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John 19:35-20:18

The Personal Impact of the Resurrection

  • Jean Marais
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • March 31, 2024

Today we are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and King. But how important is the resurrection? It’s everything. The resurrection is the key to God’s plan for our lives.

Many people come to the place in life where they are lost; they have lost hope. How about you? Have you lost hope? God’s heart is to give you a future and a hope.  This is fulfilled by Christ. When the resurrection of Jesus is applied to your life, you are born again into the newness of life. You have been transferred from eternal death to eternal life; all because Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day.  


  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

The Personal Impact of the Resurrection
John 19:35-20:18
March 31, 2024

        Today we are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and King. But how important is the resurrection? It’s everything. The resurrection is the key to God’s plan for our lives.

        Jeremiah 29:11 reveals this key truth, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

        Do you have hope? What do you put your hope in? In the almighty dollar? In earthly possessions, your stock portfolio? Do you hope that the next election will fix everything? If you hope that politicians will solve our problems, you will be sorely disappointed.

        Many people come to the place in life where they are lost; they have lost hope. How about you? Have you lost hope?

        There is a growing sense of hopelessness in many people today. Sometimes devastating things happen in life that cause people to lose hope. Many times, just the sheer pace of life and uncertainty of the future is too much to handle. Anxiety and depression is at an all-time high. People feel like ships in a storm where all the sails are torn.

        God’s heart is to give you a future and a hope.  This is fulfilled by Christ. If Christ is not raised from the dead, we would have no hope. But because Christ is raised from the dead we ourselves have the hope of life in Him. He becomes the anchor the soul longs for.

        Here’s something encouraging, you have one foot in the grave. It’s true. You’re growing until you’re about 22 years old, and then it’s all downhill from there. But if the resurrection of Jesus Christ is personally applied to you, you do not have one foot in the grave, you have one foot in heaven.

       When the resurrection of Jesus is applied to your life, you are born again into the newness of life. You have been transferred from darkness, from eternal death to eternal life; all because Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day.  He transforms us by His presence in our lives.

       If Jesus remained in the grave, then He was just another spiritual teacher. If Jesus stayed in the grave, then our preaching is empty, our faith is in vain and we are still in your sins. If Jesus is still dead, then what’s the point of getting together for church? What’s the point of worship? There would be no reason to celebrate, because there would be no hope.

       God sent His Son to become the resurrection and the life by conquering death, but it must be personally applied.

I. Faith is a Matter of Life and Death

  • How important is faith? In verse 35, John tells us that his witness is true and that he is telling us the truth so that we might also believe.
  • The surety of faith in the fact that Jesus has been resurrected is of paramount importance. It isn’t just a sidenote of life.

A. Resurrection brings life from death

  • We were all born in weakness and sin, and our parents, and our parents’ parents were born in weakness and sin. This goes all the way back to Adam.
  • We were in Adam when he sinned. How? We were in his loins you might say. By being in him when he sinned, his sins are attributed to us.

Romans 5:18, So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men…

1 Corinthians 15:22, For as in Adam all die…

  • You don’t have to look very far to see the consequences of that in our own lives.
  • The tendency toward sin is part of the condition in which we were born and we’re all well aware of it. Everyone knows there is something inside of us that is drawn to sin.

Illus – You see this very thing in young children. Babies are the cutest things in the world; I submit that they’re so cute because their true nature has not yet been revealed. You see glimmers of it when they start to scream when they don’t get milk immediately. Wait till they get to the “terrible two’s.” As soon as you tell them not to do something, that’s the very thing they want to do. But we’re the same way; all you have to do is go on a diet to see how strong our desires are for those things that harm us.

  • The death of Jesus on the cross paid for our sins, but the true victory is in the resurrection. The resurrection proves that he has overcome sin, death, hell, and the grave.
  • It is only because of this that we can be saved and have eternal Hope. It all hinges on the resurrection.

Romans 10:9, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 

B. Confess and believe

  • This is where it gets personal. With the heart you need to believe. This is why John gave this testimony. Scripture was fulfilled, he saw it with his own eyes. The sun was darkened while Jesus was on the cross, the earth began to shake, and dead people were raised.
  • The moment was so impactful that even the Roman soldiers that crucified Him said, truly, this was the Son of God.
  • The evidence is there. But now the onus shifts to each and every one of us individually. Will you believe? Now it has become very personal. No one will be able to sneak into heaven with a body of believers, or a specific denomination just by association with them.
  • God’s eyes are on you personally. His heart is to be in a relationship with you personally. He wants to save you from your sin personally and wash you with His blood bringing your soul to life.
  • But to believe is also just one side of the coin. The other side is to confess with your mouth that which is in your heart. And the confession that is needed is that He has become not only Savior, but Lord of your life.
  • This means that you abdicate the throne of your life. You are no longer master, king, and ruler of your own life and your own future. You surrender to Him as Lord.
  • Some who don’t understand spiritual things see this as a tragedy; as if you’ve lost the battle and God has by force taken over your life.
  • No, this is a privilege. Like a man who gets lost in the desert, thirsty, dying, and eventually in a coma, without hope. Then he is picked up by a benevolent king who takes him into his household, makes him a prince, and lavishes his love and grace on him.

