated, then his eyes fell. He had no answer to that statement. Finally he admitted, 'We have no information concerning our prophet after death.'"

7. The resurrection can only be explained if Jesus Christ is God!

D. To see the empty tomb is to be presented with an argument that is undeniable.

QUOTE (Charles Spurgeon) - "The cross is the last argument of God." (But I think we must disagree with Bro. Charles here - THE EMPTY TOMB is really the last argument, and cannot be argued with!)

 

(Mark 16:6 KJV) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 

II. His resurrection means that those who do not believe have reason to fear.

QUESTION - Before we get into my thoughts on this, let's just discuss the above statement in general. Do you agree or disagree that, for some, the resurrection provides a reason for fear? Why / why not?

A. They had reason to fear when He died.

(John 20:19 KJV) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

QUESTION - Why? What did they fear?

B. They had reason to fear when He rose.

(Mark 16:5 KJV) And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

(Mark 16:8 KJV) And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

READ Luke 24:36f

QUESTION - Why? What did they fear?

C. The unbeliever today has reason to fear BECAUSE He arose!

QUESTION - Why? Why should the resurrection of Jesus Christ be a reason for anybody to fear?

QUESTION - For those of us who believe, is the resurrection a reason to fear? Why / why not?

1. You need not fear if He is your Savior.

(Isa 41:10 KJV) Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

(Isa 43:1-3 KJV) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

(Mat 10:30-31 KJV) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

QUOTE - "There are 365 'fear nots' in the Bible, or one for every day of the year.

2. You should fear, though, if He is NOT your savior.

(Because if He spoke the truth about His deity, and then backed up His claims by resurrection, what about His claims of judgement?)

(Mat 10:28 KJV) 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.

ILLUS. "A group of university students from Toronto went up to Georgian Bay for a fishing trip. They hired a boat and a captain to take them out into the bay. Without warning, a storm broke. The captain an old tar, sat at the helm with a worried look on his face. The students laughed at him in his fear and through their laughter declared: ' We are not afraid!' The old sea dog looked at them and said, 'Yes, you are too ignorant to be afraid.'" (George Bowman)

QUESTION - I have a relative who once spoke very disdainfully of the pastor of his/her church because he "tries to scare people into believing." What do you think of the approach of this pastor? Is fear a proper motivation to use in winning people to Christ? Why / why not?

QUOTE (C. Neil Strait) - "Not all fears are bad. Many of them are wholesome, indeed, very necessary for life. The fear of… fire, the fear of electricity, are life-saving fears, that, if heeded, bring a new knowledge to life."

 

(Mark 16:6 KJV) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 

III. His resurrection means there is reason to hope.

QUOTE (John Wesley White) - "The world hopes for the best, but Jesus Christ offers the best hope."

QUOTE - "Life with Christ is an endless hope; without Him, a hopeless end."

A. Note that He had a special invitation to Peter. (vs. 7)

QUESTION - Why do you suppose that Mark is the only gospel that mentions this special message to Peter?

QUESTION - How does this speak to the hope that His resurrection brings?

B. He invites you, no matter how undeserving you may be.

(John 6:47 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

1. There was hope for the woman taken in adultery…

2. There was hope for the thief, Zaccheus.

3. There was hope for the demon-possessed Mary Magdalene.

4. There was hope for the doubter, Thomas.

5. There was hope for the denier, Peter.

6. There was hope for the murderer, Saul.

7. There is hope for you.

8. There is hope for me.

C. SEE THE EMPTY TOMB, and you will see the only real reason for hope!

 

(Mark 16:6 KJV) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 


Conclusion:

 

(Mark 16:6 KJV) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.