resurrection sunday

Resurrection Sunday 2020


I would first like to wish you and your family a blessed Resurrection Sunday. Many people today celebrate Easter, while since Easter is considered Pagan, I choose to say He is Risen! It is 2020 and we are going through the novel COVID-19 pandemic, many churches are doing service online and many families are not able to gather as they usually would. Why would God permit something like this to happen? One of the reasons is maybe He wants us to refocus how we celebrate this day. Am I saying there is anything wrong with doing crafts with your children? No, but what I am saying is sometimes we let worldly tradition get in the way of Biblical truth. Just like with Christmas, we spend all this money on gifts and spend much time decorating our houses to be the best house on the block with lights. Again, I am not condemning that, I am saying what is more of a priority in your life? Being focused on what the Bible says or what the trend of the world is.

Mary Sees it First Hand

I am mainly going to focus this post out of John chapter 20. We see in John 20:1-2, that Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb early in the morning. She realized the stone is moved. She then runs to tell the two disciples who are listed in verse two as Simon Peter and ‘the other disciple’. Many scholars believe the other disciple is also the same as the one Jesus loved, which is most likely John. I agree with this, as John did not specifically mention his own name much in his Gospel. Additionally, in verse two, we see that Mary tells the disciples “we do not know where they have laid Him”. Since she used the word ‘we’ which is plural there were likely other women at the tomb with her.

John and Peter at the Tomb

In verses three through ten, we see that John and Peter run to the tomb. John gets to the tomb first and there is enough daylight for him to see in through the opening to realize that all that is in the tomb is the clothing they had Jesus in before He was buried. Simon Peter is the first one to go inside the tomb, and then John goes inside. They did lack the understanding that Jesus must rise from the dead, so they then left the tomb and went home.

Mary’s Encounter with Angels

In verses 11-13 we see that Mary Magdalene is at the tomb by herself now, and she weeps because Jesus’ body is missing. Then she sees two angels appear to her, one sitting at the top and bottom of where Jesus was laid. Now as we look through our Bible, we see that angels would usually appear in sets of two. Acts 1:10 (NKJV) tells us, “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel”. Also, angels would appear in white linen as we see in Revelation 15:6 (NKJV), “And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.”.

Jesus Appears to Mary

In verses 14-18 we see that Mary sees Jesus. At first, she thinks that he is a gardener. Gardeners usually worked in the early morning hours, and I would assume when she first saw Jesus, His back was towards her.  We see then Jesus turns to her and calls her by name, and then she realized it is Him. John 10:3 (NKJV) tells us, “To him, the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”. Then in verses 14-15 (NKJV) “I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”. Jesus also warns Mary not to cling to Him because He will disappear. We see in verse 17, we see Jesus refers to His true believers as His brethren. Mary then leaves and goes and tells the news to the other disciples.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

In John 19-20 we see all the disciples were gathered, except Thomas, in secret as they feared the Jewish leaders. Jesus then appears to them and the first words He says are “Peace be with you”.  The Bible has much to tell us about peace. Jesus said in John 14:27 (NKJV), “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”. Additionally, Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV), “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.”. Also, Paul wrote to us in Colossians 3:15 (NKJV), “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”. Lastly one of my favorite verses about peace is in 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV), “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”.

The Great Commission

In verse 21 we see Jesus gives them the Great Commission. Each Gospel account has this written differently. John 20:21 (NKJV) simply says, “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.””.  In Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV) the Great Commission is written as “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”. Jesus also tells His disciples in John 20:23 (NKJV), “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”. This does not mean that we have the authority to forgive peoples sins, however, it is telling us that if we tell the Gospel to someone and they reject it, then we have the right to tell them that they do not have forgiveness of sins and that they face a Holy God for judgment.

Scripture Alone

In verses 24-29 we see that John tells Thomas about them seeing Jesus resurrected. However, Thomas does not believe him because he needs to see this to believe it. Jesus then appears eight days later, and Thomas believes. Thomas had to see Jesus resurrected to believe, and Jesus tells His disciples that blessed are those who don’t see Him but believe in Him. Jesus tells them this because He knows that the church going forward won’t see Jesus face to face. There are many accounts on people who have died for a brief period and claim to have seen Jesus, Heaven, or even Hell. Regardless of how accurate those accounts are, we must rely on Scripture to tell us about Jesus Christ, Heaven, and Hell.

Sola Scriptura

Even though this is mentioned briefly in Johns Gospel, Jesus was confirming the idea of Sola Scriptura, that Scripture is enough for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) tells us, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”. Yet sadly today more people seek supernatural encounters over properly studying their Bibles and knowing what the Bible says. Additionally, when we see the passage of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke’s Gospel, we are reminded of Sola Scriptura. Lazarus was a man who suffered from a terrible ailment and had many afflictions, he had faith in God and looked for the coming Christ. There was also a rich man who loved his riches and luxury lifestyle above anything else. We see that when both men die that Lazarus goes to Abrahams’s Bosom (where Old Covenant people who trusted in God went when they died), and the rich man goes to Hades (Hell). In  Luke 16:27-31 (NKJV) we see, ““Then he (the rich man) said, ‘I beg you, therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, Father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”. This still applies to us today, if we don’t believe and trust in Scripture alone, then seeing signs and wonders will by no means truly change our view of the Gospel. Why do so many Christians spend more time going to movies such as Heaven is for Real or read books on people’s accounts on Heaven and Hell? When they themselves don’t even know what the Bible says. We have a problem today in the church that many Christians believe people’s supernatural claims over Scripture, and do not even check to see if what they are hearing is balanced with Scripture. There is little discernment in the church today. We have put supernatural signs above the importance of True Salvation. I am not saying God cannot do, mighty works today. I believe God is still on the move today according to His sovereign will. However, we must be focused on Scripture and delivering the proper Gospel to people. It is very dangerous to assume that anyone is saved. In fact, I believe there are many people sitting in church pews that are on the highway to hell. Jesus said, “narrow and difficult is the way”.

Final Thoughts

Today many of us are spending more time alone or with our families than we usually would. Let us examine ourselves, make sure our hearts are right with the Lord. Have you truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Are you truly abiding in Him? Or do you think you have a fire insurance card? I encourage you to examine yourselves today. Maybe we are not to be in church in America for a short period, because there is some cleanup that has been long and overdue. Way too much prosperity preaching. It is my prayer that through this time that the number of people who follow the health, wealth, and prosperity Gospel dwindle down drastically and follow the one and only True Gospel. Are you believing the American Gospel or the only true Gospel of Jesus Christ? If we have the Gospel wrong, then we are in big trouble! Please, please examine yourselves.