The Astonishing Account of the Empty Tomb
Topic: Resurrection Sunday Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
Jesus, tomb, angel, disciples, risen, women, verse, stone, Sabbath, arrive, Galilee, spices, sin, Mark, rolled, dead, tells, Savior, amazement, resurrection
Table of Contents
As you can see in your bulletins, the title of the sermon this morning is The Astonishing Account of the Empty Tomb. Have you ever wondered why we meet for church on Sunday? Why do we meet for church on Sunday? Why not on Monday? Or on Friday or on Saturday? Why is it Sunday? I mean, if you look at the Jewish calendar, the Sabbath was actually on Saturday. God told Israel in the 10 Commandments, to "remember the Sabbath day and to keep it" what? "Holy." God says in Exodus 20, verse 8, that "the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord." (Exodus 20:8) And Israel was commanded not to do any work on the Sabbath day. So, if that day, Saturday -- was such an important day, according to the 10 Commandments (the law that God had given to Israel), why then do you and I meet on Sunday? Answer: because that was the day that our Savior rose from the dead.
The International Organization for Standardization, say that 10 times fast… says that Monday is the first day of the week. They came out in 1988. And said, Monday is the first day of the week. But according to the Jewish calendar, and even our calendar, the first day of the week is Sunday. And we meet for church on the first day of the week, because that was the day that Jesus rose from the grave. And so essentially, every Sunday, we come to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.
For us, every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. As we celebrate that Christ has been risen. And as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, today, we come to our text in Mark chapter 16. As we've been working our way through Mark for the last couple of years, I did not plan this. I didn't. God sovereignly orchestrated that we would be in Mark chapter 16, this morning on Resurrection Sunday, speaking about the empty tomb.
So let me read our passage for us beginning in verse 1 of Mark 16. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he 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 ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8 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.” (Mark 16:1-8)
Now, if you will remember from Friday, and from last Sunday, we've seen these women before. Last Sunday, we saw them in Mark 15:40, watching at a distance while Jesus was there on the cross. They crucified Jesus and these women were standing back at a distance and they were watching the entire crucifixion. Friday, we saw them in Mark 15 in verse 47. At the tomb as they watched Joseph and Nicodemus place the body of Jesus in the tomb. They were eyewitnesses of this account.
Then Luke 23:55 says this. “Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:55)
So, after Jesus was laid in the tomb on that Friday evening, Saturday began at 6pm. That's how the Jewish day worked -- from about 6pm sundown to sundown -- not midnight to midnight, like we have, but 6pm to 6pm. And so, from 6pm on Friday evening, which was actually Saturday, to 6pm, Saturday evening, which would then begin Sunday, during that 24 hour period, these women rested. They did no work because, as we saw, as we've heard, that was the commandment, you shall do no work on the Sabbath day.
But on that Friday evening, after they saw Joseph and Nicodemus place the body of Jesus into the tomb, these women then went home, and they prepared spices and perfumes to go and place on the body of Jesus. And they had to wait until the Sabbath day was over, and they would then come on Sunday morning, the first day of the week to do this.
Now, what does this tell us about these women? Two things.
- First, they didn't know the amount of spices that Nicodemus had put on the body of Jesus. As we saw Friday evening, they put about 65 pounds of myrrh and aloe on the body of Jesus, they didn't embalm back then and so they would put this aloe and spices on Jesus’ body. Obviously, these women didn't understand that Nicodemus and Joseph have already taken care of this. But these women plan to, to go home to prepare these spices and these perfumes and then bring them back on Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus.
- But the second thing that this tells us is this. They did not expect that Jesus was going to rise from the dead. They didn't expect it. Now remember, these women had been following Jesus for at least two years in His ministry. These were the women who were following Him in Galilee, all over in Galilee, as Jesus was ministering there. Back in chapter 15, and verse 41, it says, "When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him." (Mark 15:41) These women would minister to Jesus and think about all the things that they have seen at this point, and all the things that they have seen Jesus do up to this point. They've seen Jesus heal people. They've seen Jesus raise people from the dead. They've seen Jesus cast out demons, feed the hungry, by miraculously providing food. These women saw and they heard all about the life of Jesus as they ministered to Him. Which by the way, as a side note, the Bible uses this word "minister" for only two groups.
