Dr. John Sung
JESUS LIVES AGAIN
l. Vs. 1-8. Praise the Lord, the resurrection power of our Lord supersedes science!
Joseph had buried our Lord's body in a tomb. The tomb's entrance was sealed with a big stone. On the third morning, before dawn, three women came --- Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary, mother of James. They came, step by step, murmuring to themselves, “How can we have the strength to roll the stone away?” They wended their way with a heavy heart. Beloved, one who knows not the Lord's resurrection power is bound to be sad. But the Lord had the power to roll the stone away. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
When they came to the tomb they saw a young man in white. They met an angel. The angel asked if they looked for Jesus. They said, “Yes.” The angel replied, “The Lord is risen.” Beloved, the Lord is risen indeed! The power of death cannot hold him. The angel said, “Have you forgotten? Did not the Lord tell Peter He would first go to Galilee?” What man cannot do, the Lord can. Our Lord is greater than science.
After we're dead, our bones will come to life at the last day. When our Lord returns, our bodies will become resurrected bodies. Although our body cells disintegrate after death, yet when the trumpet is sounded, we will regain our former bodies. God has power to resurrect, so we have hope. From time immemorial, all the dead, including Confucius and Mencius, have not lived again. But our Lord lives again. He is above science. What science cannot do, He can.
II. Vs. 9-11. His power conquers every sorrow and pain. There remains only Mary Magdalene who loves Jesus most. She once had seven devils whom the Lord had cast out. So she revered Him most. She followed the Lord for
years. She treasured His wonderful words and His kindly countenance. She loved the Lord most and had anointed His body with precious ointment.
When our Lord was crucified she stood at the Cross weeping. On this very morning she and Salome, and others came to the tomb. Though the others returned, she remained, weeping. She was indignant over the slaying of the loving Saviour. As she wept and wept, she suddenly saw the Lord appear in white. Supposing Him to be the gardener she said, “Where have you taken the Master's body?” Jesus said, “Mary!” “Rabbi” she answered. Jesus said, “I will go to the Father ... you go back and tell the disciples and Peter.” Overjoyed, she ran to tell the disciples.
The eleven were gathered in a room. They were weeping bitterly for they thought their Lord's body was stolen. Between sorrow and fear, there suddenly came Mary into their midst. She said, “The Lord is risen and He goes first to Galilee . . .” The disciples wept on, disbelieving such idle talk. Beloved, one who disbelieves the resurrection can only be filled with sorrow. But Jesus truly lives. The world is filled with sorrow and pain. We can rest at ease in our Lord. See, there is Peter locked in prison, bound hand and foot, to be executed the next day. Was Peter sorrowful? No. He slept soundly!
In Hinghwa there was a Christian surnamed Goh. At his death-bed, many wept for him. He said, “Don't weep, I'm but going home. The coffin is only a bridal sedan. I'm the bride ... I believe in the resurrection.”
III. Vs. 10-13. Our Lord's resurrection transcends not only science but also reason. Here is described two disciples sorrowfully wending their way to Emmaus when Jesus joined their company. As they went along Jesus opened to them the prophecies of Scripture. These two had read the Scriptures. These two had read the Scriptures many a time but without understanding. As the Lord explained in detail to them, they suddenly became enlightened.
In the past I did not understand Scripture. When I came to Ezekiel 47 on how the water flowed eastwards ... to a thousand cubits . . .” I was quite nonplussed. I prayed, “Lord, open my eyes!” Many times when I didn't understand, I prayed and I was enlightened. During my 193 days in hospital I could not understand certain passages. After I prayed the Lord opened my eyes. Although the two disciples did not understand, the Lord's power transcended their intellect. He showed them clearly the deep things. Whenever I read the Bible I am fully amazed. Not a letter can be changed. I do not read any commentary on the Bible. I rely fully on prayer.
