John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

John believed Jesus had risen from the dead, by the sheer force of the evidence, not because he thought he was supposed to. What an incredible event this must have been. There, in the darkness of that tomb, John “saw the light.”

Lessons from John 19 and 20:1-8

1. First of all, faith in Christ is never meant to be a private matter. The regular team—the eleven disciples—have been called off the field, and a number of substitutions have been made (to speak in sports terms). Among these are Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene. Who would have expected such folks to play a key role in the burial and resurrection of our Lord?

Again, I think their faith is growing. Nicodemus came at night; now he comes at the dawn. When Arimathea went to Pilate, he came out in a big way.

2. it takes courage to come out for Christ I have just a few observations about these secret disciples; they do something very dangerous, very costly and for no personal gain. They risk a great deal. The text says, "For fear of the Jews they kept their faith in secret." They risk a great deal. How often we are like the eleven disciples of our Lord, so frightened and lacking in faith that we do nothing, or like the women in our text who are preoccupied with fears about how we can move a stone. How foolish these fears seem to us, and yet is it not our own fears that keep us from attempting what our Lord has commanded us to do?

3. God provides. God provided. Neither the stone, the seal, nor the soldiers kept Jesus in the tomb—or the disciples out. God always provides for the fulfillment of His promises. He does so by the instruments of His choosing. He does so in His time. The human instruments were those we would not have chosen, people we would never even have considered.

4. God is at Work all the Time

God was at work in the hearts of these two men—Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—and at just the right time, He used them for His glory, and their good.

5. The resurrection is a foundational truth for the Christian. Saving faith is resurrection faith.

6. God always uses just the right instrument to accomplish His purposes in the right way at the right time.

7. It was the turning point for men and women like Joseph, and Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene, not to mention Peter and John and the other disciples.

8. Devotion and love for Christ is increased when we know our origins. Go back to the ditch from which God pulled you out of." I hope you wonder about this as much as I do, but I wonder, "Why in the world did He save me?"

9. We don't get we are to be living for Him. Your life and mine should be a thank you back to Christ for what He did for us on Calvary and the message of the resurrection is the core of our faith.

10. When it comes to the most important issue of your eternal soul, what will you pin your hopes on?  And for man to pin his hopes on humanism or agnosticism or some “ism” of “ology” is a fascinating thing.  That something as profound as a resurrection of life from death would keep us from knowing Christ.

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