Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
During April we are going to continue to work our way through the gospel of John our theme is Responding to the Living Word.
Today we are talking about The Darkness Gave Way.
Lord god, Your Word says, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
We are totally dependant on Your victory for our salvation.
For the light that overcomes the darkness, we give You praise and rejoice in Your presence.
Use the offerings we give to bring life and joy to all who wait for the light to shine in their darkness.
Through Jesus Christ, the Light of the World we rejoice today.
In Jesus name we pray.
John 20:1 NKJV
The Empty Tomb
20 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
John 20:1-18 NKJV
The Empty Tomb
1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.
12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
On the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark, just a few days before the earth had quaked and trembled.
Cracks had opened up in the ground.
The skies had turned dark as the sun hid itself, and at midday there was no light, only darkness.
- All you have to do for darkness to come is remove the light.
Darkness is everywhere.
Mary knew about darkness.
She had been there with her Lord through Friday’s darkness.
Patiently, agonisingly, she stood with the others and His mother at the cross watching Him die.
As He does, they felt, as well as they saw, the darkness descend upon them.
Now, unable to sleep, in the fourth watch, sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning, she made her way to the tomb in the garden.
No one was out at that hour.
Mary had known other darkness.
She came from the little town of Magdala, a town know for its lack of legal or moral restraints and wickedness, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The rabbis said it was because of its evil that Magdala lost its life.
Only recently have the ruins of this little city been discovered.
In Luke 8 the gospel writer recalls how Jesus met Mary with her seven demons.
Jesus had exorcised the demons and brought light to Mary’s darkness.
On the dark edge of sanity, Jesus had reached out to bring Mary back to the centre of life, back to the light at the heart of life.
Jesus had gone with Mary through the darkness, and now she had come to share for a while the darkness of His burial place.
But when she got to the tomb, the stone cover was moved.
She peered into the gloom and slowly knew that He wasn’t there.
2. The light removed the darkness in Mary.
Mary didn’t know what had happened.
She didn’t expect a resurrection, she simply knew that Jesus’ body was not there.
The most logical explanation was that someone had stolen His body, to do who knows what kind of horrible thing.
So Mary ran and told Peter that someone had taken away her Lord.
Peter came toward the tomb, walking first, then with increasing excitement he began to run.
His friend John ran with him.
John got there first, only to stop outside.
Peter knew no such discretion and wasn’t timid and ran straight into the darkness of the tomb.
The light of dawn had begun to disturb the nights darkness outside, but in the tomb they hardly knew what to make of it all.
Jesus was not there!
But still they had no thought of the resurrection.
They went back to their homes, but not Mary.
Mary would not leave.
She stayed behind, weeping.
It may surprise you that Mary mistook Jesus for a gardener.
There are two reasons, perhaps.
The Scriptures say the angels were there when she came back to the edge of the tomb and looked in.
They were clothed in white.
The Greek word means white, not like a linen cloth, but glistening, shining, and dazzling.
Besides the radiance of the light, Mary was in tears.
She had been crying since Friday.
Dazzled by the light, her eyes washed in tears, she saw Jesus but thought Him to be the gardener.
“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?”
And Mary replied, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away.”
Love and sadness, generosity and courage were enveloped in that statement.
Strong men had taken Jesus’ body down from the cross and carried it to the garden tomb.
Some had been afraid to stand with Jesus as He died, but not Mary.
Do you know how Mary realised who Jesus was?
Not by sight, nor by the sound of His voice.
It was the specific word He spoke, her name.
“Mary,” He said.
Then she knew who He was.
Mary and the disciples believed God had taken up the struggle with darkness and the sin that had held His creation in bondage.
They had seen Him die.
They had helped place Him in the tomb.
Now Jesus was alive, and they knew God had only just begun the battle.
Out of those clothes that had wrapped our Lord came the resurrected Christ, the Son of the living God, the Saviour of the world, the Light for our darkness, Jesus the Saviour.
All He had to do was call her name, and she knew He was Jesus.
The darkness fled from her spirit in the presence of Jesus as darkness flees the earth I the presence of the rising sun.
John uses the theme of light and darkness all the way through this gospel.
It is no accident that he told about Mary coming to the tomb while it was still dark.
This phrase causes us to think back to the way John began the gospel.
John 1:5, And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
It was dark when Mary approached the tomb, but the darkness did not have the last word that day.
Jesus had warned earlier in His ministry in, John 12:35, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”
The darkness is persuasive just as evil is persuasive.
Darkness will swallow us up if the light does not shine.
Jesus said in John 3:19, “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Jesus invited people to consider that He was “the Light of the World, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life..
And then Jesus said in John 12:46, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
Mary knew about believing.
She knew about Jesus who had given her another chance at life.
She believed, and the darkness had to flee.
3. Where is the darkness in your life?
On the edges of your life, have the dark clouds begun to gather?
Or is it already later than that for you?
Almost suffocated beneath the weight of your rebellion, sick unto death because of the nature of your sin, have you lost hope in this world?
Walking in your own way and stubbornly resisting the grace of God, seeking peace at your own pace and joy at your own price, have you come to the place where you know the darkness is finally going to conquer you?
Think of it this way.
Suppose that one day the earth were suddenly to break out of its own orbit, no longer to revolve around the sun, but were to fly farther and farther away into the coldness of space.
We would wait for the coming of spring, but it would never come.
We would wait with weariness for the birds to sing and the buds to return to the trees, but spring would never come.
We would just go deeper and deeper into winter.
Meanwhile we would be saying to each other, “Surely spring will come tomorrow.”
But we would drift further into darkness.
No spring, no summer, only a deathly coldness gripping the earth until we realised the truth that we were doomed.
With a cry we would know we were lost in the darkness.
Many people feel darkness like that.
For some it is loss of hope that life can ever be different from what it is.
Picture this, a young man pleads with his pastor, “Tell me how my life can change. I’ve tried everything to be accepted and find my place, but nothing works!”
For others it is the sense of darkness as they look at their country.
The faces change, but the broken promises continue.
The moral courage required to stand against pornography and racism and drug trafficking and human trafficking are sadly lacking.
Others are frightened for a world that seems to have lost its moral moorings and is drifting in dark uncharted space.
Others suffer from loneliness in the midst of a busy world.
Most serious of all is the darkness suffered by those who leave God out of their lives.
Jesus is the true Light, all other light is temporary and reflected.
The darkness cannot forever be kept back by any substitute light pretending to be the Light of the World!
To ignore God and His Son Jesus Christ is to run to darkness.
God calls us back to light.
Into the dark night of the soul comes the Light of the World.
If you would live, bid the darkness farewell.
Invite the Light of God in Jesus Christ to dispel your darkness.
In Him there is no darkness at all.
In Him the darkness gives way.
He is risen!
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2022 IS A YEAR OF REPENTANCE AND BLESSINGS
© www.refinerylife.org 2022 All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968, no part of this Article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission.
Visit us at
Refinery Life Church Australia