Easter Sunday Service – “He’s Alive”, Colin Munroe, Lead Pastor

He’s Alive

Matthew 28:5-6 (ESV)
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen….

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (ESV)
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

John 11:25 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live

1 Thessalonians 4:14 (ESV)
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

John 6:40 (ESV)
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

1 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Romans 6:5 (ESV)
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Isaiah 26:19 (ESV)
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Romans 1:3-4 (ESV)
concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord


John 20:1-18 (ESV)
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

The authenticity of Christianity rests heavily on the Resurrection.

The disciples having seen the risen Jesus went on to turn the world upside down. Most of them also died for their faith in Christ. People don’t die for feeble belief.

Another Gospel accounts that after Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the chief priests and Pharisees again went to Pilate, requesting that the tomb be made secure. The religious leaders remembered Jesus’ claims to rise again on the third day, so they wanted to make sure that no one could get into the tomb. Because the tomb was cut out of rock in the side of a hill, there was only one entrance. The tomb was sealed by stringing a cord across the stone that was rolled over the entrance.

Matthew 27:64 (ESV)
Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”

Matthew 27:65 (ESV)
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”

But they did not understand that no rock, seal, or guard could prevent the Son of God from rising again.

Romans 4:24-25 (ESV)
…It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

From the very beginning, the enemies of the Lord tried to deny the historic fact of the Resurrection. The Jewish leaders claimed that the Lord’s body had been stolen from the tomb.

The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers and the stone sealed by an official Roman seal. 

The last thing they wanted was anyone believing that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.

It was proved by many witnesses that Jesus was dead when His body was taken from the cross. Later, He was seen alive by dependable witnesses (500). The only logical conclusion is that He kept His promise and arose from the dead.

But the glorious truth of the Resurrection was not understood immediately by even His closest followers. It gradually dawned on those grieving that their Master was not dead, but alive!

For Mary Magdalene it meant moving from tears to joy; for the ten disciples it meant going from fear to courage; and for Thomas it meant moving from doubt to assurance. With Mary, the emphasis is on love; with the ten, the emphasis is on hope; and with Thomas, the focus is on faith.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had been forced by circumstances to prepare His body in haste, and the women wanted to finish the task. Their great concern was how to get into the tomb.

It seems that Mary Magdalene went ahead of the other women and got to the tomb first. When she saw the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb, she concluded that somebody had broken into the tomb and stolen the body of her Lord. 

She ran to give the news to Peter and John, who must have been living together at a place known to the other believers. Maybe it was the Upper Room where they had met with Jesus. The women left the tomb and carried the angels’ message to the other disciples.

Mary’s faith was not extinguished; it was only eclipsed. The light was still there, but it was covered. Peter and John were in the same spiritual condition, but soon all 3 of them would move out of the shadows and into the light.

When John arrived at the tomb, he cautiously remained outside and looked in. What did John see?

Peter also saw the linen clothes lying there empty and the cloth for the head carefully rolled and lying by itself.

Grave robbers do not carefully unwrap the corpse and then leave the graveclothes neatly behind. In fact, with the presence of the spices it would be almost impossible to unwrap a body without damaging the wrappings. The only way those linen clothes could be left in that condition would be if Jesus passed through them as He arose from the dead.

John 2:19 (ESV)
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

John 2:22 (ESV)
When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

The early church used the Old Testament to prove to both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ, that He died for sinners, and that He arose again.

Isaiah 53:10 (ESV)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Jesus Himself used the Prophet Jonah to illustrate His own death, burial, and resurrection.

Mary loved her Lord and came early to the garden to express that love. 

Proverbs 8:17 (ESV)
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

There is certainly nothing wrong with sincere sorrow, because God made us to shed tears; and weeping is good therapy for broken hearts. Our sorrow as a Christian should be different from the hopeless sorrow of the world, because we have been born again. We weep—not because our believing loved ones have gone to heaven—but because they have left us and we miss them.

When Mary looked into the tomb, she saw two men in white. Their position at either end of where the body had been lying makes me think of the angels on the mercy seat. 

Mary apparently was not disturbed at seeing these men, and there is no evidence that she knew they were angels. The brief conversation neither dried her tears nor quieted her heart. She was determined to find the body of Jesus.

Jesus asked her the same question that the angels had asked, “Why are you weeping?” Then He said, “Whom are you seeking?” It is encouraging to us to know that “Jesus knows all about our sorrows.” Our Savior knew that Mary’s heart was broken and that her mind was confused. He did not rebuke her; instead tenderly, He revealed Himself to her.

All He had to do was speak her name, and Mary immediately recognized Him. Jesus’ sheep hear His voice and He calls them by name. Apparently Mary had turned away from Jesus, for when He spoke her name, she had to turn back to look at Him again.

Jesus permitted the other women to hold His feet, and He did not forbid them. Why did He say to Mary, “Do not cling to Me”? One reason was that she would see Him again because He had not yet ascended to the Father. He remained on earth for forty days after His resurrection and often appeared to the believers to teach them.

A second thought is that she had a job to do—to go tell the others that He was alive and would ascend to the Father.

Though it was the same Jesus, only in a glorified body, it was not quite the same relationship. We must be careful not to relate to Christ “after the flesh”, that is, relate to Him as though He were still in His state of humility.

Mary herself had been weeping, and Jesus had turned her sorrow into joy. If they had believed, their sorrow would also have turned to joy.

Mary not only shared the fact of His resurrection and that she had seen Him personally, but she also reported the words that He had spoken to her.

Historical faith says, “Christ lives!”

Saving faith says, “Christ lives in me!”

Do you have saving faith?


The authenticity of Christianity rests heavily on the Resurrection.