THE LAMB (His death) and THE SHEAF (His Resurrection)

THE LAMB (His death) and THE SHEAF (His Resurrection)

“The Beautiful Body of Christ”

John 20; Matthew 28; Luke 24

Sunday, April 9, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


On the evening Jesus was crucified, Joseph and Nicodemus came to recover the Body of Jesus by night and brought a mixture of spices and ointment.  They took the body of Jesus, and hastily wrapped it in linen clothes with the spices, as is the manner of the Jewish burial.  Jesus was laid in Joseph’s tomb.  The Word of God said that in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden.  In the garden was a new sepulcher hewn out of a rock (Mk. 15:46), wherein was never a man yet lain.  They hastily laid Jesus there because of the Jew’s Sabbath as it was late in the evening.


That Sabbath day was also a “High Sabbath Day.”  Not only was it the Passover Sabbath, but it was the day before the Festival of First Fruits.  The Jewish Sabbath is on a Saturday.  Thus, the Festival of First Fruits would be on Sunday.


Lev. 23: 9-12: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, “When you come into the land which I gave to you, and reap the harvest thereof, then shall you bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.  He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  You shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf a he-Lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the Lord.”


Jesus Christ is the Lamb and the Sheaf of First Fruits.  This sheaf is a forerunner sheaf for the Pentecost harvest.  The first fruits also speak of the resurrection life and power of the new creation walking in newness of life following our Heavenly Head passing from death into life.  Jesus is the New Priesthood and became the sheaf. 


The Lamb (His death) and the Sheaf (His Resurrection); and the Drink Offering – (the fourth part of a hin of wine) typifies the Lord’s Supper in which we as believers continually remember Jesus’ death and resurrection as we partake of the New Covenant.  The Drink Offering signifies Jesus’ utter pouring out of Himself (His life – His Blood).  It is the sacrifice of joy in praise and worship and the outpoured life of the believer. The Lamb and the hin of wine represent Jesus Christ taking the sinners place for sins.  The sheaf typifies Christ would rise again after being three days and nights in the earth after His crucifixion.


A vast number of people went out in the evening to some field near the city where priests appointed by the Sanhedrin gathered a sheaf of new corn.  This sheaf was taken the next morning and waved before the altar.  An ox with gilded horns and an olive wreath on his head walked in front of the priestly band.


Israel could not partake of the fruit of Canaan until after the Sheaf had been waved.  We cannot partake of the blessings of God apart from the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, burial, resurrection, ascension and the indwelling Holy Spirit.


On that Sabbath in Jerusalem, the name of Jesus was being spoken on a thousand lips. That same day,  two disciples on the Emmaus Road were discussing all the things which had happened.  Jesus appeared to them, but their eyes were hidden that they should not know him.  Jesus asked them what they were talking about.  Luke 24:13-19:  One of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said to him, “are you a stranger in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which have come to pass there in these days. Jesus said to them, “What things?  They said concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people…


 His mighty deeds were well known.  The two disciples proceed to tell Jesus the events of the past weeks.  With compassion, he had healed the sick, and the broken hearted; set at liberty the captives; and those bound by their prisons of sin.  He had preached good tiding to the meek and healed their infirmities. He had raised the dead.


Could those who loved him fail to be indignant?  He was seized by soldiers at night. There was a 3-fold mock trial of betrayal and treachery.  He fainted under the beam of the Cross.  Then He was nailed to it in anguish.  They heard the rocks being rent.  They saw the darkening of the sun.  These things were not done in a corner.


Jesus arrested!

Jesus Found Innocent!

Jesus crucified Anyway!

The earth shook and the sun was darkened!


Then before dawn of the third day, “Behold there was another great earthquake(Mt. 28:2)!  The Roman soldiers who were stationed to guard the tomb shook and became like dead men.  The stone at the mouth of the tomb snapped the seals.  An Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, came, and rolled back the stone from the door.  He seats Himself upon it.  His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow. 


As daybreak is beginning to dawn upon the first day of the week, three figures are seen approaching the garden.  Because of the haste by which Jesus’ body was anointed, his body had not been properly prepared for burial.  They were carrying sweet spices, ointments and rolls of linen cloth.  These are the women of Galilee who stood at the foot of the cross.  They are now the first to His tomb.


The names of these women are Salome, the mother of the Apostle John; Mary, wife of Cleophas (His mother’s sister) and Mary Magdalene (Jn. 19:25; Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:1); and Joanna (Lk. 24:10).


To their astonishment, they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.  They entered in and to their perplexity, the body of Jesus was not there.  The gospel of John tells us that Mary Magdalene rushed back to the city to find Peter and John.  In her fear she assumes his body has been stolen.  They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him(Jn. 20:2).


In Luke, we see the other women enter the tomb and behold two men stood by them in the tomb in shining garments.  The women were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth.  The angel spoke to them saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here.  He is risen; remember how He spoke to you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again(Lk. 24: 3-7).   


The angel further bids them to go quickly and tell the joyful news to the disciples (Mt. 28:7) that Jesus is risen from the dead and behold, He goes before you into Galilee.  There you shall see Him; lo I have told you.  They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy.


However, after Mary Magdalene told Peter and John His body was missing, they had already taken off to know for themselves what had taken place.  John runs ahead of Peter.  Yes, the tomb is empty.  Logic speaks--- robbers must have entered the tomb and stolen Him away.


The grave cloths were folded carefully.  The linen napkin which had bound his head was folded.  The word of God tells us that “John saw and believed(Jn. 20:8). (vs. 10) then the disciples went away again to their own homes (Peter and John).   


Jesus sends the message through the women to all his disciples, but there is one he singles out among them.  Of all the scattered sheep of the fold, “”and Peter.”  The eleven apostles are beginning to come back together.  In their shock and unbelief, they are not comprehending, nor do they believe what the women have told them.


