Easter on our parking lot. Our sins were packed upon the Body of Christ. He died and our sins went on Him. He was put in a tomb, one that was known, a wealthy man’s place. Joseph of Arimithea, a quiet believer. But when He came out of the gave, we were put into Him. All that He is has become ours when we call upon Him and are saved. Born again into spiritual life. For our emptiness, we get His fullness. (Matthew 27:57; Matthew 28:1-7)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon 11867
11:00 AM on 4/12/2020

P. Schaller –

This is such an unusual gathering this morning. I never thought I could bring my car to church! But here we
are. God’s plan in his will, and it’s such an honor to be with such a group of people that take
their faith so seriously. It is a miracle of the new birth that we would have such deep motivation
and deep love in our hearts that we want to see each other even through a glass window. We
can turn to the right and to the left and wave to your neighbor and in our hearts say, Praise
God! Praise God! In all the years we’ve had together, we’ve never gathered like this, but
essentially it’s the same because we are worshipers.

We are worshipers when things go well. We are worshipers when we are challenged, and we are worshipers when things are bad. In one of the Gospel’s, Jesus had to cross the sea of Galilee, so he jumped in a boat. That boat was
borrowed. Then later in his ministry, he had to enter into Jerusalem on a donkey and that
donkey was borrowed. Then when he died, they buried him in a borrowed tomb. That tomb
was borrowed. What does God say to us? When things are of God, they can be difficult but if
God is there, there is a blessing. If the boat is borrowed, the donkey is borrowed, and the tomb
is borrowed, God is in this world and he says to us you can sit in that congregation and if you
can’t, you can show up in the parking lot because I am God.

To our brothers and sisters in the world who are gathered in a prison cell somewhere or in abject poverty or with broken hearts, we can say the tomb is empty. He is risen! I want to read a story to you from the gospel of
Matthew. It starts at the end of chapter 27. Matthew 27:57. There’s no mention in the Bible of this
man except here. Nothing before. We have no record of him before and nothing said of him
after. He was a disciple. Maybe there are some listening to me today that are something like
him. A believer. God has those people. We may not know them but in their hearts, at the right
time, at the right place, they show up.

I’m very emotional maybe because maybe the Holy Spirit is saying something, and I’m very touched by this event. I want to say some very profound things about our faith today. In the story we have a man like Joseph, and he was rich, but he was kind of like a guy in the background. God has people in the background, and they show up.
They have something deep in their heart. Heaven knows them. They walk with God. They are a
disciple. We are hoping in different circumstances of life he’ll lead and direct these people to be
there. To have something happening in their hearts and lives that’s very important in the plan.
Because this man was a disciple of Jesus and saw him die and wanted his body.

He wanted his body to honor him because Jesus was unique. Jesus was what Joseph of Arimathea believed he
was, that he was the Messiah, the Savior, that he is the one that believed Jesus raised Lazarus
from the dead and healed the lepers and healed blind people and multiplied food and said who
he was. My Father and I are one. No man has ascended up to heaven but the Son of Man,
referring to himself who is in heaven. You are in heaven while you are on the earth? Yes. While
I am on the earth with feet of clay, I am one with my Father. If you see me, you see the Father.
Philip, how long must I be with you for you to understand this and see this in John 14. This
resurrection of Christ is so critical to our faith.

I have a piece here to read to you, “All but four of the major world religions are based on philosophies.” Of the four based on personalities, we can name them. There’s Buddha. There’s Confucius. There’s Abraham. There’s Mohammed. And Jesus Christ. “Of the four based on personalities, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.” How do we know this? Because Joseph of Arimathea played an important part
in the picture. Why? Because we have to know and identify the place where the dead body
would be laid. If the dead body is anywhere it can easily be excused. He was never raised from
the dead. But if we know the tomb, we know the man that asked for the body, and he went to
Pilate and asked for the body, it’s very specific definition for a coming miracle.

