Sermon Outline On Matthew 28:1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
In the fifties, in China, there was a devastating earthquake. As a result of the quake, a huge boulder was dislodged from a mountain thus exposing a great cache of wonderful artifacts from a thousand years ago. A new world suddenly became visible.
Matthew, in his Gospel, writes of an earthquake in his description of the events at the tomb on Sunday morning. All four gospels tell the Good News of resurrection on Easter morning. Matthew describes this earth shaking event in terms of an earthquake.
Matthew wants to get our attention. He is not writing about some incidental occurrence in the life of Jesus. He is writing about an event that will FOREVER change the course of history. He is writing about an event that will shape the hopes of the 67 generations to follow. That is 67 generations and counting. Matthew is writing about an event so big that following it, life will never be the same. Matthew is writing about the resurrection of Jesus, and he wants to get our attention.
Life is full of attention getters. But those aren’t the only kind of attention getters. Tornados rip through a town totally destroying everything in its path. Flood waters gush through what use to be someone’s home. Hail beats your home and car until they are barely recognizable.
We feel inconvenience as the security at our airport is increased. Getting there two hours early is a pain. Those are the things that get our attention. We live in a broken world. It’s been that way since Adam and Eve. We are constantly assaulted by circumstances that cause us to ask Why? How do we respond to such attention getter?
The good news is God responded for us at a tomb near Jerusalem.
When the stone was rolled away, and the earth shook, we got our first glimpse of a new world, a world where death doesn’t have the last word, a world where injustice is made right, and innocent suffering is vindicated by the intrusion of a powerful God.
Billy Graham once said, “Jesus stopped dying on the cross long enough to answer the prayer of a thief. He stopped in a big crowd one day because someone touched the hem of His garment; and He’ll stop to touch your life and change you…”. Let me add, Jesus rose from the dead so that we might live an abundant life in a broken world. Christ is Risen.