- First group were angels. Angels came and ministered to Jesus
- The second group: women. The Bible never tells us that His disciples ministered to Jesus. But these women did. These were special women, special women who loved Jesus and followed Him during His ministry. So, they must have heard about the resurrection. But like the disciples, they didn't believe it. They weren't expecting it. They were expecting to arrive at the tomb and find a body there.
How do we know? Well look at verse 1. This leads to our first point this morning, what we'll call, The Arrival at the Tomb, The Arrival at the Tomb. Verse 1, “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.” (Mark 16:1)
Why did they bring spices to anoint the body of Jesus? Because they thought He would still be in there. And notice when this happened, it happened "when the Sabbath was over," as I said they couldn't do any work on the Sabbath. And so, they had to wait until it was over. Which, by the way, what does this tell us about Jesus? This tells us something about Jesus. This tells us that He went in the tomb on Friday. He was in the tomb all day on Saturday, and now it's Sunday. And as I said, on Friday, Jews saw any part of a day as a whole day. So, Friday, Jesus being in the tomb, Saturday and Sunday morning, what does that tell us? Jesus was in the tomb for three days, three days, just as He told His disciples back in Mark, chapter 10, and verse 34, "They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him. And three days later, He will rise again." (Mark 10:34)
And so, it's the third day. It's the third day and the women, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Salome. They had spices that they had prepared. And they're ready to now come to the tomb and anoint the body of Jesus. Mark then tells us in verse 2, look at what it says there, "Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen." (Mark 16:2) Mark now clarifies, again, for us when this was, not only was it when the Sabbath was over. But it was also very early on the first day of the week. And when is that? Sunday. Sunday. Mark then tells us that they arrived at the tomb when the sun had risen.
Now, John tells us in John chapter 20, and verse 1, that "it was still dark when Mary Magdalene arrived," (John 20:1) it was still dark. So, we would ask, which is it? Is it dark? Or has the sun risen? Well, let me help you with this a little bit. What happens is, Mary Magdalene comes and arrives first when it's still dark. She's the only one who comes. In John chapter 20, verse 1, it says this, "Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:1-2) Mary arrives when it's dark. She's an early riser. She gets up, she comes to the tomb, and she sees that the stone has been rolled away, she turns around, and she bolts. And she runs to go and tell Peter and the other disciples.
When she leaves, the other women, Mary the mother of James and Salome. And there were other women that were there with them as well...they arrived to the tomb with their spices to anoint the body of Jesus. And now, it's very early when the sun has risen. Both accounts are correct. The Bible always speaks the truth, right? So, they arrive very early, when the sun had risen. Now, again, the women did not expect Jesus to be alive. Look at verse 3, "They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" (Mark 16:3) The women are together and they're walking now to the tomb, and they continue to ask each other who's going to roll this stone away for us? We've got the spices, we've got the perfume, we need to get in there so we can go and anoint His body.
Who's going to move this giant stone? Stones then were very heavy. To roll that stone away from the entrance of the tomb would take several men to do that. Why was this large stone put there in front of the tomb? The stone was put there in order to keep animals out, because you've got a dead body in there. So, they needed to keep the animals out. But they also put large a large stone in front of that tomb to keep grave robbers out of the tomb. It was very popular for robbers to go and steal from the tombs, because people, family members would bury the dead with valuable items. So, these grave robbers would know there's valuable items in there. Let's roll the stone away. Let's get into this tomb, and let's take the valuable items from them. Little did they know Jesus was buried with nothing. All He had was a cloth on Him. So, the stone would keep out the animals and it would keep the grave robbers out as well.
