Scripture: John 20:11-18
I. You no longer need to weep on Easter because you know the love of Jesus.
A. Outside of the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is only one other place in the Bible where Mary Magdalene is mentioned: Luke 8:2. That verse says that seven demons had gone out of Mary Magdalene. Jesus had freed Mary of severe demonic possession. Her life was a living hell because of the demons controlling her. She was likely sick not just spiritually but also mentally and physically. But then Jesus exorcised all of Mary’s demons, and her life changed completely. Mary then loved Jesus very much.
B. Mary would finally understand that Jesus was alive on Easter when Jesus said one word to her. In vs. 16 Jesus said, “Mary.” Jesus called her by name. When Mary heard her name on Jesus’ lips, she knew it was Jesus. She would recognize His voice of love anywhere. We are reminded of what Jesus said in John 10:3-4: “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
II. You no longer need to weep on Easter because of the hope you have in Jesus.
A. Mary’s hope was that Jesus was Israel’s promised Messiah and King. But on Good Friday Jesus died. And with Jesus’ death, Mary’s hope died also. Jesus must not have been the Messiah who would be Israel’s great and mighty king. But then on Easter everything changed when Mary saw Jesus alive again. Mary told Jesus not to cling to her (vs. 17). Why?
B. “Mary, you are thinking about our past relationship. But I want you now to think about the future. Look forward with hope. Don’t look back with longing. I am getting ready to ascend to heaven and God my Father where I am preparing a kingdom and a home for all those who love me. You don’t have to hold on to me as if you are never going to see me again. When we all live together in heaven, I am going to be not just the king of the Jews. I am going to be the king of people who love me from all nations and all races. And God is going to be the Father of not just me. God is going to be your father too. And you will enjoy His love and the love of your brothers and sisters for all eternity in a land where I am king. This is your hope, Mary.”
III. You no longer need to weep on Easter because of the faith you have in Jesus.
A. Jesus tells Mary in vs. 17 to go tell the disciples that Jesus is alive and getting ready to ascend to heaven. And what does Mary Magdalene do? Mary obeys Jesus with her renewed faith. Verse 18 says Mary went to the disciples and announced, “I have seen the Lord.” And then she told them what Jesus had said about ascending to heaven. Mary shared her faith with the disciples in Jesus’ resurrection and coming ascension. Joy was coming because of their faith in Jesus. Jesus wants you to tell not only about your faith in His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Jesus also wants you to tell about your faith in His death on the cross on Good Friday as well. Jesus died to save us from sin and death and God’s judgment on our sin. This is what makes Good Friday good. Jesus died as a sacrifice in our place. If we have faith that Christ died for us, Jesus takes the death penalty we deserve. And we receive from Jesus by faith the perfect righteousness of Jesus.
Crown Jesus as your king by faith. Ask Him to forgive you and give you eternal life.
The Gospel of John
Commentaries on John by D.A. Carson and Richard Phillips
SERMON DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Why did Mary Magdalene love Jesus so much? What are some reasons why you love Jesus?
- Why is the ascension an important part of the Easter story? What is Jesus doing for us now while we wait for His return? Has your adoption into God’s family brought you joy?
- What part of her faith in Jesus did the Lord want Mary to share with the disciples (vs. 17-18)? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross on Good Friday? Are you rejoicing in the fact that Jesus defeated death on Easter?