Sermon #75 Mark Sermons
Title: “WHEN THE SABBATH WAS PAST”
Text: Mark 16:1-8
Subject: Lessons From The Empty Tomb
Date: Sunday Morning - February 28, 1999
Tape # V-14b
Reading: Psalm 89:1-37
The passage before us is bursting with rich gospel truths and practical spiritual lessons. So, let me forego any introductory comments and go directly to our text. Hold your Bibles open on your laps. May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher, as I set before you the seven lessons of this passage. What blessed lessons they are!
I. The Sabbath Is Past.
That is the first thing we read in this chapter. - “And when the sabbath was past” (v. 1). Without question, this means that the old, Jewish sabbath was past. It was now, Sunday morning, the dawning of the first day of the week. But it was not accidental that our Lord was raised from the dead on this particular day. The resurrection of Christ from the dead declares that the Old Testament law of sabbath keeping is now past, and day of grace has dawned!
Look at Matthew 28:1. This is a very remarkable verse of Scripture. I wish you could all read this text in its original language.
The verse quite literally reads, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the sabbath.” I take the verse to mean this - When the Lord Jesus Christ died at Calvary and rose again, the old sabbath of the law ended and the new sabbath of grace began!
Christ fulfilled the law for us. “Christ is the end of the law.” - “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” - In Christ we are “dead to the law.” Language could not be more clear. We are not under the law, but under grace. One of the most beautiful pictures of this is found right here in Mark 16:1. Here the Holy Spirit tells us that the sabbath is past.
A. We keep no legal sabbath day, because God strictly forbids it (Col. 2:16-17).
B. We keep no legal sabbath because we keep the blessed sabbath of faith.
Christ is our sabbath. We rest in him. You cannot rest in him if you try to keep a legal sabbath. And you cannot labor under the yoke of the law if you rest in him. Either you are working, or you are resting. You simply cannot do both at the same time.
C. Come to Christ and rest!
· Rest Given!
· Rest Found!
II. There is no power in all the World Like Love to Make Us Bold And Courageous.
A mother’s love will cause a timid, little woman to fight a huge, armed man in defense of her child. A husband’s love will cause him to leap into death itself to protect his wife. Well did the wise man say, “Love is strong as death…Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
Yet, our text sets before us a love that exceeds the love of a husband for his wife. It even exceeds the love of a mother for her child. Here we see a little band of three women going early in the morning to the tomb of the Lord Jesus, to honor him and take care of his dead body.
Try to understand how significant this is. They came in the early hours of the morning, before the sun was up, to the tomb of a man who had been…
· publicly condemned as a common malefactor.
· despised and rejected by the entire nation.
· buried, with his tomb sealed, and his body under the guard of specially appointed soldiers.
A. What gave these women such courage, such boldness?
These dear ladies had tasted the Lord’s pardoning mercy. Their hearts were filled with love for him who died for them. They felt a great sense of gratitude to him. They felt that they owed him a great debt of love, a debt they could never pay. They believed the Lord; and, believing him, they loved him. For Christ, they were willing to hazard their own lives. They were willing to do so, not because he commanded them to do so, but just because they loved him. They could not do much; but they must do what they could. So they came to the Lord’s tomb.
B. Why do we see so little of this strong love for Christ today?
Why is it that we meet with few today who are moved by such strong love for Christ that they are willing to hazard their lives for him? -- So few who are willing to face any danger, make any sacrifice, and walk into raging storms and roaring fires for Christ’s sake?
There is only one answer. It is that in this day there seems to be a prevailing, terribly low sense of debt and obligation to the Son of God.
· A low sense of sin will always produce a low sense of grace.
· A low sense of debt will always produce a low sense of duty.
· A low sense of forgiveness will always result in a low sense of love.
C. It is the love of Christ which constrains believers to serve and honor him.
· In Giving
· In Forgiving
· In Worship
· In Service
· In Life
Grace experienced causes gratitude to be exercised. Tasting the love of Christ makes people loyal to Christ. Faith makes men faithful. A sure hope in Christ causes saved sinners to live for the honor of Christ.
III. MOST OF OUR FEARS ARE NEEDLESS FEARS.
As they walked to the tomb on that early Sunday morning, these women were filled with fears concerning things they thought they might face; but all their fears were needless. That which they feared did not come to pass. They expected trouble they never had to face.
How much like these fearful women we are! Most of our worrying and anxiety arises from things we fear may happen, but never do happen. We tend to anticipate troubles that never come to pass. We all tend to carry tomorrow’s troubles. But, usually, our doubts, and fears, and unbelief prove to be utterly groundless. Our Lord taught us better.