II. You Must Become Part of This Story

  • The story of what happens to the body of Jesus is not complete until we understand some of the background of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
  • When we first met Joseph and Nicodemus, we met two men taken by fear. They were followers of Jesus, but secretly, because of fear.
  • Verse 38 – After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews…
  • We first met Nicodemus in John 3 when he came to Jesus by night. Why did he come by night? No doubt because of fear. At one point Nicodemus tried to stand up for Jesus, but he couldn’t do it.
  • At the crucifixion, Joseph and Nicodemus stood by silently and watched this story unfold. But there came a point when they could stand by no more. They had to get personally involved. They risked everything to be identified with Christ’s death.
  • Why? After they saw the death of Jesus, it impacted them personally on a deep level.
  • Joseph went to Pontus Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. They would then have worked together to take down the body of Jesus from the cross and prepare it for a proper Jewish burial.
  • When they took the body of Jesus from the cross and washed Him to prepare for burial, His blood would have been all over them.
  • Maybe they started to understand that John the Baptist said that He would be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
  • Maybe, as they took Him from the cross and the blood was getting on them, they started to realize that it was for their sin that His blood was shed.
  • Their heart, love, and devotion to Him drove them to disregard their safety, their own standing in society, and their own welfare, and get personally involved with Christ.
  • And this is where you have to get personally involved as well. Don’t just be a silent observer.

A. You must die with Him

  • Jesus died during the Passover. The Passover comes from when Israel was in Egypt and had to apply the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of the house so that death would “pass over” that home.
  • It’s a picture of the blood of Christ applied to us. In other words, His death must be applied to us.

Romans 3:10, 23, As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;”… for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death…

  • If the wages of sin is death, then we’re in big trouble, because we’re all sinners and therefore all deserve death.
  • But the death of Jesus is applied to our lives so that the wages of sin is paid for by his death applied to us.

Romans 6:2-4, How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death…

  • This is why it is so important that people are baptized in water. Being baptized in water does not save us; it’s a picture of what God does through His Holy Spirit and it’s our declaration to the world that we identify with the death of Christ. It’s how our sins were paid for.
  • In fact, when someone is baptized, they are laid in the water in the same position someone would be laid in a coffin. “How morbid,” someone might say. Not at all, because it’s also a picture of the resurrection. Jesus defeated death so that not only does His death get applied to us, His resurrection does as well.

Romans 6:4 -5, as Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

  • This changes everything.

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

  • Death has been defeated so that death is no longer a dark cloud hanging over our lives. The power of sin has been defeated, so we now have the victory to walk in newness of life.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? …but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

B. You must find your life in Him

    • Chapter 20 brings us to the morning of the resurrection, the first day of the week, while it is still dark. This is why we gather for worship on the first day of the week. We’re celebrating because He is the resurrection and the life.
    • The chapter begins with Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb, no doubt to bring more spices to wrap His body.
    • Mary was a devoted follower of Jesus and she did not leave Him throughout His suffering and crucifixion. She was last to leave and first to arrive at the tomb.
    • She had much love for Jesus because, no doubt, of all that He had done for her. She had a troubled past. Jesus had healed her of seven demons. She had all the pleasures of the world and all the troubles that go with it, but Jesus healed her and gave her a life of honor and value.
    • Now she is at the tomb. Imagine the scene. Peter and John were just there and saw that the body was gone, but in verse 9 it says that they did not understand the Scripture yet that He must rise again from the dead. So, they did not even think of the possibility of Jesus being resurrected. To them, He was just gone.
    • Note that it was still dark when she got to the tomb, but the stone was already rolled away. Jesus was already resurrected. She just didn’t see it yet.
    • It was still dark, but the Light had already come.
    • Mary looks into the grave, and sees the Angels, asking her why she’s weeping. Why are you weeping? can you not see?
    • Still, she doesn’t get it. She looks around and sees Jesus, but is so blinded by her perspective and her grief that she does not recognize Him. She mistakes Him for the gardener and asks Him where He took the body of Jesus.
    • Then something beautiful happens. Jesus says her name. Mary. She recognizes the voice of the one who healed her. She recognizes the voice of the one who drove the demons from her soul that terrorized her for so long. She recognized the voice that spoke life into creation. She recognizes the voice that speaks life into her soul.
    • Maybe today it feels like your soul is in darkness. You might be like the Roman soldier who recognizes that Jesus is the son of God, but it hasn’t gone any further than that yet.
    • You have not yet personally sided with Christ like Nicodemus and Joseph with his blood directly impacting them.
    • Maybe you’re like Mary who knows Jesus, who has seen His hand move and has seen Him do miracles before, but it has become so dark around you that you cannot see the empty tomb.
    • In whatever season you are in now, resurrection power is here and available now to everyone who will receive it.
    • Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus chose to reveal himself? He revealed himself first to Mary.
    • She has the honor of being the first to see the risen Lord. In the first century, women didn’t get the respect they deserved, so this is a great honor.

Illus – Jesus could have appeared to any number of powerful men. He could have appeared to Herod, or Pontius Pilate. I actually would have loved to have seen that one. He could have appeared in front of thousands of people wherever they were gathering. He could have made a great grand entrance, with Angels, and power, and lighting, rays of light. No, Jesus chose to reveal himself personally, one by one, and later in intimate groups to those He loved and who loved Him.

  • Jesus sent her to the disciples, “Go to My brethren, and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”
  • He wants you to take hold of the exciting, wonderful, powerful new message: I ascend to my Father AND YOUR FATHER.
  • You are now restored through the resurrection of Jesus to the household of God. The Father is now your Dad. He loves you, He has great dreams for you. He will never let you go. He is calling you by name.
  • But you have to let go of the things that are killing you. Why would you want to keep ever-present guilt, living without purpose or meaning, fear of facing judgment, and not having assurance of eternal life?
  • Look into His eyes, look away from that which wants to bring you hopelessness and anxiety. Receive life. Receive His eternal hope. He is calling your name.


John 19:35-20:18     NASB

35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

20  1Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and 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 Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.


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