Text: John 20:1-18
Title: The last and first miracle
Houdini, the famous magician, died on Halloween Day, 1926. Just before his death, he said to the people that he would escape from heaven and come back to the earth. Since he was so famous for escaping, then, actually, some people believed that he would come back. However, in 2002, nobody waits for Houdini.
Jesus is the only one who said that he would come back from death and actually did.
Why was Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week, the day after Sabbath?
First, God created universe for six days and took rest on the seventh day.
Therefore, the day after Sabbath means the complete rest with God.
Second, resurrection on the day after Sabbath fulfils Pentecost and jubilee of the Old Testament. True liberty and restoration is accomplished by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Third, the first day after Sabbath means initiation of the new history, the spiritual history, based upon the new creation and the new kind of being.
Time is always subject to being. When God created light on the first day of the six days, time started. The resurrected body is the new kind of being. Therefore, it means starting point of the new history, the new kingdom, and the new reign.
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
The first witness of the resurrection was a woman, not one of the Twelve.
Mary Magdalene had been known by the Church fathers as the apostle to The Apostles.
A woman who was not educated well and had no any intention for fame first witnessed Resurrection. Christian history started with an ordinary woman. And we know her witness was true. Jesus Christ conquered death. He was raised from the dead as he told. Those who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus now knew that Jesus is the Son of God.
Despite many wonders and signs Jesus performed, Jesus could not be acknowledged as the Son of God without resurrection.
Therefore, the resurrection of Jesus was the last miracle for Jesus to be recognized. And at the same time, it was the first miracle to open the door to the new age, the new history, and the new reign.
Application and conclusion
Our faith to the resurrection of Jesus leads us to confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
The Son of God has all power and authority, even for life.
He gave us the eternal life. Death was overcome.
Being witness to the resurrection of Jesus meant martyr.
Yes, it still means in some parts of the world.
However, witnessing must continue because only witnessing can bring the eternal life into the world.