Holy Week The Story of Easter

46ede3b42d257944891167cb68c32fad

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls: Today I’ll be preaching on THE STORY OF EASTER. All last week you’ve heard about Holy Week, but now, we look at “The rest of the Story”.

Today’s Text is found in Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11

Not so long ago, there was a news reporter named Paul Harvey who was famous for his phrase “And now, for the rest of the story.” In other words, he was saying that "the picture is not complete until you hear what I am going to tell you.”

Last week, we learned about Palm Sunday and Passion Week or Holy Week, but today is Easter, so now I want you to know "The rest of the story". The story of Easter is not complete without today's examination of the scriptures.

In reviewing Easter, we learned several things. Who the story is about: It is about Jesus Christ and His claim to be the Messiah and the Son of God. We also learned that the story is God showing us His redemptive plan to reconcile our relationship with Him. He shows us that we have sinned, and He gives us the opportunity to accept or reject His invitation of forgiveness and grace.

Last week, we also looked at the narrative, the body of the story. We saw that Jesus came in peace and not as a conquering king. We saw that He spent that last week preparing the Disciples for what was coming. We saw His triumphant entry and why He came; and why He came at that particular time of year. We saw that He came on the 10th day of the first month to present Himself as Israel's sacrificial Lamb. We saw the people rejoiced and celebrated, sang songs and shouted that their Messiah had come, but we also saw that Jesus’ triumphant entry was not welcomed by all. So today, we are looking at the rest of the story (Matthew 28:1-10).

You might remember that Jesus had arrived riding on a donkey. There He was with His legs wrapped around this small white colt. I imagine His feet were dragging on the ground just a little bit. So people threw their coats and palm branches on the ground so the Messiah would not get dirty. There He was, riding and waving to the crowds who were singing, praising His name, but a few short days later the scene would change.

There was the crowd of people gathered all around Him once again. The crowd had doubled in its size. There were city officials and Roman guards. There were the poor and the rich, the religious and the wicked. They were all shouting and singing and calling out His name, but this time it was for His death.
You know the first part of this story. They beat Him until He could not be recognized by His own mother. They spit on Him and mocked Him with a robe, a scepter, and a crown of thorns smashed down upon His head. They led Him to Golgotha, and there they hung Him on the cross until He died.

But now . . . the rest of the story!! Amen!

The rest of the story claims that Jesus died, was buried BUT on that third day, He arose from the grave! Amen! And all of Christianity rises and falls upon this claim. All the truth of the Bible rises and falls upon this claim. So let's examine the facts. The fact is that the resurrection is one of the most examined events in recorded history. The reason is quite obvious. Everything upon which Christianity is based is validated by the truth of this account. To testify of the truth of the resurrection, we have the testimony of the angel and of Jesus Christ Himself. In Luke 24:6-44 and Mark 16:7, Jesus said, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Therefore evident of the fact that we must "walk by faith and not by sight" (John 20:29). But here are some other things that must be considered when examining this truth: That a man named Jesus lived when and where Jesus did is an established historical fact. Another truth is that a trial and execution took place as stated in the Bible is recorded in outside accounts such as that of Josephus, the great historian (Josephus, book 4, 49-50). One more truth is that there are other historical records and archeological evidences, and the fact that it would have been easy to verify whether or not Jesus was resurrected. Had Jesus not risen from the grave, they could have produced a body, but they did not and no one ever has. Skeptics have had over 2,000 years to produce some kind of evidence that Jesus was not resurrected and failed to do so.

In weighing these facts that only leaves one conclusion.

There is No Body. HE IS RISEN!

I want you to take note that it was the angel who clearly identifies who it was that the women were looking for (Matthew 28:5). Also take note of a compelling comparison:

God completed His work on the 6th day. Jesus completed His earthly ministry, died, and was buried on the 6th day of the week.

On the 7th day, God rested. Jesus lay dead in the grave on the 7th day.

On the 1st day of the week, God commanded the light to shine out of darkness.

On the 1st day of the week Jesus Christ arose being proof He was the "Light of the world".

On the 1st day of the next week, God began His new work!

On the 1st day of the next week, Jesus began His new work!

JESUS IS ALIVE! AMEN!

I want you to take note of something else. It’s about the angels. The angels frequently attended our Lord Jesus. They were at His birth in a lowly manger. They were with Him at His three temptations where the devil tried to lead Him. They were with Him through His agony in the garden of Gethsemane. They were with Him through His trial.

But on the cross we find no angels. When God the Father forsook Him, the angels withdrew. And I am sure that while the tears fell from their eyes, they pleaded and cried out to God to do something.

But now He is risen, now He has resumed the glory He once had before the foundation of the world. And now the angels bow before Him and worship Him with honor and glory forever and ever amen!

Jesus Christ has been restored to a full and glorified life! As a matter of fact in Acts 2:24, Peter declared that while Jesus had been crucified, God had resurrected Him. But best evidence of the Resurrection is the personal experience that you and I can have with Him today. But How Can We Be Sure of the Resurrection? How can one be sure it's not just an elaborate scheme of some false religion? How can one be sure it's not just a fable?

The irrefutable evidence of the Resurrection includes that fact that Jesus was seen eight different times by different witnesses. And according to Paul, one appearance was witnessed by over 500 people at the same time, and most of them were still living when he recorded that fact (1 Cor. 15:3-7).

But the greatest evidence is the fact that there are changed lives. The lives of the Disciples were changed forever. Saul, who became Paul, was radically converted forever (1 Cor. 15:8-10). My life, as well as many others, have been changed. Even the loved one in the grave is a testimony to this story.

Most of us have lost a loved one to the grave at one time or another. Imagine going to the cemetery and upon arriving at the marker where your loved one is supposed to be laying, the ground has been disturbed and dug up. Your loved one’s body is not there. In that moment many thoughts run through your head including the one of obvious grave robbers, but then an angel appears and asks you a question. The angel asks you, “Why are looking for the living among the dead? For your loved one is not here, he has risen.” And I’m not talking about some zombie. I’m talking about someone in a glorified body!! All one has to do is look at the facts. The fact that the body is gone is not debatable. This is a physically verifiable fact. Peter boldly declared the Resurrection in Jerusalem (Acts 2).

Whenever I visit a cemetery, I remember those words. I know that my loved ones spirit has already risen and is now with my blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As far as the body of our loved ones, they too will rise again, but when they do, they will have a glorified body. As Christians, we are to comfort each other with these words for this is the Easter message. That is the Easter message. For Jesus Christ has risen. He has truly risen, that is why we can say, “Happy Easter!”

Jesus Christ the Lord is risen!

Happy Easter ladies and gentlemen, for you have just heard the truth, and the rest of the story.

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way