"1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" 3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." 16Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " 18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her. 19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord." John 20:1-20
They were overjoyed when they saw the Lord!
That phrase best capsulizes the emotion that Easter should bring to the human heart. Recognizing that Jesus is alive and that our sins are forgiven makes a world of difference in how we view ourselves, our God, other people and our purpose for living!
Everyone of these Christ-followers were filled with joy when they saw Jesus but there is one who was especially thrilled and I think this video clip captures that! Take a look:
BECAUSE HE LIVES PETER’S FAILURES ARE FORGIVEN!
Peter, a lot like you and me, was his own worst enemy. This was the disicple who had only one speed - full! He had some of the highest highs and a few of the deepest lows.
Peter had been with Jesus and a select few on the Mount of Transfiguration. He had seen the glorified Jesus along with Moses and Elijah! Peter had been there when the 5,ooo were fed and then the 4,000. He had been there when Lazarus walked out to the grave! For Pete's sake - he had walked on water!
But he had also vowed that He would never forsake Jesus and in the Garden he impulsively grabbed his sword and tried to decapitate the Roman guard. And on that fateful night after Jesus was arrested he denied three times and even cursed for emphasis.
It was that final failure that almost did him in - until he saw the Risen Jesus! Then he was filled with joy knowing that Jesus was alive and his failures were forgiven!
Do you have some failures that haunt you?
Have you betrayed Jesus with your decisions and choices?
Could you use a few “do-overs”? Does some forgiveness sound good?
Well, the good news is, as Peter discovered, JESUS IS ALIVE and your sins can be forgiven!
BECAUSE HE LIVES PETER’S FAITH IS FIRM!
Peter had fully invested all of his hopes and dreams in Jesus.
Peter had fully bought into all of Jesus’ teachings and accepted Him as the Messiah.
Peter had seen all the miracles and he even done a few himself.
But then everything was up for grabs when Jesus was arrested and killed.
But the good news is JESUS IS ALIVE and everything is TRUE!
BECAUSE HE LIVES PETER’S FUTURE WAS FOREVER!
For the last few days Peter lived in fear. They had killed his leader and he fully expected them to be coming after him.
He had left his business and his family and invested his entire future in Jesus – then Jesus was DEAD!
In just a few days his future had gone from safe, secure and certain – to fearful and murky.
But the good news is JESUS IS ALIVE and his future is FOREVER!
That is the great news of Easter - WE SERVE A RISEN SAVIOR!
When He died on the cross He conquered sin. He pain the price for your sins and mine! And When He raised form the dead He conquered death! We no longer have to live in sin or fear death!
We can live in joy! We can live in freedom! We can live in power! We never have to be alone! And we know we will live forever!
BECAUSE HE LIVES!