It was heavy, Joseph and Nicodemus had rolled the stone in front of the entrance on Friday after they had placed Jesus in the tomb. And so, the women keep asking, "Who's going to roll this stone away?" Who's going to do this for us? Their answer or their question gets answered. You want to know what the answer is? Turn over to Matthew 28. Matthew 28. Matthew, in his account, answers this question for us who is going to roll the stone away? Matthew 28 and verse 1, it says this. “Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.” (Matt 28:1-2)
Who rolled the stone away? An angel, an angel sent from God. But listen, the angel did not roll the stone away to let Jesus out. Why did he roll it away? To let them come in and see that Jesus is not there. Look at verse 3 of Matthew 20. “And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” (Matt 20:3-6)
Jesus was there. But He did not get up and come out of the tomb when the stone was rolled away. By the time the stone gets rolled away, Jesus is already gone. He's not there. How did Jesus do this? Well, we see in John 20:26, with His resurrected body, that He was able to appear to His disciples in a room. Listen to this, while the door was locked. The door was locked, and Jesus appeared to His disciples. In His resurrected body, He was not bound by the physical world. He didn't need the stone rolled away so He could get out. He rose from the dead and out He went. He did appear physically, as His disciples even touched Him. Right? Thomas...hear... touch...see. He appears physically. But He was not bound by the physical world or by time in His resurrected body.
John MacArthur says, "In His glorified form, He could escape a closed grave just as just as easily as He could enter a closed room.” So, when the stone is rolled away, Jesus is already gone. He's risen, which is what we see back in Mark chapter 16. Turn back to Mark 16. And look at verse 4. Mark 16 in verse 4, "Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large." (Mark 16:4) They're walking to the tomb, asking each other who's going to roll the stone away so that they could get in and anoint the body of Jesus. And this was a sad moment for these women. Remember these women follow Jesus for two years of His ministry, ministering to Him, they loved Him, they cared for Him, they were at the cross where they saw Him crucified. This is a sad moment for them. This is a sad time for them as they come to visit the tomb of Jesus.
As they come to that tomb, they're downcast. Remember, they think that Jesus is still in there. But Mark tells us that when they arrive, what did they do? They looked up. And they see that the stone has already been rolled away. This must have shocked them. The tomb is now open.
Now, what's interesting is that on Saturday, on Saturday on the Sabbath, the Jews had gone to Pilate to ask to have guards placed there in front of the tomb. We saw that in Matthew 28, where they fell over like dead men, these guards that were placed there.
- Why did the Jews place guards in front of the tomb? Because the Jews remembered that Jesus said He would rise again, after three days. They remembered that. They understood what Jesus was talking about, that He's going to rise again on the third day, and they were afraid that His disciples would steal His body away and stage the resurrection. They hated Him, the Jews, they hated Jesus. They hated His disciples. So, they weren't going to allow them to stage a resurrection. So, they placed some guards there.
When the angel shows up, what happens to the guards? They fall down, like dead men, they hit the dirt. They're down. Then they’re lying on the ground passed out. They eventually come to, and while the women were on their way to the tomb, the guards get up and they go and report what had happened to the chief priests. They now go over to where the chief priests are gathered...where the Sanhedrin is, and the guards now go and tell them what has happened. Which, by the way, what did the Jews then do? They tell them, "here we will pay you off, and just tell a lie. Don't tell them the truth." (Matt 28:11-15)
But these women didn't show up to the tomb as the guards leave to go and tell the chief priests, these women then show up and they see that the stone has been rolled away. This large stone has been pushed back away from the tomb. And these women are in shock. So, what did they do? Look at verse 5. "Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe, and they were amazed." (Mark 16:5)
These women arrive and they go into the tomb, and they see a young man sitting at the right. Who is this young man? He's an angel. He's an angel. This is amazing. Angels announced the birth of Jesus, and now the angels announce the resurrection of Jesus as well. We know that this is an angel because of the white robe that he's wearing. Matthew also clearly tells us that this was an angel. And in fact, Luke tells us that there were two angels in there. Matthew and Mark, they only tell us of one angel, because he is the one who is speaking. They speak of one angel because there's only one angel who actually speaks to these women.