Then it would be proof. The Jewish leaders of the time went to Pilate and they asked him, and they said to him in
the story the same portion, vs. 62-66. Where was he buried? We know where he was buried.
Who did not want his body removed? The Jews. The body has to stay. The Romans, the body
has to stay. There’s no way. We have to know where it is and seal it and make it sure. Why is
this important? This person that came into history in Bethlehem existed before history. He is
the I AM. Before Abraham was, I AM. He is God, the Trinity, the second person. He is the Son of
God. He is the manifestation of God, the bright shining of his glory, the express image of his
person. When we handle him, we handle God.

Mary did you know when you touched your baby Jesus’ face, you touched the face of God? Was that God? Was it God or not?? Was it God? The prophets said so. Jesus said so. I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I am the way. I am the resurrection he said at Lazarus’ tomb. In the beginning was
the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and
dwelt amongst us. Why? I want you to think with me of an illustration of DNA. Many of you
understand DNA. You know what it is. It’s this amazing chemistry, this amazing knowledge and
information packed in a cell. This genetical information is called DNA.

In a cell it’s all packed in there, the DNA. It’s packed in. I want to use that phrase, packed in. In our sin and I believe we are seeing in our country some very interesting phenomenon. We are seeing trouble. We are
seeing worry, anxiety and fear. We are seeing people that are afraid of death which is only
natural in Hebrews 2. We see people that are worried and anxious. One psychiatrist said that the
world, that the “vast neurotic misery of the world could be termed a neurosis of emptiness.” I
believe even though we are financial prosperous, there is a neurosis of misery because of a kind
of emptiness that is in our life and packed in our DNA there are deep and real problems. There
are fears.

There are worries. There are anxieties because the sentence of death is upon us.
Because we are alienated from our Father. We’ve lost our relationship with our Creator. We are
drawn to Creation and look in Creation for satisfaction, but we find pleasure for a season and
then emptiness, bad habits, personal struggles, inferiority, worry. It’s filling our cities. It’s filling
our towns and villages and in our restaurants and places of exchange and health clubs. My body
may be in very good condition, but I have a kind of misery packed into your DNA. It’s called sin
in the Bible. It passed on to us from Adam and Eve, but I have done it also. I am a sinner. That
DNA that is packed in me is my sin packed in the DNA is in me in my body.

When Jesus was buried we could say he was packed in a tomb. When we were in Israel, we went to the grave
where Jesus was buried in the tomb and our tour guide said to us in a devotional way before to
our group of 30 or 40 people, he said when you go in I want you to go in two by tow and I
would like you to leave something in the tomb. I want you to leave something. Maybe a broken
heart. Maybe a broken relationship, maybe wounded pride, maybe personal, sin, maybe a bad
habit, maybe pornography, maybe unbelief, maybe fear. Because when Jesus died our sins were packed into him. He bore them on his body in 1 Peter 1.

Our sins were brought into a tomb. In a way, we were buried. It says it in Romans 6. We were buried with him. Jesus took our sins and he gave us himself. When you are born again, and you must be born again. You
must be born again. By our first birth we have death and judgment and there’s hell and a lake
of fire. Christ told us about it. Why wouldn’t he tell us about it? If it is true, why wouldn’t he say
it? Many people don’t want to hear about it and many people do not believe it. But I am
gambling with God on this one. I’m going with God and what he says in his word. I am a liar and
God is true. Let every man be a liar and God is true in Romans 3.

Putting our trust in an empty tomb, in a risen Christ. It’s amazing because though my sins were packed in him and he was packed in the tomb, when he came alive we were in him. When he came alive, the Father saw
us in him. Those that believe you are born of God. You are child of God. Our first birth is
miraculous. Two cells egg cell and sperm cell come together and divide billions of times to form
a human being and it’s a marvel. This is a greater one. This is our spiritual birth. It’s a birth when
you believe in Christ. It’s a birth when Jesus comes into your life and you are now God has
packed in you himself. His righteousness is in you now. His name is in you.

