Scripture: Exodus 24:1-2, 9-11 | John 20:11-18
I. You can go home again because Christ died for you.
The story of Easter opens with Mary Magdalene, at Jesus’ tomb. Mary sees Jesus risen from the dead in vs. 14 but she doesn’t recognize that it’s Jesus. Who does she think Jesus is (vs. 15)? The gardener. Jesus’ tomb then is located within a garden. In the Easter story, we have a death, we have angels, and we have a man and a woman talking in a garden on the first day of the week. And we also have all these elements in the story of creation.
We read about the angel’s role in protecting the garden of Eden from Adam and Eve after their sin in Genesis 3:24: “(God) drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” It’s the blood (Exodus 24:8) that allows us to get close to God. It’s the blood of the sacrifice that lets us go home to God after our exile from Him.
II. You can go home again because Christ rose and ascended for you.
The fact that Jesus was risen from the dead was made clear to Mary in John 20:16. But there was one more phase of Jesus’ exodus journey that he had to complete before he could go home to heaven: the ascension (vs. 17).
Why was it such good news for Mary and the disciples that Jesus was ascending to heaven? We see what Jesus planned to do after his ascension from John 14:2-3: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Jesus is getting your home ready for you.
III. You can go home again because God wants a meal with you.
Sharing a meal together expresses belonging to one family and sharing one life. This is what God wants more than anything with you. In the exodus story, at the top of Mt. Sinai, God wants a meal together with the leaders of Israel (Ex. 24:9-11). And on the night before He died, Jesus shared a meal with His disciples and told them what He was looking forward to in the future in Luke 22:15-16: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” What does Jesus really want? He wants to eat a family meal with you. He can’t wait until everyone in His family comes home to share a meal with Him.
Come home to God by confessing sin, believing that Christ died for you, and turning from sin.
Commentaries by D.A. Carson, T.D. Alexander, and Tim Chester. “Exodus Old and New”
by L. Michael Morales, “Echoes of Exodus” by Alastair Roberts and Andrew Wilson
Sermon Discussion Questions
- What are some of the common elements in the stories of creation, the exodus, and Easter? How would you sum up the story of the Bible in a sentence?
- We celebrate Christ’s resurrection at Easter and His defeat of death. Why should we also celebrate Jesus’ ascension?
- How is a meal with God a good picture of salvation? How can you share more meals with God on a regular basis?