Now look at the response of these women as they see the angel sitting there. Look at the end of verse 5. What does it say there? They were what? Amazed. They were amazed. This word "amazed" here has a mixture of fear and wonder. This is fear and wonder. The Greek word for "amazed" means "to be moved to a relatively intense emotional state because of something causing great surprise or perplexity, to be overwhelmed or to be alarmed."
“This is what happens by the way to people in the Bible when an angel shows up. They don't have warm fuzzy feelings. They don't have a nice conversation with an angel. They're terrified, fearful. That's how we know when people claim to have visitations from angels today. It's not true. Ask them. "So, how did you respond?" "Well, I had warm, fuzzy feelings." It wasn't an angel. Because according to the Bible, when an angel appears, they are terrified. They are fearful.”
They're amazed that an angel has appeared. And complete amazement has overcome these women. They are overwhelmed with amazement as they arrive at the tomb and meet an angel.
Which leads to our second point this morning, point number two, The Angel in the Tomb. The Angel in the Tomb. Look at verse 6. “And he 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. (Mark 16:6)
Now we know the angel is sitting to the right of them as they walk into the tomb. In fact, that was where Joseph and Nicodemus had laid Jesus, one of the two angel speaks and says, "Do not be amazed." He obviously knows they're amazed. He knows the fear and the terror that these women have, as they see the angel there. And he says, "Do not be amazed." It was a command... Stop being so fearful and frightened...and... don’t be alarmed that the tomb is empty. Why would they be alarmed? Well, remember, they have been witnesses to both the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus. They've seen it all. Now, these women are witnesses of an empty tomb. And it takes an angel to help them understand what is going on here, because they are in such amazement.
Notice the angel says to them, "you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified." He identifies Jesus so that they know that they're not at the wrong tomb. You didn't arrive to the wrong, you're here at the right place, women. You're looking for Jesus, the Nazarene. The one you saw on Friday, crucified and buried. You're at the right place. He wants them to know that they've come to the right tomb and that the man that they're looking for, is no longer there. He's gone. And so, he tells them, "He has risen. He is not here." (Mark 16:6) There's an explanation for why Jesus was not in the tomb. It wasn't because someone came and stole His body away. It wasn't because they were at the wrong tomb. He wasn't there in the tomb because He has risen! In fact, he even says, look, "here's the place where they laid him." Here it is. And these women would have known exactly where Joseph and Nicodemus laid Him because they were watching the entire burial take place. They saw it on Friday evening.
And so, they are given concrete evidence that the man that they are looking for is not there because He has risen. Listen, this wasn't a vision that they were having. This wasn't some kind of dream. This is hard evidence that Jesus is not in the tomb. He is no longer lying in the spot that Joseph and Nicodemus put Him in. Why? Because He is risen.
Now what's amazing is this word "risen." This word risen, in the Greek is in the passive voice. It's in the passive voice, meaning that the action happened to Him. He was risen or made alive by someone else. Passive. It happened to Him. This was what we call a divine passive, a divine passive, meaning God is the One who raised Jesus from the dead. It happened to Him. But the interesting thing is that in the Greek it can also carry the active sense, meaning He has been raised by His own power. So, which is true? Both are. Both are true. God raised Him from the dead, and Jesus raised Himself.
How do we know that? John chapter 10 in verse 18, Jesus said, "no one has taken it (that is my life) "away from me. But I lay it down on My own initiative, I have the authority to lay it down." And listen, "I have the authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (John 10:18)
He has the authority to raise His own life. So, both the Father and the Son were active and raising Jesus from the dead. But we also know from 1 Peter 3:18, and Romans 8:11, that the Holy Spirit also raised Jesus from the dead as well. Listen, the whole Trinity was at work in that tomb. The Trinity, was at perfect work, bringing the Son back to life in that tomb that day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God was working the whole time, at the cross. And in the tomb, God was at work.
Now, the angel isn't done with these women. He has some instructions for them. Look at verse 7. “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” (Mark 16:7) These women are given a task. They were to go and tell Jesus disciples and Peter that He is going to go ahead of you to Galilee.
