April 24, 2019 ● 19-26
Mark 16:6: And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.”
Several years ago when we were living in Jacksonville, FL, I went with a deacon to visit the home of someone who had recently visited the church I was a member of. The guest card that had been filled out indicated this visitor was a first-time guest in his 20s. We found the home, walked up on the front porch and rang the doorbell. When the door opened we were greeted by an older gentleman. We introduced ourselves and why we were there. The older gentleman laughed and said we were looking for his son who did not live there. He told us his son knew that many Baptist churches would pay him a visit because he filled out a guest card, so he put his dad’s home address on the guest card (why he even filled one out I have no idea!). We went looking for the guest that had visited and found his father instead.
In the three years of His earthly ministry, Jesus had many people following Him and looking for Him:
Some wanted to be healed so they were looking for the healing Jesus;
Some wanted to be fed so they were looking for the providing Jesus;
Some wanted a mighty warrior to kick the Romans out of Israel so they were looking for the conquering Jesus;
Some wanted a miracle so they were looking for the miracle working Jesus.
But what they found was the Jesus who ministered to those society would have nothing to do with;
They found the Jesus who said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31);
They found the Jesus who said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44);
They found the Jesus who said, “go and sell all you possess and give to the poor . . . and come, follow Me.” (Mark 10:21)
The Jesus they found was not the Jesus they were looking for.
The women who came to the tomb early on the first day of the week were looking for the crucified, dead, and buried Jesus.
The angel in the tomb told them what they wanted to hear, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified.”
The other gospels record the experience at the tomb this way:
Matthew: “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here.” (Matt. 28:5-6a)
Luke: “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen.” (Luke 24.5b-6a)
In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is confronted by the risen Lord Himself whom she did not recognize. Jesus asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping,? Whom are you seeking?” (John 15a)
The women who came to the tomb expected to find the body of Jesus just as it had been laid in the tomb by Joseph and Nicodemus, wrapped in funeral cloths.
They expected to be able to anoint the body of Jesus with spices;
They were not sure how the stone was going to be moved from the entrance of the tomb, but they had come expecting to see the crucified and dead Jesus.
And what they found was what they did not expect: THE EMPTY TOMB!
What about today, who is the Jesus you are looking for?
Are you looking for the Jesus who will tell you that if your faith is strong enough you will never have any problems in life?
Are you looking for the Jesus who will tell you that it really doesn’t matter what kind of life you live, just be a good person and everything will be ok?
Are you looking for the Jesus who understands how you are and that it’s ok to be a casual follower of Him if you can fit it into your schedule?
Are you looking for the Jesus who, in all reality, does not really let anyone go to a place of torment called hell?
Is this the kind of Jesus you are looking for?
If that’s the Jesus you are looking for, then you are not looking for the Jesus of the Bible.
The Jesus of the Bible said, “whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 15:27)
The Jesus of the Bible said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
The Jesus of the Bible said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)
The Jesus of the Bible said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21)
The Jesus of the Bible said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)
The Jesus of the Bible said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Regardless of who the Jesus is you are looking for, when you place your faith and trust in Him, you will find:
The Jesus who forgives without condition;
The Jesus who loves without exception;
The Jesus who saves for all eternity;
The Jesus who holds you in His hands securely;
The Jesus who will never leave you;
The Jesus who has already prepared a place for you in heaven
The Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus of today:
He is alive and is right now seated at the right hand of God the Father;
He is the Jesus who is the Savior of the world;
He is not the Jesus of religion, He is the Jesus of a personal relationship with God Himself;
He is the Jesus who is returning one day with power and in great glory.
This is the Jesus who walked out of that tomb on the first day of the week;
The conquering king;
The living savior;
This is the Jesus we celebrate on Easter Sunday morning and every day of the year.
This is the Jesus you are invited to trust and believe in for the salvation of your soul
This is the Jesus who forgives and gives life, life everlasting, and life more abundantly
This is the Jesus who paid your sin debt on the cross through His shed blood.
Trust this Jesus, believe in this Jesus, celebrate this Jesus.
THE JESUS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS THE JESUS WHO LIVES.