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I've Just Seen Jesus

Theme: The Resurrection of Jesus - Easter Sunday, Year B
Object: Graphic of Jesus (See link below sermon.)
Scripture: Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:18 (NIV)

Stare at the four dots in the center of this picture for about thirty seconds. Then, close your eyes and wait for an image to appear. What did you see? Did you see an image of Jesus? Some people see the image of Jesus and some don't. It is just like it is in real life. Some people don’t see Jesus because they are looking for Him in the wrong places.

That is what happened in our Bible story today. Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. She found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and another disciple, whose name was John. She told them, "They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!"

Peter and John started out for the tomb. They were both running, but John outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed -- for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.

Mary stayed behind and stood outside the tomb weeping. As she knelt down and looked inside, she saw two angels dressed in white. They asked her why she was crying. She told them that someone had taken her master and she didn't know where they had taken him. Then, Mary turned and saw a man standing behind her. It was Jesus, but Mary did not recognize Him. She thought he was the gardener. Then Jesus called her by name and, when she heard his voice, she recognized Him. After she saw that it was Jesus, she went to the disciples and said to them, "I’ve just seen Jesus! He is alive!"

Some people, like Mary, Peter, and John can’t see Jesus because they are looking for Him in a grave or on a cross. He isn’t there! He is risen and is seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven. If you want to see Jesus, look in His Word, He will reveal Himself to you, just as He did to Mary!

Father, we thank you that Jesus, our Savior, is not in a grave. He is alive! We serve a risen Savior! Hallelujah! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

A printable graphic of Jesus: (PDF) (HTML)

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Coloring Page: "Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene"
Crossword Puzzle (PDF) (HTML)
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Worship Bulletin: (DOC) (PDF) 
An alternative sermon based on John 20:1-18: "The Case of the Empty Tomb"
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