IV. Vs. 12-18. Jesus' resurrection power transcends the law. The disciples did not believe though they saw the evidences of the resurrection. To disbelieve is simply “to eat one's own sorrow”. Jesus went in when the door was shut, though in the same body which resurrected. Science sees in the human body a great marvel. It is made up of cells and atoms. Once these are dispersed, it becomes invisible. When they come together they become a man. The risen body is one that has been scattered and regathered.
When the disciples were in sorrow Jesus entered and said, “Peace be unto you!” When all didnot believe, Jesus said, “Put forth your finger to feel my hand.” Not to believe, according to law, brings death. But Jesus forgave them. Moreover He said to them, “Go and make disciples of many nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.” Faith is of two kinds: the True and the false. Jesus said, Those who believe can cast out devils in my name. Those who believe are assuredly saved, no matter how great their sins, they shall be saved.
Peter preached to three thousand at Pentecost. Convicted by the Holy Spirit these were pricked in their hearts. A soldier said to Peter, “I deserve to die! I put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.” Peter said, “If you are willing to believe in Jesus, you shall be saved.” Another soldier: “They can be saved, but not me. I am worse than any other. While Jesus was nailed on the cross, it was I who speared His side.” Peter said, “You need only believe in Jesus and you shall be saved.” Whatever your sins, if you repent and put your trust in the Lord, the blood of Christ will save you. Many have committed adultery and other pollutions. According to law, they deserve to die. But Jesus was crucified for them. If they repent and believe on the Lord, they can be saved. Jesus' power transcends the law.
V. Vs. 19, 20. Jesus' resurrection power transcends speech. As Jesus spoke He ascended to heaven. All saw Him go up, up to the highest where now He reigns supreme. We are His body and He the head. He directs us, not only by His mouth, but also by miracles to prove. Let me tell you, if what you preach is true, it will be evidenced with miracles.
Beloved, how wonderful! When a person preaches His Word, the Lord will substantiate His Word with miracles. Jesus' power transcends speech. Paul says, “I preach, not relying on my gift of speech, but on the mighty power of God.” Many are there today who preach not in the mighty power of God but by their own eloquence.
A school teacher in Shantung was very conceited, He disbelieved Jesus and fought against the Christian faith. But his wife, a zealous believer, was a paralytic. So he jeered her, “If your paralysis is healed I will believe and even become a preacher.” In December 1931 when I came to Ping Tu, Shantung, the wife was carried to hear me preach. She confessed and repented of her sins. She said, “I believe my illness can be cured. After I am healed, my husband will become a preacher.” She asked me to pray for her. At first I hesitated. After this a western doctor asked me to pray for her, “She is sure to be healed. Her faith is very strong.” So I prayed for her. She was healed of her 18 years of paralysis. She could walk. She wrote her husband but he disbelieved. She wired her husband. Neither did she receive a reply. When he finally returned he confessed his sins. He resigned his teaching and witnessed for Christ in Shantung. Beloved, are your hearts hardened? But Jesus lives, and His power transcends everything.
One day I shall rise to meet Jesus in mid-air. Then will He wipe away my tears. Fear not, we have hope. The Lord we trust is alive. Jesus has prepared beforehand a mansion for us. Soon we'll meet the Lord. The world passes away. We are growing old. But the Lord will wipe away our tears. He is in heaven and we on earth. One day He will take us to Himself. The Lord is trustworthy. The houses on earth are of little worth. The Lord is now in heaven preparing room for us. How many disciples have gone forward bravely to carry the cross. Never are they afraid. We have a risen Saviour to back us up. Let us work our hardest till the Lord takes us home.
Beloved, one day we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Our great captain --- Jesus --- has gone before us. He triumphs over all death. We will follow Him. When He was on earth, He was ridiculed and opposed. Now He has triumphed. Let us follow Him.
I believe the day is coming when we who follow Jesus will meet the Lord mid-air. Thousands upon thousands will meet in the sky. At that hour, Amoy and Kulangsu would disappear. Jesus is the living Saviour. We who follow Him have everlasting life.