Intro: Today, we celebrate the greatest day in the history of the world. Today we celebrate the great truth that Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a Roman cross and died, arose from the dead just three days later! This one truth is what sets Christianity apart from every other system of belief in the world! All other religious leaders have died. Buddha died! Mohammed died! Confucius died! Every founder of every religion that has ever existed has died. Only one has risen again from the dead! If we were to strip Christianity of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, then our faith would be no more than just another religious system condemning the souls of men to an eternity in Hell! If Jesus did not arise from the dead and is not alive today, then everything He did was in vain, His death was a waste of a life and all of His teachings are simply the ravings of a madman! If Jesus Christ is not alive, then you have no salvation, there is no hope for the world and we are all headed to Hell! Now, that having been said, I want to say that HE LIVES!
In the book of Luke the 24th chapter we read of the story of the Resurrected Redeemer. We can celebrate the truth this morning in these verses that Jesus is very much alive! And because He lives we have a tomorrow! "For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease.” Job 14:7
The resurrection gives us hope! Like the tree that might give the appearance of being dead but the root system is intact, Through Christ we can have hope. A sprout from this what looks like a dead tree can be translated “renewal” The resurrection has given mankind the opportunity to be restored to a growing active complete life.
Text: Luke 24:1-12 (NKJV)
"Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
As the morning began to dawn on the first day of the week after Jesus had died on the cross, some women came to the tomb to finish anointing the body of our Lord for His burial. While these women were heading to the tomb, our Lord's disciples were locked up inside the Upper Room trembling in fear that the same kind of death that Jesus had met awaited them also. Certainly, these women were sad and the disciples were scared. Just as the Jesus has said, the Shepherd had been smitten and the sheep had scattered.
Why were they so upset? They had all believed Jesus to be the Messiah. They had placed their faith in Him and they had expected that He would set up His Kingdom, throwing off the Roman yoke of bondage. Even though He had told them of the cross and of the resurrection, they had never grasped the message, or the meaning of Christ's words. Now, He is dead! The One that they had placed all their hopes in was gone. This man who had so radically changed their lives by His power and had demonstrated the love and power of God to them had died a violent and humiliating death. Surely, it was a sad day for His followers! Paul reminds us: “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” 1 Corinthians 15:13-14 He tells us that if Jesus were dead this morning, then we all have reason to grieve! If Jesus is dead, then we are all headed to Hell and none has hope beyond this life. And, even in this life, we are most miserable!
Old enemies that were defeated:
As they ate that first Resurrection Morning, Jesus began to tell His disciples that God's plan was to save the world. They had been called by the Father to be witnesses of that and they were to spread the news that a great spiritual victory had been won when Jesus arose from the dead. When Jesus arose from the dead, old enemies that had plagued man since sin entered into the world were forever defeated that day. The first old enemy is death. Imagine the struggle that ensued early that morning as death had to give up the Prince of Life! No more would death be able to claim the victory and sting with human race with its bitter curse. Jesus entered into deaths domain and rendered it helpless.
The second enemy is hell. When Jesus entered death for mankind, He descended into a place called Hell. He went to the paradise portion of that land of the dead: “And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:43 This was the same place that the redeemed thief on the cross went to when he died. Jesus went down there and proclaimed liberty to every person in that place who had died looking forward to His coming in faith: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison.” 1 Peter 3:18-19 When He arose from the dead and ascended to His Father in Heaven, the Bible tells us that He took those souls with Him to the Father in Heaven. Now, all those who believe in Jesus go directly to the Father when they leave this world. Hell has forever been removed for the child of God!
The third enemy is the grave. The enemy that died that day was the grave. When we lay this flesh down in death, our spirits ascend to the Father in Heaven. The next time we see our bodies, they will be glorified and will be like His body. One of these days, the grave will have to give up the body that has been placed there and that body will be forever changed into one just like that worn by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The fourth enemy is sin. Another enemy that died that day was sin. Now, in truth, sin had been taken care of three days earlier on the cross, but the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the Father's “Amen” to the sacrifice of the Son on the cross. A dead Savior can save no one! But One Who is alive can save all who come to Him by faith: “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:25 (NLT)
That is a big verse and promises great things to everyone who will believe its message. Sin doesn't have to defeat you! Jesus won the victory over sin on the cross and nailed its coffin lid shut when He arose from the dead. You can be free by faith in Jesus.
