Alive! – John 20:1-13

Posted on March 27, 2016


This is the Easter message delivered at Hillcrest Baptist church on March 27, 2016. Included in this post are my sermon notes, and an audio recording of the message.


John 20:1-13



Mary headed out first thing in the morning, seeking Jesus, and she fully expected to find Him still there. . . in the tomb. . . dead. Even though she though He was dead, she was still going to honor Him. This is a beautiful picture of love and devotion. However, she knew she would face a problem. There was a big rock blocking her way, and she knew she was incapable of moving it.

  • Mark 16:3

What she found, was that the huge stone had been moved out of her way, revealing an empty tomb. What had appeared to be a serious roadblock, had been moved out of the way. Why? Because she was seeking The Lord. . . But where was He? What a shock this must have been. It seemed that God had moved a major roadblock, only to raise more questions. Jesus was gone, why, now what?

We should expect this in our Christian life. As God removes roadblocks and clears our path, that doesn’t always make the destination clear. Often, the more that is revealed along our journey, the more questions we will have. It breeds faith, we must learn to trust God.

Mary runs and tells Peter and John that someone had taken the body of Jesus, and they all go back to the tomb.

Upon further inspection, as Peter enters the tomb, He found the handkerchief from Jesus’ head neatly folded. This is an interesting clue from ancient near east tradition.

If the master of the house were eating a meal and gets up from the table, if he drops a wadded up napkin it means he is finished. However, if he folds the napkin an places it down, it means he will return. Jesus was telling them that He would return, but they still had not quite figured it out.

Mary stayed behind, crying at the place where Jesus had been. Crying over the loss of a dear friend. However, she would soon discover that she had not lost a friend, she had gained a Lord and Savior.

The Angels at the tomb asked her why she was crying, but this is not the only question they asked. In Luke 24:5 we see another question. “Why do you seek the living among the dead”? We should ask ourselves the same question today. All too often, we think we are seeking Jesus, but we act as if He is dead. Instead of relying on a living Savior, we try to solve every problem, and handle every difficulty ourselves.  We try to make ourselves good, we try to define our own self-worth, we try to justify ourselves before God. In short, we try to do things our way. When we do this, we treat Him like He is dead, because we never give Him the opportunity to take control.

The good news is that Jesus is not dead, He is alive and well.

  • Revelation 1:18
  • Hebrews 7:25

Mary sought Jesus that morning, thinking He was dead, and what she found was a living Savior. How beautiful is that? We have a living God, who is in control, and always working on our behalf.

  • The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, is undeniable proof that He is God.
  • The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, is undeniable proof that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father.
  • The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, is undeniable proof that Jesus has defeated death, and therefore has the power to save us.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:55

In fact, belief in the resurrection is essential to the Christian faith.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:14-19

It is impossible to deny the resurrection, and be a born again believer.

  • Romans 10:9

The resurrection (rightfully) made such an impression on the disciples, that they began to worship on Sunday, in honor of the Risen Savior. 
It made such an impression, that they lived the rest of their lives for the purpose of sharing the good news of our resurrected savior.

  • Christ’s resurrection tells us that we need not be alienated or estranged from God. 
  • By the resurrection, God demonstrated his desire for fellowship with us.
  • By the resurrection, Christ demonstrated the ultimate victory of good over evil.
  • The resurrection assures us that we can trust him completely.

Will you trust Him as your Savior?
Will you make it a point to tell a lost person about Him this week?
This is truly a time for celebrating and rejoicing.

Posted in: Holidays, Sermons