Jesus Rises from the Grave!

Angels announce He is Risen!


Oh, Happy Day for a world surrounded by darkness!  The brighter than the brightest earthly sun has come forth from His chamber of death, rejoicing more than ever “as a strong man to run his course(Psa. 19: 4-5). He has turned the shadow of death into Resurrection Morning.  The darkness is past, and the true light now shines(1 Jn. 2:8).  It is the golden radiance of the first Resurrection sunrise service.


Mary Magdalene has now returned to the tomb after the others have left. Mary had not yet heard the news of the testimony of the angels, from the other women, that Jesus was alive. 


 It was surely a brave thing for her to do to go back to the garden because by now the Roman soldiers have gone back to the chief priests telling them all things that were done.


The elders took counsel and bribed the soldiers to say His disciples came by night and stole Him away.


Mary Magdalene stood outside the tomb weeping.  The angels, who had not been seen by Peter and John, now appear to Mary.  There are two of them in white sitting one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain.


They speak to her, “Why are you crying”?  She replies in the same words she spoke to Peter and John.  They have taken my Master out of His grave.  O tell me where they have laid him?” (Jn. 20)


At that moment, Mary is aware of a third person.  She turns around and sees a solitary figure standing nearby.  She does not recognize Jesus.  Mark describes Jesus’ as “appearing in another form(Mk. 16:12).


We know from Luke 24:39, that Jesus rose from the grave in His flesh. Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have.


Yet, his body was different because Mary Magdalene did not recognize him.  She mistook him for the gardener. 


His resurrected body was a real body, real enough to walk on the road to Emmaus, to be mistaken for a gardener, or to swallow fish at breakfast.


Jesus too asks Mary the cause of her tears.  Her reply, “If you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, that I may take him away.” (Jn. 20)


One word spoken by the supposed gardener reveals the well-known voice and presence.


“Never did trumpet royal declare.

Such tale of victory to a breathless soul,

As the deep sweetness of one word could bear --- “MARY


In ecstasy of Joy, she exclaims, “Rabboni”!


This was the most honorable of titles – My great One!  My greatest! My best!  My fondest Master!


It was the voice of her Beloved Lord and Savior.  The same voice that cast out the seven devils that had long ruled her body.


 Mark. 16:9: When Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.


How kind the manner in which He reveals Himself to her.  Not in dazzling, terrifying glory, as the death conqueror, but as “that same Jesus” (Acts 2:36)—the brother-man, the old friend of the Galilean shores.


She rushes forward to embrace Him.  However, with calm, divine majesty, Jesus tells her not to touch Him.  The bible does not tell us why she could not touch him, yet later he invites Thomas to touch him as well as the two disciples on the Emmaus Road.  


The body she gazed upon was the glorified body of His victory over death.


Here we are given a glimpse into the beauty of the glorified body of Jesus. 


Jesus prayed that we might “Behold His Glory.”


Mary hastens to the city with the joyous tidings – “I have seen the Lord.”


What a privilege!  She was the first to see Jesus risen from the dead and the first preacher to declare, “The Lord is Risen!.”


Shortly thereafter, the other women were similarly honored with a visitation of the Lord on what is still Resurrection Morning.


Jesus met them and said, “All Hail!” And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him (Mat. 28:9)


What a glad morning!  The Angels are still declaring, He is alive!  The Church of Jesus Christ continues to proclaim that glad morning through the ages of time.  The same two angels are still in the tomb in Jerusalem declaring the same message, “He is not here, He is alive.”


That divine Son who had so lately gone down in the darkness of the tomb has risen never to set again.  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it…” (Psa. 19:6)


“Love’s redeeming work is done.

Fought the fight---the battle won.

Lo, the Son’s eclipse is over.

Lo, he sets in blood no more. (John Ross MacDuff)


Weeping had endured for the last two nights, but joy came in the morning.


Rev. 1:17: I am the first and the last; I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore Amen And I have the keys of Hell and of Death.


Meanwhile, the two disciples on the Emmaus Road were yet to experience greater blessing:


Luke 24: 28-34: Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that he would have gone father.  They constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”  He went in to stay with them.  Now it came to pass, As He sat at the table with them, He took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.  Their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and He vanished from their sight.  They said to one another, “did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?  So, they rose that very hour and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered, saying, “The LORD has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon!”


-What a walk and talk those two had!  Or perhaps, there was no talking.


Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene!

Jesus appears to Cleopas and Simon.

Jesus appears to the other women.


In this simple message, I have only been able to cover the events of that first Resurrection Morning and his visit with Cleopas and Simon on the Emmaus Road – in the evening of the same day, Jesus’ glorified body walks through a wall and stands in the midst where the disciples were assembled in fear.


No place in scripture is it written that Jesus shed his beautiful, glorified body of flesh.  but He ascends in it.  



“How beautiful the hands that served.

The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth

How beautiful the feet that walked.

The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross


How beautiful, how beautiful

How beautiful is the body of Christ.


How beautiful the heart that bled.

That took all my sin and bore it instead.

How beautiful the tender eyes

That choose to forgive and never despise.


And as he laid down His life.

We offer this sacrifice.

That we may live just as he died

Willing to pay the price.

Willing to pay the price.


How beautiful the radiant bride

Who waits for her groom with His light in her eyes?

How beautiful when humble hearts give.

The fruit of pure lives so that others may live.


How beautiful the feet that bring.

The sound of good news and the love of the King

How beautiful the hand that serve.

The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth


How beautiful, how beautiful

Is the body of Christ.”  By: Twila Paris


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX

Scripture from K.J.V. – song “The Beautiful Body of Christ” by: Twila Paris; The First Resurrection Morning 4/15/2015 (Sissom)

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