How foolish our worrying is! I do not remember ever pacing the floor, worrying about anything that actually came to pass!
Let us ever be confident of the Lord’s presence, provision, and protection. Trust his providence. The lions we fear are on God’s chain. The dark giants we apprehend are just shadows of darkness.
Be not dismayed whate’er betide.
Beneath His wings of love abide.
God will take care of you.
Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.
All you may need He will provide,
Nothing you need will be denied,
God will take care of you.
No matter what may be the test,
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.
IV. The Angels Of God Are Our Friends.
When Mary Magdalene and her friends came into the tomb, they saw an angel in the form of a man, and were frightened by him. But the angel quickly calmed their fears.
This may, at first, seem insignificant. After all, the Lord no longer speaks to men by angels (Heb. 1:1-3). Angels no longer appear to men in visible form. But there is a day coming when we will again see them, hoards of them all at once. When Christ comes again to judge the world, he will come with his holy angels. But when we see them, God’s elect will have no reason to fear these majestic, holy beings. This is what the Scriptures say…
· The angels will gather together God’s elect from the four corners of the earth.
· The angels will gather the wheat into the barn and bind up the tares for the burning.
· Those whom the angels take shall be carried up to heaven, to glory, to honor, and to immortality.
· Those whom the angels leave behind shall be left to shame and everlasting contempt.
A. The angels of God rejoice in heaven when Christ gathers in his sheep, one by one (Lk. 15).
B. The angels visit our assemblies to learn about redeeming love and saving grace (Eph. 3:10).
C. The angels of God are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be the heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14).
D. The angels of God are our friends and companions in the kingdom of Christ (Heb. 12:22-24).
I am sure we will never know, as long as we live in this mortal state, what great friends the angels of God are to us. But, when we rise from our graves, we will see the angels themselves and be embraced by them as friends to our souls. We will spend eternity in the company of those blessed spirits.
V. The Justice Of God Has Been Manifestly Satisfied By The Sacrificial, Sin-Atoning Death Of The Lord Jesus Christ, Our All-Glorious Substitute.
Listen, now, to the words of this angel to these women, and understand, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that we now have nothing to fear, not even from God himself.
A. Our Savior’s name is Jesus – Jehovah who saves!
B. He is Jesus of Nazareth – A real man!
C. This man, who is himself God, was crucified – Slain under the curse of God’s law, bearing all the wrath of God against our sins, as our Substitute!
D. This One who bore our sins in his own body on the tree is now risen from the dead – Raised again for our justification!
E. The stone, rolled against his tomb, to seal it, by the hand of the law, was rolled away by the hand of God!
Listen sinner, will you listen to this preacher? -- If you have come here today seeking Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified Son of God, who has now ascended to heaven, you have nothing to fear! He lived, died, rose again, and now sits upon the throne of grace to save poor, needy sinners!
VI. The Grace Of God Is Immutable.
Look at verse seven. Here is immutable grace, immaculate mercy, infinite, indestructible love…
· Tell my disciples who have forsaken me…
· Tell Peter who has denied me…
· Tell them that I go before them…
· Tell them that I will meet them in Galilee, just like I said I would!
All are pardoned. All are forgiven. Grace is free. There is no breach between us!
This is not the way of men! I think that our views of God and his grace are weakest right here – NONE OF US HAVE ANY IDEA HOW EXCEEDINGLY WILLING HE IS TO FORGIVE INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION, AND SIN! At this point, we all think that God is such a one as ourselves. What shameful unbelief! We forget that “HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY!”
A. God’s forgiveness is free!
B. God’s forgiveness is full!
C. God’s forgiveness is forever!
When we talk about Christ, the Son of God, and God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit, when we speak of God’s mercy, love, grace, and forgiveness, let us ever throw open to guilty sinners, to the widest extent possible the doors of mercy. Ever remember, “HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY!” Let us never be guilty of restricting God’s mercy!
Is the Son of God so ready to forgive us? Let us, then, be ready always to forgive one another!
Look at verse seven again, and learn this final lesson…
VII. He Who Is God Our Savior Is Faithful And True – A God To Be Trusted!
Our Savior’s name is “Faithful and True.” What he has promised, he will do.
A. He will do everything he has said he will do.
B. He will go before you, my brother, my sister, all the days of your life.
C. He has gone before you.
· Into Great Trouble.
· Into The Tomb.
· Into Heaven.
D. There you shall see him!