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September 27, 2015

"MY GOD AND YOUR GOD"

TEXT: John 20: 11-18
READING:
 Romans 8: 1-17

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SUBJ: The appearance of our Lord to Mary Magdalene first at the Garden Tomb and the significance of His revelations to her concerning Himself and the relationship of people to Him.

AIM: That we might reverence Him more and that we might rejoice in the relationships we enjoy as a result of His identification with us.

INTR: Mary Magdalene continues to figure significantly in the resurrection revelations of our Lord even as she had been instrumental in bearing witness to Him from the time of her deliverance.
1. We have noted that the she was maintained in her devotion to Him as her Lord even though she thought Him dead.
2. Her grief is real in that she desired fellowship with Her Lord and Savior above all else and if she could not have that she wanted to be as close as possible to what remained that she might reverence Him in any way she could.
3. And having told the men and witnessed their departure she returned and remained in her grief – we can only imagine her thoughts and we will not speculate at such a poignant moment.

THESIS: While there is much that is thrilling to consider at the fact and the manner of His revelation of Himself alive from the dead, there is likewise much that serves to define the relationships we now know and experience with Him as believers in Him.

I. The chiding of the Angels (vv. 11-13)
1. Try as she may, her consternation remained great as she, like the others, had not grasped the messages He had spoken before concerning His death and resurrection. And we are reminded of the difficulty experienced by human interpretation of divine things.
2. Again, she looked into the tomb and saw two Angels in white carefully defining for her the place where He had lain.
1) It is important that we note that they were at the where His head and feet would have been with the empty space between.
2) There was nothing in their demeanor that would have suggested either concern or alarm.
3. Their question (and that of the Lord to follow) was in fact a rebuke for her unbelief and
1) She was honest in her reply that she was grieving at the absence of His body
2) She may have even thought by now that friendly hands had removed the body
3) She must have been disturbed by the question.

II. The revelation of Jesus (vv. 14-17)
1. It is difficult to interpret her movements here in that she would have perhaps been averting her face from the gaze of the Angels, her eyes would have been filled with tears and being somewhat distraught her perceptions of things around her might have been affected.
1) But she became aware of the presence of another person (perhaps at some indication by the Angels) whom she did not recognize.
i. Perhaps for the reasons stated above she did not see clearly but
ii. It is more probable that Jesus would reveal Himself to her and others as He deemed timely.
2) The voice of Jesus did not register with her nor did the manner of the questions;
i. Again, why are you weeping in that there was no reason – remember His words and the evidence in the tomb. (Faith was being given dimensions).
ii. Further He did not ask what she was seeking, but Whom – salvation is a Person!!
3) Supposing Him to be the gardener she pursues her immediate goal of locating His body and so she does what we all tend to do – lean to our own understanding and seek our own devices – not seeing or seeking our Living Lord.
4) Do we not often in our distress fail to seek Him first and to recognize that He is there??
2. Then He spoke her name and we are reminded by her response and ours that “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.”
1) With that her knowledge of Him as her loving Lord and Master received new life and vitality.
2) She addresses Him with the highest term she knew “Rabboni” and would have fallen at His feet as before.
3. His response to her is very important even if difficult to understand
1) The words here are not with regard to a mere physical touch – He would later invite Thomas to touch Him
2) Many thoughts arise as men seek to infer several things
3) The words here seem to indicate that she should not cling to Him in this physical form with the idea of resuming the prior ways.
4) It was rather that the emphasis would become spiritual.
i. It was certainly critical that they would know of His bodily resurrection and existence and they would witness His bodily ascension.
ii. But, He was ascending to His Father! – But not just yet.
4. Of especial importance and blessedness is the relationship that He declares
1) He used the terms My Father and My God and then added that He was your Father and your God.
2) In looking to God as His Father the eternal relationship was declared and as God, this was the man Christ Jesus identified with us and
5. He further instructed her as to an immediate task – she was to go to “His Brethren” and give them this message!!

III. The task of Mary Magdalene and us (v. 18)
1. She reported to them as directed – a bearer of good news!
2. The substance of her message was that indeed He was risen and she had seen Him and that He would be ascending to the His Father and our Father and His God and our God!!!