HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?
This morning I have breaking headline news. It is good news that is being told and heard around the world today. It is good news for a some and bad news for others. Today’s news will shake and shatter the kingdom of darkness and bring exceeding joy to those walking in the light. The good news is that a righteous man who was arrested, beaten and executed by hanging on a cross and declared dead after a sword was pierced into his side. He was buried in a borrowed tomb on Good Friday. But we have received startling reports that this man Jesus is Risen from the dead. “He is Risen” from the dead; just like he said He would.
I would also, like to report to you today with much joy and assurance in the Holy Ghost that I too have seen Him for myself and stand as a witness to testify of His amazing “Resurrection.” My question to you today is “Have you seen Him too?”
Please, let me know that you have seen the Master so we can be in one accord!
It is with this breaking news that I would like for us to journey back to the first sighting of Jesus and witness of the Resurrection for our self. Let's look at the events at the tomb of Jesus and see what happened and what it means for you and me today!
First let me explain this phenomenon called death and what it does to us physically.
Man has termed death as the ending of life. The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death which is both spiritually and physically. It is when all our vital processes or vital signs are stopped. These processes include chemosynthesis, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell generation, and maintenance of homeostasis. Death occurs when these vital processes by which our body sustains itself ends.
Back in the day when a person dead in order to determine whether vital sign still existed they would hold a mirror to the person’s mouth or a feather above their nose to look for signs of breath. If the mirror didn't cloud up or the feather didn't move, then that person was a goner. Long before the stethoscope was invented people use the Balfour's test, which means you stick needles through the skin into the heart. Then you watched the top of the needles, which had flags attached, to see if the flags moved. If the flags didn’t move that person just kicked the bucket.
Now let me give you a sense of what else happens when a person dies. They go through a phase called the agonal phase. The dying person is often disoriented, and it will seem like they can't get comfortable nor catch their breath. Fluid may even built up in the lungs, which causes a sound known as the death rattle.
After all vital signs have ceased the body immediately starts turning cold. This phase is known as algor mortis, or the death chill. Each hour, the body temperature falls and the blood starts to jell and settle. Rigor mortis, or a stiffening of the body, sets in about two to six hours after death.
The body becomes discolored, first turning green, then purple, then black. If you can't see the change, you'll smell it, because the bacteria create an awful-smelling gas. In addition to smelling up the room, that gas will cause the body to bloat, the eyes to bulge out of their sockets and the tongue to swell and protrude.
A few days after death, the skin becomes blistered and the slightest touch could cause it to fall off.
But I want you to know that none of these things happen to our Lord, because He had a Glorified body. Say Amen somebody.
Let me just have a side bar and say this:
Many people are afraid to visit a graveyard, especially at night. It is because we have heard so many gory things about death that we busy our self with living because we ain’t got time to die. Therefore, we won’t pre-plan for this inevitable event. We won’t get a “living will or a last will and testament” because we just don’t want to have to think about it at all. We have a phobia called coi-metro-phobia, which is an unrealistic fear of graveyards. But my message today must carry us to the graveyard and examine the scene of the resurrected Jesus.
WOMEN IN THE GRAVEYARD
Some Came To Look - Matt. 28:1 we are told that they "came to see the sepulchre".
Some Came To Labor - Mk. 16:1; Lk. 24:1 - They came to finished anointing His body for burial. They wanted to serve Him one last time.
Some Came To Linger - John 20:11-18 - These verses tell us that Mary Magdalene lingered at the tomb after the others had already gone away. Here was a woman that owed much to Jesus. There had been a time in her life when she had been possessed by seven demons, Mark 16:9. Her life had been radically changed by Jesus and she loved Him more than life itself. If you will remember, she was one of the last at the cross, Matt. 27:61, and she was the first to see Him after He had risen from the dead, Mark. 16:9. She worship and praise His name!
ANGELS IN THE GRAVEYARD
He Rolled The Stone Away - That big old stone represented the finality of death. For them, that stone was an exclamation point at the end of the sentence of death. That stone said, "He is gone forever!" That stone was rolled away so that the world could look into the tomb and see that it was forever empty!
Let me say this about that, all religious systems in the world are troubled today because of the empty tomb! You can travel to China, find the tomb of Buddha, and it will say "Occupied" over the door. You can travel to the Middle East and find the tomb of Mohammed, and it will say, "Occupied" over the door. You can travel to Russia and look at the body of Lenin in his glass coffin and the sign will say, "Occupied." But, travel with me to Palestine like so many have in the past. I take you to an old tomb hewn out of a rock. The tomb where they tell us the body of Jesus once lay. The sign over the door don’t say occupied, but that “He is Risen, He is not here”, "its Vacant and its empty!" I dare you to give a Pentecostal shout of glory up in here!
That empty tomb sends shock waves through out every other religious system on the face of the earth! There is one risen Savior and His name is Jesus! There is one Way to Heaven and His name is Jesus. There is only One who descended into the depths of death and come to life again His name is Jesus!
The Angel Removed The Soldiers out of the way - So the saints of God could see the Way, Truth and Life. The soldiers were the keepers blocking the seekers.
He Reminded The Saints about what Jesus did in order to inspire them to believe. He rolled the stone of their unbelief away from the minds. Jesus is not here – He is Risen.
THE SAVIOR IN THE GRAVEYARD
As the women were going to tell the others, Jesus Himself met them in the way. He came to give them a personal word of encouragement and hope, He came to them personally so that they might know firsthand that He had indeed risen from the dead. “Go tell my brethren to meet me in Galilee, there they shall see me.”
My friends, it is a wonderful thing to hear from others what Jesus can do. But, there is nothing like meeting Him for yourself! Have you met Him? There is nothing meeting the living Christ for oneself! Have you seen Him to meet Him, yet?
SPIRITUAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE RESURRECTION
1. Jesus defeated hell and went down into the belly of Hell and there preached liberty to set the captives free and loosed the shackles of death.
2. Jesus defeated death and death had to give up the Son of God, the Prince of Life! No more would death claim the victory, because Jesus entered into deaths deep domain and rendered it helpless. Somebody ought to give a Baptist shout!
Jesus defeated the Grave. Jesus robbed the grave of its victory.
Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory!!
3. Folks, no sin have to defeat you! Jesus won the victory over sin on the cross and nailed its coffin lid shut when He arose from the dead. You can be set free by faith in Jesus Christ from every work of the devil.
5. Satan took a beating on Resurrection day. That dragon, the accuser of the brethren, that old serpent, whatever name you want to call him the outcome is the same. He is the enemy of God and of the people of God. He tried every way he could to short-circuit Christ's plan of Salvation. But, Jesus endured every temptation, He weathered every storm and made it to the cross and the tomb. When He cried "It is finished!", the plan of redemption was done. Satan heard the foundations under his kingdom begin to crack. Three days later, when Jesus arose from the dead, Satan witness the total destruction of every plan and every scheme. He saw his power broken and himself the prince of this world was judged. He was defeated forever by the Lord Jesus!
And Because Jesus lives, salvation is yours.
Because He lives, our sins are washed away forever.
Because He lives, we can go to Heaven.
Because He lives, the grave has no power over us.
Because He lives, you live and I live in Him.
Because He lives, our name is written in the Lamb's book of life.
Because He lives, God is my Father.
Because He lives, sin has no power over us.
Now I can face tomorrow, because He lives within my heart.
What we need to understand this today is that HE LIVES, HE LIVES!
Do you seen Him yet? Here is how to meet Him!
Rev. Sylvester Williams, Jr., ICU Ministries, Inc., April 4, 2010