Sermon #76                                                Mark Sermons


          Title:            “WHEN JESUS WAS RISEN”

          Text:            Mark 16:9-14

          Subject:       The Resurrection and the Disciples

          Date:            Sunday Morning - March 6, 1999

          Tape #         V-16a

          Reading:      1 Corinthians 15:1-22



I read about an old woman last week, a believer, whose age began to take its toll on her, especially on her memory. At one time, she knew much of the Bible by heart. Eventually only one precious, little portion stayed with her: "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." Soon, part of that slipped from her mind, as well. She would be found often quietly repeating what she could of the text. Family and friends would here her going over it again and again. --"That which I have committed unto Him.” Just before she slipped out into glory, her children noticed her lips moving, and they bent over to hear what she was saying. She was repeating just one word, "Him...Him...Him." She had lost the whole Bible but one word. Yet, she had the whole Bible in that one word - “Him.”


·        This blessed Book is all about “Him.”

·        We have come here to worship “Him.”

·        I want you to know, trust, and love “Him.”

·        May God the Holy Spirit now set our hearts on “Him.”


          The title of my message is “WHEN JESUS WAS RISEN.” But I am not here to merely convince you of the doctrine of the resurrection. I want us to know him who is himself “The Resurrection and the Life.” May God give us grace to know him and the power of his resurrection. Let’s read Mark 16:9-14 together.


Mark 16:9-14  "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."


          There are three things in these verses of Inspiration to which I want to direct our attention this morning. I see in these verses…


1.    An Undeniable Fact

2.    An Unqualified Forgiveness

3.    An Unparalleled Friend


I.     The first thing that strikes me in this paragraph is this – The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is AN UNDENIABLE FACT.


          That which is, in many ways, the most important and most significant fact revealed in Holy Scripture is an undeniable, irrefutable fact of history. This is important for this reason – If the literal, bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead could be disproved, everything else in the Bible must crumble to dust. If there is no resurrection…


·        There is not redemption, no atonement.

·        There is no forgiveness.

·        There is no salvation.

·        There is no gospel.

·        There is no hope.

·        All who preach grace, salvation, atonement, forgiveness, and eternal life in Christ are false witnesses.

·        We are yet in our sins; and we are of all men most miserable!


A.  In these six verses the Holy Spirit tells us three of the occasions when the risen Lord appeared to men.


          Remember, Mark mentions on three of Christ’s post resurrection appearances. There were several others. But these three will suffice for our purposes today.


          1st To Mary Magdalene

          2nd To The Two Disciples On The Emmaus Road.

          3rd To The Eleven Apostles.


          This is a great mercy to us. Our Lord Jesus made his resurrection from the dead a thoroughly established, undeniable fact. This fact is a matter of great mercy, because, as I said before, everything we believe, everything revealed in the gospel stands or falls with the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection was the crowning proof of Christ’s having put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself, the seal of our redemption, the receipt of our justification, and God’s public declaration of his Son’s exaltation and glory. Listen to the importance placed upon the resurrection of Christ in Holy Scripture.


Romans 1:1-4  "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."


Romans 4:25  "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."


Romans 8:34  "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."


Ephesians 2:4-6  "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"


Hebrews 13:20-21  "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."


1 Peter 1:3  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."


          The multiplied witnesses of our Lord’s resurrection are simply irrefutable. Our Lord Jesus Christ has not only died for our sins, he has risen up from the dead and reigns in glory upon the throne of universal monarchy to give life and salvation to those for whom he died.


Romans 14:9  "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."


II. The second thing that strikes me in this passage is the fact that -- Our Lord’s forgiveness of sin is AN UNQUALIFIED FORGIVENESS.


          Certainly this is evident in the heart of every sinner who has experienced it. It is evident in his many gracious displays of grace and forgiveness.


·        The Adulterous Woman (John 8)

·        Peter (v. 7)

·        Zaccheus (Luke 19)


          But I think there is no better picture of forgiveness that we have before us in the Lord’s dealings with “Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”


          The Lord Jesus did not first appear to his mother Mary, or to John the Beloved. No. “He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” This seems to be to be a remarkable fact, full of instruction.


A.  Here the Holy Spirit shows us by example what we are taught throughout the Scriptures. – Salvation is a matter of absolute, free, unconditional grace.


          Because salvation is, in its entirety, a matter of free grace, in no way conditioned and dependent upon or determined by us, all who are saved by grace stand upon an equal footing before God. In Christ there is no difference between…


·        Saved virgins and saved harlots.

·        Saved scholars and saved sots.

·        Saved Pharisees and saved pushers.

·        Saved princes and saved paupers.


          “God is no respecter of persons.” In Christ, we are all equal. The last is first and the first is last.


·        We are all forgiven of all sin.

·        We all possess perfect righteousness.

·        We all have all grace.

·        Christ is all in all who believe!


1 Corinthians 1:30-31  "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


B.  The fact that our Lord Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene also teaches us that God honors those who honor him (1 Sam. 2:30).


·        Mary had anointed the Lord for his burial, in anticipation of his resurrection.

·        Mary was the last one to confess Christ when he was alive and the first to honor him when he died.

·        Mary was the last one at the cross and the first one at the tomb.

·        And Mary was the first one to see the risen Lord!


C. Our Lord appeared first to Mary to teach us that He is the Savior of needy sinners.


          God help you to hear me now. – Christ came into the world to save sinners. And when he saves sinners, he saves them.


·        He makes great saints out of great sinners.

·        Those who were once filled with seven devils, he fills with his Holy Spirit.

·        Those who were once far off, he brings nigh.

·        Those who were the filth and off-scouring of the earth, he makes to be the sons of God.

·        Those who once sat as beggars in the dung heap of fallen humanity, he lifts by his grace and sets them among princes.

·        Our sins and iniquities he remembers no more.


Illustration: The Wordless Book


Romans 8:1-4  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


2 Corinthians 5:17  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."


III. The Third thing that strikes me in this passage is the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is AN UNPARALLELED FRIEND.


          Truly, he who is the Friend of publicans and sinners is the “Friend who sticketh closer than a brother!” How manifestly evident this is in our Lord’s dealings with his unbelieving, hard hearted disciples.


          Three times Mark describes the unbelief of the Lord’s disciples (Including himself!). The Lord appeared first to Mary; but no one believed her report. Then he appeared to the two disciples on the Emmaus road; but no one believed them either. At last, he appeared to the to the eleven apostles in person and upbraided them for their unbelief.


A.  God’s salvation is an irreversible act of grace.


Ecclesiastes 3:14  "I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him."


1.    Our Lord rebukes and chastens his erring children.

2.    But he never forsakes them.


B.  God’s saints in this world are sinners still.


          Frequently, the Holy Spirit shows us this by example and by precept. But the surest proof of it is our own painful and bitter experience.


1.    There is much sin in the best of saints.

2.    There is great weakness in the strongest of God’s people.

3.    There is great corruption in the most upright.

4.    There is great unbelief in the strongest believer.


          Our God would make us ever aware of these things, so that we might not despair of ourselves, and that we might be patient with our brethren.


·        1 Corinthians 15:10


C. It is the glory of our God to bring good out of evil.


          The terrible, strong doubt and unbelief of these disciples is itself a validation to the truthfulness of their testimony, once they were convinced.


Application: Are you risen with Christ?


Galatians 2:20  "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."