RESURRECTION SUNDAY 2018
There are some things that happened during the Crucifixion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, that are only mentioned in the Gospel of John. One reason for this is that he was the only one of the Twelve Disciples who actually witnessed the Crucifixion. This is attested to in John 19: 25 – 26
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’
We know that John was the disciple that Jesus loved by reviewing John 21: 20 – 24. In that passage, occurring after Christ’s resurrection, John reveals that Peter expressed a certain level of jealousy towards John about Jesus’ apparent closer relationship with John. Jesus explained to Peter how he would die to glorify God, then told him, “Follow Me.” Jesus then asked Peter that if he willed something for John, what was that to Peter? His job was to follow Jesus;
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”
Peter,…, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?’” Jesus said to him If I will (desire) that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’
John refers to himself outright in verse 24;
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
We know why Jesus came into the world;
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3: 16
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3: 8
When Jesus, on the cross, released his spirit and his human body died, he did so because his work on the earth as a man was completed. We have the report of the eyewitness, Apostle John.
Then He said to the disciple,”Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “IT IS FINISHED!” (Emphasis mine.) And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
John 19: 27 – 30
John goes on to report that the “Jews” (the members of the Sanhedrin and others who hated Jesus,) requested that the legs of Jesus and the two who were crucified with him be broken and they be removed from the crosses before the official beginning of the Sabbath. The legs were broken during crucifixion to prevent prisoners from supporting themselves and avoiding suffocation.
The two had their legs broken and they suffocated. Jesus’ legs were not broken, because he was already dead. His side was pierced, spewing forth blood and water. The eyewitness continued;
And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, (P “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”(Psalm 34: 20) And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” (Zechariah 12: 10)
John further reports that two other disciples of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, redeemed Jesus’ body from Pilate. They prepared and placed His body in a new, unused tomb. On the first day of the week, (Sunday-which is why many of us gather to worship the Lord on this day,) Mary Magdalene went to the tomb before anyone else and found the covering stone rolled away and Jesus’ body gone.
She hurried to inform Peter and John, who both went to the tomb with her and found the burial clothing and the tomb empty. The men went away to their homes, but Mary stayed, weeping. Two angels appeared to her, questioning her sorrow. When she turned around, Jesus was standing there beside her, but she did not recognize him through her sorrow. He spoke her name and she then knew who it was. He assigned her to go and tell the disciples that he was risen. Thus began the first of many sightings and interactions with the Risen King.
Jesus appeared, Immauel-God with us (Matthew 1: 23), that same evening to the disciples as they were gathered behind closed doors where he breathed on them and imparted the Holy Spirit upon them; eight days later he appeared to them in the same place and demonstrated his holiness to Thomas. (John 20: 19 – 29) John tells us that Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that were not written.
Jesus appeared to them again, preparing breakfast for them at the Sea of Tiberias. (John 21) It is written in the Gospel of Luke (24: 13 – 36) that Jesus appeared to two of his disciples on their travel to the village of Emmaeus. They recognized him not until later in the evening when he broke bread for them, blessed it and then vanished.
When they returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples about the Risen King, he appeared in the midst of them and ate food with them. (Luke 24: 42)
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…”and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.
Luke 24: 44, 46 – 51
Jesus came into the world to redeem us from sin, to destroy the power of the devil, to empower us to tread upon Satan and his helpers by healing, restoring and setting free people from oppression by Satan, and to spread the Good News of his victory over Satan, hell and death for all who would believe.
The ball is in our court! We don’t need to ask him for things, we only need to do as he did, speak God’s word, in Jesus’ name, into our lives and the lives of others, and believe. He has done all he came here to do, the rest is up to us. As for Jesus’ work on earth–
“IT IS FINISHED!”
Surely I am coming quickly. Amen, Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all (with all the saints.) Amen.
Revelation 22: 20 – 21
All Scripture from New King James Version of the Bible
Minister Ronnie Stricklin
A version of this feature appears in the Gospel publication “Just Good News,” Milwaukee, WI