His Holy Spirit is in you. The new nature of God which is God is in you. You are born of Him. Jesus said to
Nicodemus, he went right to the point with him. He knew his theology. Nicodemus was a noted
rabbi, a great respected leader and he went right to it and told him, you sir must be born again.
Being born again not of the corruptible seed of human DNA, born again not of the corruptible
seed of the things of our natural physical bodies but we are born again of incorruptible seed of
the word of God. One couple had been in church for 30 years and the pastor went through the
Scripture and they said we have been to church 30 years, but we never heard you must be born
again. How could this be?

The pastor opened the Scripture and he said, I don’t know. It’s a sad
tragic thing if the people living in this world just believe that Christianity is only moral teaching
and not an empty tomb. If it is only church attendance and not a transformed life. It’s a sad
thing if I don’t have Christ in me and I can actually say I know that I got it. I got it and it’s
growing in me. I got it and it’s changing me. I got it and Jesus is alive. I got it and I know he is
seated at the right hand of the Father. I got it and I know my sins are forgiven. I got it and I
know my name is in the book of life in Luke 10:10. So the tomb is sealed. There are many
details.

There is more information on the detail of Jesus’ burial than anybody else in the history
of the ancient world. The tomb, the burial, the seal, the guard, the disciples. The disciples are
afraid, and they run away. Their lives have not been changed yet, but when you believe this
morning, your life is changed. Walk by faith in it. You may not feel it. You may not realize it but
eventually in time you will know it. Walk by faith and God will answer your prayer. God will visit
you and you will know the presence of God in a personal way. Come to him today. Lastly,
there’s no way there would be a confusion.

Jesus was not buried in a garbage dump. He was not in some confusing mix of burial spots. No, there is no confusion. They knew exactly what tomb it was. And it’s empty. Matthew 28, I’m going to finish soon. I know some of you need to use the rest room! Okay. I got the message. We’re communicating. This is a few minutes. Matthew 28:1-
2, this is Easter Sunday. I remember many years ago, being in Wales on an Easter Sunday
service. I’ll never forget it. It was unique. Now I’m in one this morning I’ll never been in one like this one. It’s very unique. This is Easter morning. He is risen. She came that morning and there
was an earthquake and an angel sitting on the stone that was rolled away.

The angel said fear not. Praise God! Fear not. Vs 5. He is not here for he is risen as he said! (horns blowing). He is
risen as he said! Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Vs. 6-7. In other words, he will meet
you in Galilee and you will meet him there. Have you met him? Have you met him? Have you
met him? Have you met him? He’s alive. But he doesn’t take any foolishness. He is God. He
doesn’t fool around. He’s not playing games. He’s for real. He understands your failure. He
understand who you are. He understands how wicked you and I are and can be and it’s packed
in us, but he took care of it. He’s out of the grave.

He’s here amongst us. He cares about you and wants a changed life. He wants to come into your heart. You can’t change it. He changes it. He rose from the dead and dealt with our deepest problems and that’s us and the grave. It’s over. Trust him. If you trust, you are born again and a child of God. Now the emptiness that we
find in our culture as we are many times and many people are in a standard of living that is one
percent of the whole world. We are the wealthiest people in the history of the human race. We
have so much going for us, but we are dying in a sense with an emptiness that is gnawing away.
You don’t need more of yourself.

You need more of God. You don’t need more explanation. You
need the preaching of the Word. You don’t need to rationalize your problems away. You need
to come as you are in humility and trust in a living Christ and get out of yourself. Discover what
it means to be Spirit filled and be dead honest with God. I am empty, God. God says thank you
for being honest with me. I’m a sinner, God. God says, yes, you are. Much more than you
realize, and I gave you my Son. Look unto him and you shall be healed. Come unto him and you
will be free. Trust in him and you will know. Believe in him and walk in him and you will realize
it. You will discover the amazing Word of God. The Word of God will fill you.

The Word of God will satisfy you. The prayers that you pray will be answered. God will visit you. He will help you.
God will never leave you, never forsake you. You are able to look at life square in the face and
say, I can take it. I can take it. I’m here. I’m showing up. I got God in my heart. I believe you and
I’m coming to you as I am. Amen. Praise the Lord! (horns honking). Pray with me, please.

 

Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.