On that Sunday morning, these women went from bystanders to broadcasters. They went from arriving to the tomb to anoint Jesus, to leaving the tomb as announcers of Jesus. They were no longer to be eyewitnesses of the accounts of Jesus death, burial resurrection, they were now to be heralds and proclaimers of Christ. And isn't that what all of us should be? Isn't that our task as well? To be heralds of Christ?
Now, why does the angel single out Peter like this? Isn't this interesting? Well, why, Peter? Why not just go tell all the disciples (Peter obviously included in that) Why does the angel say, "go tell the disciples and Peter?" Well, who was the leader of the twelve? Peter was, he was the leading disciple. Who rebuked Jesus, after Jesus told His disciples that He was going to be killed and rise again, after three days? Peter was, to which Jesus said to him, what? "Get behind Me, Satan!" (Mark 8:33) Who denied Jesus three times during His trial? Peter did. Who needed comfort to know that Jesus was alive? Peter did. Peter needed this news. He needed to know that Jesus is alive.
What was the message that they were to bring to Peter and the disciples? That He is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see Him just as He told you. Jesus was going to meet the disciples back at home base, back in Galilee. That was home base for their ministry, where they had spent a lot of time. Galilee was the central home of Jesus' ministry, and it was where the disciples had learned for three years from Jesus.
Now, we know that Jesus also appeared to them while they were still in Jerusalem during the Passover. He came and appeared to them. But if you remember back in Mark 14:28, Jesus told them, "but after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." (Mark 14:28) What is Jesus doing here? Jesus is keeping His promise. He's keeping His promise. And the disciples needed to know this. Just as Jesus told you that He is going to meet you back in Galilee.
Now the women need to go and tell the disciples, “Hey, guess what? We saw an angel and the angel said to us, that Jesus is going to meet you back in Galilee." Jesus always keeps His promises. Not only did He keep His promise of rising again on the third day, but He will also keep His promise to meet them back in Galilee. And these disciples needed this. Peter needed to know this. Because remember, the disciples didn't believe Jesus, when He told them that He was going to rise again! In fact, Peter said, No, you're not, you're not going to be killed and rise again. (see Mark 8:32 for context)
They didn't believe. They thought His death was final. It was over for Jesus. Peter witnessed His trial. John was there, standing with Mary at the cross. He saw it. He saw Jesus hanging on a cross. They thought it's over. But they needed to know that Jesus is faithful and will always keep His promises. And just as He said, He will rise again on the third day -- He did! And they needed to know this. Jesus is faithful. Even when we fail, He will never fail. Because He is always faithful to keep His promises.
Well, the women are now tasked with a mission to go and tell the disciples. And this leads to our third and final point this morning, The Amazement After the Tomb. The Amazement After the Tomb. Look at verse 8. “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.” (Mark 16:8)
They heard what the angel had said. They don't stick around the tomb. But they flee from the tomb with trembling and astonishment. That word "trembling" there means "to quake or to quiver with fear." Fear had overcome them, literally, their bodies were shaking, because of what these women had just seen. They just saw two angels there, in the tomb, where Jesus was laid. They knew He was laid there. They saw with their own eyes, and now they arrived at the tomb and Jesus is gone. And there were two angels that were there, who met them in this tomb, and they are astonished. They're trembling. That word "astonishment" there means "to be in a state of consternation or profound emotional experience, to the point of being beside oneself in a state of awe and amazement."
Mark also tells us that the left afraid. That word is "phobeo" in the Greek and it means "to be in an apprehensive state." They aren't afraid that something's going to happen to them during this time. But they can't process what's going on because what is happening is beyond reason. They had hard evidence -- they witnessed with their own eyes -- what happened to their Savior. And now He's not there. And angels appear to them. They can't process... what is going on here? What is happening? Jesus isn't in the tomb. What's going on? They can't explain this. This was an amazing emotional experience for these women. Trembling, astonishment, and fear had filled these women as they witnessed not only the angel in the tomb, but they saw that Jesus wasn't there because He was alive.
