Sermons Archive




3 APRIL 1994

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor


Matthew 13:13
Mark 16:1-11
1 John 4:18

We are gathered here this morning, at the break of day, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which took place nearly 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem.

Yes, Jesus does live, just as we sang; but most people, including many Christians, don't live as though they really believe this.

There are many of us here, but we represent only a small fraction of our total community.

I see many of the same faces here year after year, and thankfully there are usually some new ones, too.

But why do we come, and others do not?

Why is it that only a small portion of our community worships on a regular basis?

Is it a sign of our faith, or lack of faith?

How much do we have to see and hear before we truly believe?

Or perhaps we should ask, how much does the community have to see and hear in a Christian's everyday life before they decide not to believe?

If we say we truly believe, then we will live a life reflective of Jesus Christ; and then, hopefully, others will come to believe because they see Christ in us.

But this takes us back to my original question: how much do we have to see and hear before we truly believe?

In Matthew 13:13, Jesus answered a similar question from His disciples.

13. "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."

Unlike us today, many people during the time of Jesus' ministry upon this earth saw Him and heard Him, and saw the things He did; yet not everyone came to believe.

Many of His followers saw Him die, and thought their hope had died also.

And when on a morning like this one, when they found an empty grave, they also found it hard to believe that He really rose from the dead.

Let's turn to our Mark verses for this morning, 16:1-11, and observe if we can see and hear and truly believe, even though they had an initial problem doing so.

1. And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

They came expecting to see Jesus' dead body.

They came expecting to anoint His dead body.

They didn't come expecting to see that He had risen from the dead, even though He told them He would.

2. And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

3. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"

They were concerned with the physical aspects of life, and not the spiritual.

They didn't understand that if He were still in the grave, there would be no forgiveness of our sins, and no life eternal in heaven.

They didn't understand that if He were still in the grave, He wasn't their Messiah, their Christ.

In their grief they forgot that their hope was in the fact that He is their Savior.

4. And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

5. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.

Why were they amazed?

Everything was happening just as Jesus told them it would happen.

They seem to be even more amazed than when they saw Jesus perform a miracle.

6. And he [the angel] said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

7. "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you."'

8. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Why did they have such fear?

Jesus had given them the commandment of love, and had shown and explained to them how it is the power by which they can do even greater things than He had done before them.

And we know, or should know, and they should have known that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18):

18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

So why do they fear?

Because love and compassion was not yet perfected in them.

Thus, they go away, not even doing what the angel told them to do; not even believing him.

So Jesus, in all His love, came to Mary Magdalene personally.

9. Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.

10. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.

Now she does what Jesus tells her, but why did she have to be reminded?

And why were the disciples mourning and weeping?

Because they didn't have much faith either, even though on their own they had performed miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit.

They had this problem because love was not yet perfected in them.

11. And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

How much more do they have to see and hear before they believe?

How much more do we have to see and hear before we come to truly believe and live as though we believe?

How much more do we have to see and hear before we make this mostly Christian country of ours a place that is filled with true love and compassion, even to overflowing, that others will come to believe that our Lord lives?

Jesus Christ is alive!

He's alive!

He arose from the dead!

He arose!

Christ arose!

He really did!

Believe it!

It's true!


Your Comments are welcome

| Home Page | Sermons Archive |

| Home Page | Animal Issues | Archive | Art and Photos | Articles | Bible | Books | Church and Religion | Discussions | Health | Humor | Letters | Links | Nature Studies | Poetry and Stories | Quotations | Recipes | What's New? |

Thank you for visiting
Since date.gif (1387 bytes)