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Mark 16:1-8 THE MESSAGE OF THE EASTER ANGEL

Intro: Throughout the Bible, God used angels to make special announcements to humans. For instance, He used an angel to:

1. Send a message of destruction to Lot in Sodom – Gen. 19
2. Announce the birth of Samson – Jgd. 13
3. Announce the birth of John the Baptist – Luke 1
4. Announce the conception of Christ – Luke 1:11
5. Announce the birth of Christ – Luke 2:8-14

It seems that when God has an announcement of extreme importance, He often sends that message through an angel. From reading the Bible, it kind of makes you wonder if angels ever get a day off! In our text, we are presented with an angel that made an announcement that still echoes throughout the universe almost 2,000 years later. It is this special message from that Easter angel that I want us to consider this morning.

On that first Easter morning, as dawn was breaking on a world that was forever changed, a special angel delivered a special message, a message that is still vital today. Let’s take just a few moments to hear the message of the Easter angel.

(Ill. The Context) Fear and dread filled the hearts of this little band of women as they made their way through the still and dark streets of Jerusalem early that Sunday morning. They were going to the tomb of the man they had all believed to be the Messiah, the man for whom they had left all other things behind. They were going to the tomb of a man who had promised life to all who came unto Him, but who was now, Himself, dead. Certainly, they were confused and confounded as they came near the tomb. They were also concerned about the huge stone that covered the door into the tomb. How would they ever gain access to the body? How could these three women ever hope to move a stone that weighed several hundred pounds? Yet they proceeded, carried along by their tender mission, that of finishing the preparations for burial of the body of Christ. As they came within sight of the tomb, they were astounded to see the stone rolled away and the Roman guards lying like dead men all around the mouth of the tomb. Seeing this, they ran to the tomb and looked in, only to find that the body of Jesus was gone. What fear must have gripped their hearts! Perhaps they feared that the Jewish rulers or the Romans had taken the body to prevent His Disciples from faking His resurrection. Maybe they suspected that grave robbers had taken the body and would use it in some extortion plot. Whatever the doubts and concerns that may have filled their hearts, they were short lived. Because, suddenly, the women noticed a "young man" sitting upon the stone, Matt. 28:2-3. This angel sees their fear and begins to speak to them. In doing so, he delivers a message of hope that still has the power to change lives this morning. Let’s listen in and hear for ourselves "The Message Of The Easter Angel."

It is a message of:

I. v. 6a PEACE (Ill. "Be not Affrighted")

A. Ill. The fear these ladies must have felt upon seeing the angel. But what grace that the first words from his lips are words of peace. Yet, this is how the Lord always deals with His people – 2 Tim. 1:7.

B. It is very appropriate that His resurrection should be attended with a message of peace. Because after 2,000 years, His resurrection from the dead is still bringing that same message of peace to the hearts of all who believe in Him!

C. Notice just a few of the area of life where His resurrection gives peace:

1. Salvation – Heb. 7:25

2. Death – John 11:25-26

3. Eternity – John 14:1-3 (Ill. John saw a glimpse of the glorified Christ and He is doing well! Rev. 1:13-18. He is alive and waiting on His children to come home!)

4. Life Itself – John 14:16-18

D. I don’t know about you folks, but those things give me true peace of heart!It is not only a message of Peace, but it is also a message of:

II. v. 6b POWER (Ill. "He is Risen!")

A. Jesus wasn’t the first man to get up from the dead, (Ill. Lazarus – John 11; The Widow of Nain’s son – Luke 7; Jairus’ daughter – Mark 5), but He was the first to ever get up to die no more! (Ill. All the others were just resuscitations, Jesus accomplished a true resurrection.)

B. Because He was able to conquer death, all those who receive Him as their personal Saviour become partakers of that same resurrection power. (Ill. At the very moment of salvation, His resurrection is imputed to us and we become alive in Him, Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11. This is that "abundant life" which Jesus spoke of, John 10:10.)

