“AM I COMING, OR AM I GOING?” (Matthew 28:1-7)
April 1, 2018 SonRise Service 7:30 AM
Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor
TODAY’S FUNNY: Have you heard the news?
There is a new law being passed that will allow dogs and cats to be deducted as dependents on your tax returns! You can now deduct as many as 100 pets!
The new law is proposed to encourage more people to have pets instead of children. But please be careful…
The law only applies to one day of the year, April 1st!
Happy April Fool’s day!!!!
INTRODUCTION: It won’t be long until summer really comes. It will be warm weather every day. The screen will be put back in the storm door. And your children and grandchildren will be using – and slamming – that door often! And you will be drawn to the border of your patience when you finally yell out, “WILL YOU DECIDE IF YOU ARE COMING OR YOU ARE GOING?”
Our text has an invitation – and it is the same one that you will yell at your wayward and annoying kids. It will cause us to ask ourselves, “am I coming or am I going?”. And all this occurs on the first Resurrection Morn. Let’s check it out! PRAYER
#1 THE SETTING (vs. 1-6a)
* the time: v. 1a
* the participants: v. 1b Ladies! Those who were in their society’s time frame unworthy, untouchable, least of the least! Yet they were also the privileged ones – among the first to see what God has done!
* the angel: vs. 2-3 Note the description “appearance was like lightning” – just like our Savior in the Transfiguration. The idea is of a brightness which is other-worldly. God doesn’t mix words when it comes to doing the best He can with the limited earthly vocabulary we have!
* the guards v. 4 Note their fear. When you see depictions of angels in movies and in books, is there this fear? Why not? Because those are not Biblical insights, but man-made!
* the announcement v. 5. The angel could do no more. He could only share evidence. He could try to remove fear. BUT he could not evangelize! He is not able to do that. He can only make an announcement. The rest is up to God’s creation – us!
#2 THE COMING (v. 6)
* The first word of invitation in the Scripture is the word “Come”. Do you remember when “come” first appeared? In the Hebrew, Gen. 7:1, the invite to come into the ark! Everything was ready! The flood was coming! The ark was prepared! Come into the ark prepared for your safety through the flood!
* Now, many years later, the angel announces, “Come and see the empty tomb”.
ILLUSTRATION: I bet in your lifetime you have been to many scenic places! Perhaps they are considered “monuments”, like the Statue of Liberty, or Jefferson’s Memorial, or the Vietnam Memorial. Or perhaps it was a famous piece of artistry, like the Mona Lisa (which really isn’t very big!). Or perhaps it was a wonder of nature, like Niagara Falls. The first time we were there was at midnight – and boy was it loud! But we couldn’t see a thing – until we went back years later during the daytime. Think of your scenic places. And that is what the angel was inviting these ladies to observe.
* Only this scenic place wasn’t a tourist trap. The examination to “come” was not just to look at it and mark of that place on your bucket list. Because note the connecting words: “come and see”
At least 10 times in Scripture these words – “come and see” – are an invitation into the eternal:
Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. (Psalm 66:5)
And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)
These and the others are invitations not to gaze but to look and trust. And so it is with Matt. 28:6. Come and see. Gaze and trust. He’s not here! He’s alive! He did what He said He would do! He died on the cross for your sin! He was buried! And He rose from the dead on the third day! Come and see the evidences of His resurrection! Trust!
But then what were they to do with what they came and saw?
#3 THE GOING (v. 7)
* Note the order: come see where He lay (past tense – He’s no longer there!); then GO! QUICKLY! TELL!
* First there is the going and giving encouragement to those who were walking daily with the Savior for the past 3 plus years.
* But then there would be the going and sharing the good news of the gospel to those who may have never heard the good news!
Look at verses 18-20. What a commission! And what a promise! Literally, it means “WHILE YOU ARE GOING, make disciples”.
And note the promise – I am with you always. The resurrected Savior is with us!
CONCLUSION. Listen for the slamming screen door. Coming or going?
Are you coming to look for evidence of the risen Savior? Have you applied that evidence to your life?
OR are you going? Are you looking to encourage your fellow believers as well as those in the world that the Savior has died for them, was buried, and His resurrection proves it!
Coming? Or Going?
Close in Prayer