The fifth enemy is Satan. The last enemy that took a beating that day. His name is Satan, the devil, the accuser of the brethren, that old serpent, whatever name you want to call him, the outcome is the same. He is the enemy of God and of the people of God. He tried every way he could to short-circuit Christ's plans to go to the cross; however, Jesus endured every temptation, He weathered every storm and made it to the cross. When He cried “It is finished!”, Satan heard the foundations under his kingdom begin to crack. Three days later, when Jesus arose from the dead, Satan witness the total destruction of every plan and every scheme. He saw his power broken and himself judged. He was defeated forever by the Lord Jesus!
Because Jesus lives, you and I can be saved by the grace of God.
Because He lives, we can have our sins washed away forever.
Because He lives, we can go to Heaven when we leave this world.
Because He lives, the grave has no power over those who believe.
Because He lives, eternal live is our present possession.
Because He lives, one day we too will live with Him in that heavenly city.
Because He lives, I'll never have to take a step in this world alone.
Because He lives, there is hope, there is help and there is a home awaiting us in eternity.
Because He lives, I am alive.
Because He lives, my sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west.
Because He lives, my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.
Because He lives, God is my Father.
Because He lives, sin has no more dominion over me.
Because He lives I am saved forever.
Oh, the list could go on forever. Until we had exhausted all the vocabulary and language of men. What we need to understand this morning is that HE LIVES!!
It Is an Unchanging Message: It is interesting to see that Mary turned herself around after speaking to Jesus and continued to stare into the tomb weeping. What a lesson for those who have lost loved ones to death. When we are faced with death, we should look at the Lord, and not at the tomb. The tomb is a place of death, but the Savior is Life! Where are you looking today? There are others who know that they are mere mortals and that one day, they will die. They dread that day and know that they need to be saved before they go to Hell, yet they steadfastly refuse to look to the only One who can save them from an eternity in Hell. Which way are you turned this morning? Toward Jesus, or toward the tomb?
There are 3 parts of this message that never will change. (1) Jesus Is Alive, (2) We are still commanded to come and see, then go and tell. The world needs to hear from a people who have been to the tomb and know that Jesus is alive. The world needs to hear of the Savior you serve! (3) All who come to the tomb and see, and who will place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from their sins and will be born again.
Jesus left a message for His followers inside the tomb; the oriental custom of the napkin. When a man with servants was eating a meal, he would use his napkin to signal them during the course of the meal. If he left the table and wadded his napkin up, it meant that he was finished and would not be back. If, however, he neatly folded the napkin, it told his servants that he was stepping away for a moment, but he would be back! Jesus was telling His disciples, “I may be out of your sight right now, but I'll be right back!”
Conclusion: We need to realize that Jesus Christ is more than a baby in a manger or some poor old fellow who got Himself crucified. He is more than a story in a dusty old book. People need to understand that Jesus is alive! He is real and that He is the only hope people have of missing Hell and getting to Heaven: “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We need to grasp the truth this morning that it was not some bonnet wearing, basket toting, egg hiding bunny rabbit that dies for you and me and then arose from the dead. This day is about Jesus! It is about the fact that ‘He died for our sins while we were yet sinners.” It is about the fact that He was buried and then three days later, He kicked the backdoor out of the tomb forever and made a way for you and me to enter into eternal life by our merely trusting Him as our Savior! HE IS THE “resurrected redeemer!”
I ask you, have you come to the realization that Jesus is alive and that He is Who you need? Do you understand what will happen if you die without Him? Do you realize that there is no other way into Heaven than through the Lord Jesus Christ? Did you know that He loves you? Did you know that His death was for you? Did you know that His death will not mean anything to you until you bow before Him in repentance and humility and confess you sins unto Him? Did you know that you could do that very thing this morning and be forever saved today? You can! All you have to do is come to Him. All you have to do is believe in Him! All you need to do is leave where you are sitting and come before the Lord today and be saved by grace! Oh, what a morning that was when Jesus rose again! Why not let this be the morning when you allow Him to fix whatever is wrong in your heart today? Hey, He lives and He lives for you!
In : Sermon
Tags: "easter" "book of luke"
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