Notice what it says there? "They said nothing to anyone." These women said nothing to anyone. This doesn't mean that they kept the resurrection a secret for the rest of their lives and never said anything to anyone. But they didn't go out and make a big announcement in Jerusalem. Why? Because their task was to go and tell the disciples first. That's exactly what the angel commanded them to do, right? Go and tell the disciples, these women were obedient to that. Okay, we will go and find the disciples, and we'll tell them. Luke tells us of the fulfillment of this, Luke 24, verse 9, "they returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest." (Luke 24:9) They did what the angel commanded them to do. Obedient women.
But something happened to these women on their way to go and tell the disciples, I love this. Turn back to Matthew 28. Matthew 28. Matthew tells us what happened to these women, as they were obedient to the angel, to the command of the angel to go and tell the disciples, Matthew 28, look at verse 8. "And they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great" what? "joy and ran to report it to His disciples." And look at this, verse 9. "And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him." (Matt 28:8-9)
Notice that when they ran from the tomb, they had fear and great joy. What an emotional morning for these women! Trembling, astonishment, fear, great joy! This was an emotional morning. But then they meet Jesus, our risen Savior. He's alive. And what does their joy turn into? Look at this? In verse 9, at the end, "they came up and took hold of his feet and" did what? They worshipped Him, their joy turned into worship!
And listen, that is what this great news of the resurrection must do for us as well. It should cause us to worship our Savior. Yes, we have great joy, as we sing the songs we have great joy, as we gather together with family, we have great joy as we enjoy a meal with one another. We have great joy as we're gathered together on this Resurrection Sunday. But listen, our joy must be turned into worship! Worship of Him!
But listen, you can only worship Jesus, if you know Him. You can only worship Jesus, if you know Him. If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you might sing songs, but it's not worship. Because He's not Lord of your life. He's not your king. He's not your Savior. In order to have true worship of Christ, you must be born again. And that only happens by repenting of your sin and putting your faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
That is why these women fell down at His feet and worshipped Him because they believed in Him. They trusted Him. They loved Him. They had faith in Him. And Jesus calls all to turn from their sin and place their faith in Him. And this morning, if you are here and you have not done that, I urge you to do that today. To come to Jesus, repent of your sin, realize and recognize that your sin has separated you from a holy and righteous God. That your sin is leading you to an eternity in hell. But Jesus came to offer you an eternity of life, eternal life in Him. And He commands you to turn from your sin and put your trust in Him alone. Give your life fully over to Him, and live for Him, and He will grant you the greatest gift of all -- the gift of eternal salvation.
For those of us who have placed our faith in Him, may our joy of the resurrection this morning, be turned into worship. May we leave from this place this morning as worshipers of Jesus. And may we live lives of worship to our Lord and Savior, who died for our sins, who was buried, and who rose again on the third day.
Let's pray. Father, we are amazed. Amazed at the resurrection of our Savior. We are astonished. Just as these women were astonished and amazed at what they had seen. We are amazed that You would send Your only Son... perfect, holy and righteous Son to come and live a perfect life on this earth. And then to go to a cross to make the payment for our sins, a payment that none of us could make. Father, You know that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) And there's nothing good enough that any of us can do to save ourselves from our sin. But we thank You that You sent Your Son to die on that cross and make that payment for us. We thank You that He was buried on Friday, in your perfect timing. And that He was dead for three days. But Father, we thank You that He did not stay dead, but that He rose again on the third day. And He lives today. And He sits at Your right hand and He intercedes for us. He is our mediator, our Great High Priest. Father, we thank You for Christ.
Father, I pray that our joy this morning would be turned into worship. That every day we would worship our Savior, that we would live in obedience to You, and what You've commanded us to do in Your Word, as we live lives of worship unto You. Father, we thank You for our time this morning in Your Word. I pray for anyone who is here that does not know You. Father, I pray that You would save them. I pray that You would grant them the gift of repentance and faith this morning. That they would turn from their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins. And that You would grant them the free gift, the best gift of all -- the gift of eternal life for Your glory. We pray in Christ's name. Amen.