“The Naked Man, Cross, and Tomb”
- I am sure that there are some people that would consider this message and title quite sacrilegious for an Easter Sunday message.
- I believe it to be quite the contrary. If you know anything about the word of God and are a child of God, you should already know that the word “naked” can be applied in several different applications and has several meanings.
- Get our minds out of the gutter and into our text this morning of Mark 14, and recognize this event of Jesus’ betrayal also mentioned in the other 3 gospels.
- However, this particular event of the naked man is only mentioned in Mark’s gospel of the account in verses 50-52.
I. The “Naked Man” at Gethsemane
Dictionary meaning of naked
- If you look up the word “naked” in your dictionary, it will give you these descriptions… 1. Completely unclothed, bare, nude, uncovered, or exposed. 2. Destitute, a lack of clothing, means of support. 3. Without protection or defense. 4. Without a usual covering (as in a “naked sword” being out of its sheath or a “naked land” without grass or vegetation).
B) Biblical meaning of naked
- You will find the biblical meaning to be very enlightening as we look at the Easter message this morning.
- The word “naked” is found 47 times in our KJV bible.
- First – found in Genesis 2:25…And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Adam and Eve were “naked” and not ashamed because they were innocent, perfect, and had committed no sin.
- Adam and Eve were covered with God’s light which is no knowledge of evil and complete worship to God out of a heart that is innocent, and pure. Their joy was with service to God and both united as one.
- “Naked, and not ashamed” was a time when both Adam and Eve enjoyed the works of God out of reverence, honor and obedience. It was a time when every place on earth was God’s temple and worship. It was a time when everything on the earth was godly.
- Second – In Genesis 3:7…And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
- Their eyes were opened meaning that they were now guilty and not innocent before God.
- Now Adam and Eve no longer obeyed God, no longer reverenced or honored God, every place on earth no longer was God’s temple, and now everything was no longer godly. Satan entered the picture.
- This I believe to be the time when God established His word that would later be written in James 2:10…For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
- Thirdly– Job 26:6…Hell is naked before him (God), and destruction hath no covering. “Hell is naked?” How can hell be naked? It is naked/empty before God because it is empty of love, empty of forgiveness, empty of God, empty of His blessing, and empty of life (nothing but death).
- II Corinthians 5:1…For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
- Verse 1 describes to us Paul’s description of our “earthly house” (body) on earth being like a tent which is a temporary living place for our soul until it becomes glorified in the rapture “a building of God.”
- Verse 2) For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: Paul describes his feelings about this body as we should also…the constant battle with the sinful nature, the frustrations of life on earth, our weakness in spirituality. The word “groan” is a sound people make when they are displeased, in pain, or disapprove of something. I have done this on many occasions lately because I am displeased with my body malfunctions and ailments desiring to be clothed with my heavenly body that is free of pain and imperfections.
- 3) If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4) For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
- “…we shall not be found naked” This is a reference to the judgment of God mentioned in Revelation 16:15…Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Naked before the throne of God without Christ who clothes us with His righteousness.
- What does Christ mean when he says “…Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments?” He means that you are happy in your daily life because you are secure in your salvation knowing that Christ has you protected from death. The word “watcheth” means to be expecting something to happen, while “keepeth” means to be ready.
II. A Naked Cross
A) An empty cross
- As I have been in many homes and apartments throughout my life as a contractor and now as an employee at a senior residence center, I have noticed many crosses with Jesus hanging on it. If not a real wooden cross and a porcelain Jesus, then a picture of Jesus still on the cross.
- My deaf friends, Jesus is not on the cross, the cross is naked and empty of our risen Savior.
- Catholic churches and their member’s homes are saturated with crosses of Jesus still hanging on it. All Baptist churches that I know of have an empty cross, a naked cross.
- Why do we have a naked/empty cross? Because the cross is empty of pain and suffering, empty of the Son of Man who was the ultimate sacrifice for us, empty of the sorrow of those who witnessed His suffering
- Need we be reminded that our blessed Saviour was naked upon the cross? Why would God allow His Son to be exposed to the whole world?
- It was Rome’s way of crucifixion to make sure that those who were hung on a cross would experience the worst pain and the worst humiliation possible.
- How in the world can we have a pity party for ourselves when we suffer with the diseases and pain of life that we deserve because of our sin? Jesus did nothing wrong, He was perfect.
- Jesus took our pain and humiliation to the cross and left it there.
- Vernon McGee writes: He was crucified naked. It is difficult for us in this age of nudity and pornography to comprehend the great humiliation He suffered by hanging nude on the cross. They had taken His garments and gambled for ownership. My friend, He went through it all, crucified naked, that you might be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and so be able to stand before God throughout the endless ages of eternity.
- Let me ask you, What pain and humiliation have you suffered through on this earth for His sake?
III. The Naked/Empty Tomb
A) Of most importance
- The tomb being naked/empty is of the utmost importance to a Christian’s life. WHY? Because if the tomb still held the body of Jesus then our tomb would also be full with our body.
- Because of the empty tomb, our tomb will also be empty of our soul.
- Now in closing, look at Matthew 28:1…In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3) His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4) And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5) And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7) And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
- Folks, this is the best news any person in the world could ever hear “He is not here: for He is risen.” This is a fulfillment of the prophecies mentioned in the Old Testaments. This is a promise for our future. This is a stamp of validation upon His word that says He will do as He said He would.
B) Why are people afraid today?
- Did you notice the two ladies (both named Mary) response to the empty tomb in Matthew 28:8…they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy;”
- What was their “fear?” The stone being rolled away during an earthquake. They were afraid of the angel that came down from heaven. They were afraid of the angel’s appearance (countenance) being like lightning as in bright. I believe that they were also afraid of what may have happened to their Lord!
- People today are walking in fear of this pandemic “COVID 19.” WHY? Because they have no hope. They have no Savior. They have no protection. They have no blessedness. They have no place of rest eternally. They have no faith. They are “naked.” They are not clothed with the righteousness of God’s Son.
- What was their “joy?” The “joy” they were experiencing was the same joy we will experience when we have accepted His word as the truth and accepted Jesus as our personal Savior and allow Him to clothe us with His righteousness and not our own righteousness.
- These two women at the sepulcher could not wait to share the “good news (gospel)” of Jesus’ resurrection. Are you this excited to share the news of Jesus Christ with your lost deaf friends?
- I pray my friend that you are not found “naked” without Christ.