C. All this great resurrection power will be ultimately realized when Jesus returns and raises the dead in Christ. Imagine all those departed saints resurrected from the dead and glorified to live forever with Jesus! (Ill. 1 Thes. 4:13-18 – What a day that will be just doesn’t do it justice!)

D. If God’s people will take the time to look around them and see what the Lord has done in saving the lost and changing the lives of the redeemed, it becomes plain that the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus is active all around us today. Every redeemed sinner is a testimony to the life-changing; life-giving power of the risen Christ. After all, a dead man doesn’t have the power to change anyone! But a living Lord can work miracles in any wrecked and ruined life, 1 Cor. 5:17.

Not only is it a message of Peace and Power, it is also a message of:

III. v. 6c POTENTIAL (Ill. "He is not Here!")

A. After Jesus rose from the dead, He immediately disappears and appears to be busy doing something important. (Ill. His appearance to Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-18. Jesus forbids Mary from touching him that morning because He was on His way to the Father.)

B. As The Great High Priest, Jesus would be the One required to make the offering of the blood upon the mercy seat that would atone for the sins of the world. It seems that that is what Jesus was doing that morning in His absence from the tomb, Ill. Heb. 9:6-14. (Ill. The great praise that must have filled Heaven when Jesus placed His Blood upon the mercy seat!)

C. This work of the risen Lord is forever finished, Heb. 10:12. However do not think for a minute that Jesus is not busy this morning. He is still alive and He is still active on our behalf. He is:

1. Acting as our Intercessor – Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34

2. Watching over us always – Heb. 4:13; (Ill. He feels our pain – Heb. 4:15) (Ill. He is more concerned about our affairs than we are – Ill. He stood up when Stephen was stoned. The needs of God’s people literally move Heaven – Acts 7:55.)

3. Acting as our Advocate – 1 John 2:2

4. Preparing a place for Us – John 14:1-3

5. Waiting for the Father to send Him after His Children – Heb. 10:13.

D. Jesus shares a common trait with every other living thing this morning; He is active. But, His activity is all for the benefit of His people!

Not only is it a message of Peace, Power, and Potential, it is also a message of:

IV. v. 7 PROMISE (Ill. "Ye shall see Him")

A. The angel closed his message to these women by reminding them of the Lord’s promise. They would see him again. This word from the Lord must have lifted their hearts. They had come to the tomb that morning expecting to see a dead body, they left it with the promise that they would look upon His living face. Can you imagine their excitement?

B. My friends, they don’t have a thing on us this morning! We may not be able to see the risen Lord there in Galilee, but we have a promise that may be just a bit better. You see, we too shall see His face, Rev. 22:4, not in Galilee, but in Glory!

C. In fact, we will see Him first of all in the clouds above the earth, 1 Thes. 4:16-17. Then, we will see Him returning in glory, Rev. 19:11-16. Then, we will see Him ruling this earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Rev. 19:15. Then, we will see His face forever in all His glory in Heaven above. I don’t know about you, but Jesus will be Heaven enough for this old sinner saved by grace! (Ill. When we see Him, we will forever be reminded of the awful price He paid for us at Calvary – Rev. 5:6; John 20:25. He is still a "Lamb as it had been slain!" And, forever, in His body, He will bear the marks of His love for us!

D. Heaven will be wonderful because we will get to see Jesus. (Ill. What we deserved!)

Conc: This Easter angel preached a pretty powerful message don’t you think? I am personally convinced that this is the most important message ever delivered by an angel to humanity. I just praise the Lord this morning that I know Jesus in a personal way and that I am saved. How about you? You know? He is still saving souls today! He is still blessing hearts today! He is still filling His servants today! How can this be? Because He lives! Because what the angel said is still true, "He is risen, He is not here!" To that, I say "Glory to God!" Do you need something from the living Christ this morning? If so, then come and get it! He lives for you!

Sermon By Alan Carr

 




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