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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

Matthew 27:45-28:20

27:45 Now from noon until three, darkness came over all the land. 46 At about three o’clock Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to save him.” 50 Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. 52 And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. 53 (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) 54 Now when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were extremely terrified and said, “Truly this one was God’s Son!” 55 Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and given him support were also there, watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

57 Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 (Now Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, opposite the tomb.)

62 The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

28:1 Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” 8 So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”

11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After they had assembled with the elders and formed a plan, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came at night and stole his body while we were asleep.’ 14 If this matter is heard before the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story is told among the Jews to this day.

16 So the eleven disciples went to Galilee to the mountain Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”