The servant would not dare touch that table until the master was finished.
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When he finished, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. John is careful to record that the napkin was folded, because he knew that it would be very meaningful to the disciples!
You and I need to be just as thrilled and excited as Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene were the day they walked into that empty tomb. Celebrate it like never before this Easter. Search for:. Sign Up Go. Jesus was alive! Jesus really is His Son. I saw Him. The Bible is true—creation, the flood, all of it!
The Resurrection of Jesus is the key to understanding the entire Bible. The Messiah, by definition, would be anointed. The Messiah would have the favor of God. He would please God. But here is this Jesus Christ, claiming to be the Messiah, and yet He died on a cross. Even the Romans knew that this was the most shameful way to die. Everyone knew that to die on the cross was the bad end for people who were the lowest of the low. So—What kind of salvation could a man cursed by God—abandoned by God—bring?
And then on his second sightless day Saul—Paul—turns to the Old Testament Scriptures which of course, as a Pharisee of Pharisees he would have been able to carry around in his head. Yes, they could.
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What if the purpose of all those sacrifices was to point to something or Someone else? What if all that was pointing to this Jesus? What is that New Covenant discussion about? How do we understand that?
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How would that ever happen? Perhaps through Christians—followers of Jesus becoming children of God through faith! Once Saul understood the resurrection, he understood the cross. He looked back and the entire Old Testament opened up to him. Paul had been expecting a strong Messiah to come save the strong.
His understanding was the Messiah would have gotten up on a horse and He would have saved all those who summoned up their strength to follow Him—and obey Him fully. So, it would have been a strong Messiah coming to save the strong.
1. Testimony of the Empty Tomb
God sent a Christian named Ananias to the house where Saul was staying. I think I speak our star valve trombone player when I say our favorites are the Sharpe series—the stories of a fictitious soldier in the British army during the Napoleonic wars who rose from the ranks to become an officer. In one of the Sharpe books, Captain Sharpe and his riflemen capture a French soldier.
They find a page of paper with numbers on it—and a damaged copy of a popular book by Voltaire.
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Only a few pages are legible. The key to figuring it all out was that book by Voltaire. Well, similarly the resurrection is the key—the code—to understanding the entire Bible. Okay—to help us all deepen our understanding of the empty tomb—I want to try and explain why we rise with the sun like we did a few hours ago to worship the SON. We cannot be reconciled to God.
Me too! Well, you know how the game ends. After carefully pulling blocks from the bottom of the stack and then carefully putting it on the top—eventually one player pulls one too many blocks and the whole thing comes crashing down. Well, in our text Paul says the empty tomb is like that one Jenga block that holds up the entire tower—without it—I mean, if you were to pull it out—our Christian faith comes crashing down.
Freeze frame! Hit the pause button! He IS risen! The tower—the walls of our faith—stand firm! He is risen indeed! This means our sins, past, present, and future, can be erased like shaking an Etch-e-sketch—God remembers them no more—He casts them as far as the East is from the Rest. In fact, if you have a sin in your past that you wish you could erase—would you raise your hand? We all have done things we are ashamed of. Well, because of the empty tomb—those sins can be washed away. Do you understand better now the importance of the empty tomb?
This week I read about a Muslim college student who came to believe in Jesus Christ. One of them is dead, and one of them is alive.
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Which one would you follow? Look at these two pics from the film: The Passion of the Christ and think with me. Let me ask you a few questions. I mean think for a moment of that one person who is most irritating to you. They are so self-centered—so prideful—they are so hard to be around. They always say hateful things. They have gossiped about you behind your back. It proves God has power to change human nature and to change human beings.
He has power to transform you and me into the image of Jesus Christ, to make us like Christ. That same resurrection power, which God displayed in Jesus Christ when he raised him from the dead, is available to us today. He can raise us from the death of sin to the life of righteousness.
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This is Bart Millard. He was born on December 1st, in Greenville, TX. Bart was primarily raised by his father, Arthur. His mother was named Adele—and for years they had a great marriage. But one day Arthur was accidentally run down by a semi-truck while on the job. His brain, on the other hand, was irrevocably damaged, leaving him in a coma for eight weeks.