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Confessing the Resurrected Christ

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning from Mary Magdalene's journey to belief in the real and Resurrected Jesus.

Text: John 20:11-18
Date: 08/09/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 189

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The focus of John's Resurrection narrative is on belief in the resurrected Christ. Last week, we saw John "see and believe" when he entered the empty tomb. This week we will focus on Mary Magdalene, who even after seeing two angels from heaven and Jesus Himself-- still did not believe in His Resurrection. Even though she confessed Jesus as Lord, she confessed, believed and loved a Jesus she still thought to be dead. In analyzing her progression to true faith, we will learn it is not only necessary to "confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord", but also to "believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead"! In Mary's case, it will only be after she hears Jesus tenderly call her name that she will come to a true saving faith-- confessing the Resurrected Christ.

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I. Introduction, Matt. 7:21-23, Rom. 10:9.
II. Exposition of the text, John 20:11-18.
A. Context
B. Mary Magdalene's journey to faith.
1. Mary returns to the tomb, vs. 11, Matt. 25:30.
a. Establishing why Mary was weeping, John 20:2.
i. Mary's significance, 1Cor. 1:27-29.
ii. Why Mary was weeping, John 20:2.
b. Looking inside the tomb.
2. The angels in the tomb, vs. 12, Luke 24:4.
3. The dialogue with the angels, vs. 13.
a. A question of incredulity, Luke 24:5.
b. Mary's nonchalant response.
c. When Heaven comes down.
i. At the annunciation, Luke 1:30-33, Matt. 1:20-23.
ii. At the nativity, Luke 2:10-14.
iii. At the baptism, Matt. 3:16-17, John 1:32-34.
iv. Throughout His ministry, John 12:28-33.
d. Mary still does not believe.
4. Failing to "see and believe", vs. 14.
i. Failing to recognize what she saw, Luke 24:16, 31.
ii. Mary's faith will come through hearing, Rom. 10:17.
5. The dialog with Jesus, vs. 15.
a. Probing questions from Jesus.
i. The address, John 19:26.
ii. The inquiry.
iii. The invitation.
b. Mary's mistaken response.
i. The gardener.
ii. Asking for Jesus' body.
6. Jesus calls Mary by name, vs. 16.
a. The personal calling.
i. The sweet sound of her name.
ii. More than auditory recognition, John 10:3-4,27-28.
b. Mary's "crystalline moment".
i. Her reverent response.
ii. The "soft" and "tender" calling.
c. The effectual call of Christ, John 10:14,27, 17:6, 6:44, 14:6, 10:26.
7. Clinging to the man, vs. 17.
a. Old habits are hard to break.
b. Mary's task.
8. Mary's obedience, vs. 18.
III. Application
A. Keeping Mary in perspective.
B. Restating the question of the morning.
1. Revisiting Paul's formula, Rom. 10:9-10.
a. Applying it to Mary.
b. Applying it to yourself.
2. The significance of believing in the Resurrected Christ, John 1:1-3.
IV. Conclusion

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