If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
I spoke a couple of years ago at Faith Baptist Church on a Tuesday during Holy Week. Pastor Ron Branch wanted me to talk about what happened on the Tuesday of Holy Week, Holy week being last week, or the week leading up to Easter. I didn’t know what happened on Tuesday of Holy Week. So I did exactly what you would probably do. What would you do? Well, that’s what I did. I Googled it to see what happened on Tuesday of Holy Week. It turns out that Tuesday is the day that they say Jesus was calling out the Pharisees, calling them white-washed tombs, tombs that look clean and beautiful on the outside, but on the inside were dirty and filthy. He was calling the Pharisees hypocrites, saying they, like the tombs, try to look really good on the outside, but inside like the tombs, they were full of dead: decaying and disgusting.
Thursday of Holy Week is the night before Jesus was crucified. On Thursday He and His disciples celebrated the Passover meal and Jesus washed their feet. He said the bread and the wine were His Body and Blood, broken and shed for them and for us, and we should remember Him when we have communion. And later Thursday night He was betrayed by Judas and captured by the authorities in the Garden of Gethsemane.
More familiar to people who go to church is the Friday of Holy Week. Many people know we call that Good Friday. That’s the day Jesus was crucified, dying on the cross. It was a bad Friday for Jesus, being beaten and tortured before hanging on the cross to die. But it was a Good Friday for all of humanity, including you and me, because Jesus took on the sin of the world: past, present, and future.
Saturday would have been a horrible day for the disciples, wondering what they were going to do. They left everything to follow Jesus and all of the sudden He was gone. Most of us know how they must have felt. Most of us have lost someone we loved, and we’re stunned.
I guarantee you that most people in here didn’t know some part, and some perhaps that didn’t know any, of what I’ve said so far about Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. But I doubt there’s anyone in here who doesn’t know what happened today. You came to church today knowing what the Church celebrates today. Most of you knew the Scripture for today would be out of one of the Gospels and you knew it would say, “They went to the tomb and the tomb was empty. Churches around the world are proclaiming, “Christ is Risen.” All of you know today’s not really about the Easter Bunny, it’s not about getting to eat chocolate again, or drink pop again. Today is the day we celebrate victory. Today we say to evil, “Evil, you do not win.” Jesus is not dead. Did He die? Most certainly. Could the grave keep Him? Certainly not. He has overcome the grave. Today, His victory can be our victory. His victory IS our victory if we’ve accepted His sacrifice on the cross. He died once, but now He lives and He will never die again. Those of us who put our faith and trust in Him will see our earthly bodies also die once, but then we will live forever with Him, never to die again, never to cry again. This is what I believe.
The Scripture out of John chapter 20 tells us that one of the disciples, “…went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed.” He didn’t have to see Jesus. As a matter of fact, it’s precisely because he DID NOT see Jesus that he DID believe. The Scripture says that later that day they saw the risen Jesus and they were glad when they saw Him, but that wasn’t required, at least for the one. He believed and only later was His belief was affirmed.
CS Lewis wrote that he believed there was such a place as New York. He said that he had never seen it himself. He couldn’t prove it by reasoning. But people told him there is such a place. That was all the evidence he needed. He believed New York exists because reasonable people told him that it did. We believe in the solar system, atoms, and the circulation of the blood in our bodies because scientists say so. We don’t need more proof than that. And we also don’t have to know exactly how it works to believe it. I know the heart pumps blood and we have veins and arteries. I don’t know the difference between them. I don’t have to know every detail to believe. I know I have blood. I’ve seen it. And sometimes I just about pass out when I see blood, mine or anyone else’s.
The disciple believed even though he didn’t have every question answered, even though he didn’t have every objection overcome, even though he didn’t know where exactly Jesus was or how exactly He did it. All he knew was he saw Jesus die, he knew where they buried him, and the grave could not contain Him. Jesus was no longer in the grave and nothing made sense except that He was no longer dead. It was later Mary told them she had seen Jesus. It was later they saw Him themselves.
The central Christian belief is that because Jesus died and He rose from the dead, that somehow that puts those who believe, who confess, who ask for forgiveness, and put their faith and trust in Him, that that puts those people right with God and gives them a clean slate and a fresh start. You have to do this without having every objection overcome. You just have to believe it and accept Him.
The disciple looked at the evidence and come to the right conclusion. Some of you have all the evidence you’re going to get and God’s probably wondering what in the world you’re waiting for. Maybe the evidence is that you’ve seen someone else’s life change in an unbelievable way when they became a Christian. Maybe your evidence is something you’ve asked for or something you’ve asked God to get you out of. Maybe your evidence is you or someone you love being healed. Maybe your evidence is just a peace that God has given you as you have gone through or maybe are right now going through a terrible situation. Maybe I don’t even know what your evidence is, but you’re thinking about it right now. Or maybe God’s giving you the evidence right now, maybe it’s a pounding heart or sweaty palms.
I know this. God has given you all the evidence you need to say yes to Christ today. You can ask those who accepted Christ a long time ago, and they will tell you that they still have things they wonder about. None of us have all the answers. If you wait to have every objection overcome and every question answered, you’ll never say yes. This is where faith comes in.
So what do you say today? Can you look at the evidence and come to the conclusion that Jesus died and rose from the dead? Can you look at the evidence of your life and realize that you need Him? Can you believe that God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you? Can you understand that there’s nothing you have done or can do to earn it? That it’s a gift from God?
You don’t have to know what happened on Tuesday of Holy Week. You don’t have to have Scripture memorized. You don’t have to be able to recite the 10 Commandments. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your past. You just have to believe that if you ask, that God will surely forgive you.