Sunday, April 24, 2011

[Matt's Messages] "Jesus Is Risen"

“Jesus Is Risen!”
Certain of Jesus: The Gospel of Luke
April 24, 2011
Luke 24:1-12

To understand the amazing story of chapter 24, you have to remember where left off last week in chapter 23.

In chapter 23, the hero of the story died.  Jesus died.  Jesus had suffered terribly and was crucified-killed on a cross-by hanging there and struggling to breath.  And then He had died and was buried in the tomb of a man named Joseph of Arimathea. 

He had been closed in behind a great big stone that had been rolled in front of the tomb and then had been left there.

How incredibly sad.  There just aren’t words.

There were some women who had traveled with Jesus’ band of followers who had been there when they buried Him and then had gone home to prepare some spices to anoint His body.

They had rested on the Sabbath, according the commandment and on Sunday morning (where chapter 24 begins) they were coming back to the tomb in hopes of anointing Jesus’ corpse.

But they were in a for a big, big surprise!

Let’s read the first three verses and then pray together.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

I almost titled this message the last line of verse 3, but it seemed a little long for a title: “They did not find the body of the Lord Jesus!”

Because it wasn’t there.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

A little bit of surprise, wasn’t it?!

What a shock.

The next verse says that they were “wondering about this.”  The King James says they were “much perplexed thereabout.”  I’ll bet!

Imagine on Memorial Day, going to the cemetery of your loved one with some flowers to put on their grave and finding a great big gaping hole in front of their tombstone!

What would you think?

Well, these perplexed ladies didn’t have to wonder for long.  V.4

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. [Whose that?  Gotta be angels.  Something big is happening.]  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!’”

The women know whom they are talking about.
You know whom they are talking about.

They are talking about Jesus.

He’s alive again.

Jesus Has Risen!

The reason the tomb was empty was that Jesus had walked out of it.

Jesus had come back to life.

This is the most amazing thing in all of the universe.

Jesus Is Risen.

    Christ Is Risen!
    He Is Risen Indeed!
    Christ Is Risen!
    He Is Risen Indeed!
    Christ Is Risen!
    He Is Risen Indeed!

And this makes all of the difference in the world.

In verse 6, the angels remind these ladies of how Jesus predicted all of this all along. V.6

“Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words.”

Ahhhh yeah. That makes sense now.  We could never figure out what He was saying, what He meant.

But that’s just what happpened. He was delivered into the hands of sinful men.
He was crucified.  And He’s been raised again.

And when He was crucified, He was paying the debt for sin.  He was saving us from sin, self, and Satan.
And when He came back to life, He came back to offer life to those who will believe.

These women get the message and can’t wait to share it.  They hurried to where the apostles were.  V.9

“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”

At first, it was really hard to believe.

Peter even saw the tomb with his own eyes and was still scratching his head, trying to put it all together.

The gospel of John tells us that John ran with Peter to the tomb and when he saw the empty tomb and the strips of linen that had been covering Jesus just lying there, John got it and believed!

Jesus Is Risen.

Everything hinges on that historical reality.

Everything has changed because of the resurrection.

Christianity hangs on the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If He is not risen then we are wasting our time here today.

But Jesus has risen!

And He calls us to believe.

Two points of application today and then we’ll get to our baptisms.



In verse 11, when they were just hearing about this for the first time, the 11 apostles didn’t believe.

It seemed to them like nonsense.

Huh?  What? What? Empty tomb? Jesus is alive again?  You saw men with shiny clothing? What are you talking about?

But it’s true.

He is not here, Jesus has risen.

They did not find the body of the Lord Jesus because He is alive again.


If you believe in the risen Lord Jesus, you will be saved.

The Bible says that Jesus was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25).

That, is to make us just, to declare us righteous.

Jesus was raised to save.

And He calls us to believe.

10 men and women are about to be baptized in this little pool behind me.

By the way, I checked it, and the water is good and hot.

It’s at least 55 degrees in there already.

All 10 of these folks have come to believe that Jesus is who He said He was, died like He said He would, and come back to life just like He promised (v.7).

They believe.

Do you?

You might have some questions that you need answered before you will believe.

That’s what this church is here for.

In the front of every hymnal here is a “Tell Me More Card.”

It says, simply, “I have questions about Jesus Christ and the Bible, and I am seeking answers.  Tell me more.”

Give me that card after church today, and we’ll give you a call and give you as many answers as we have.

Or, take that card back with you to the prayer room this morning and ask your questions with Dave and Jane Catanzaro.  The prayer room is the first door on your left as you go down the hallway on the left.

Dave and Jane will be back there after the service and would love to pray with you about anything–but especially about this: believe.

But don’t wait to get your questions answered.  Don’t wait to start believing.

You don’t know how much time you have.

We were going to have 11 baptisms today.

And I want to pause right now and remember Merrill Nearhood.

Merrill was in our baptism classes, too, this year.

He was a young, single dad.  He was good friend some of us here.

And Merrill had just come to believe that God was real and powerful and that Jesus was his savior.

And he was getting ready to tell the world today that he believed in Jesus.

And one Sunday, he was in our baptism class and on that Tuesday, he was with the Lord.

Car accident.

Merrill was prepared for eternity.

Are you?


Turn from your sins and trust in the risen Savior.



Just like these ladies running back to the Eleven with their story.

Tell others that Jesus is risen.

They may or may not believe you, but you they need to hear it.

So take that message to everyone.

Tell others that Jesus has risen.

That’s what these 10 folks who are going to be baptized now are doing by being baptized today.

They are telling the world (and all of us assembled here now) that they believe that Jesus is the Son of God crucified for their sins and raised to live to give us new life.

When they go back into the waters of baptism, they are symbolizing Jesus’ death and burial.

And when they come back up, they are telling the world that Jesus is alive again!

And so are they.

Messages So Far In this Series:

Certain of Jesus
The Back-Story of Jesus
The Birth of Jesus
Jesus - A Very Special Child
Preparing the Way for Jesus
Jesus Is the Son of God
Jesus in Galilee
Jesus and the Sinners
Jesus Brings Real Joy and Rest
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part One
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Two
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Three
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Four
Amazing Jesus
Disappointed with Jesus
Loving Jesus Much
Jesus' Real Family
Jesus Is Lord
Who Is Jesus?
Following Jesus
Sent By Jesus
Q&A With Jesus
Sitting at Jesus' Feet
Jesus Teaches Us to Pray 
Jesus Is Stronger Than Satan
More Blessed Than Jesus' Mom
Jesus and the Judgment to Come
Being Real with Jesus
Jesus and Our Stuff
Be Ready for Jesus' Return
Jesus and Tragedies
Set Free By Jesus
Jesus and the Surprising Kingdom
Jesus and Jerusalem
Jesus at the Party
The Cost of Following Jesus
Jesus and the Lost: Part One
Jesus and the Lost: Part Two
Jesus and the Lost: Part Three
Jesus on Money
Sneering at Jesus
Jesus and the Great Chasm
Jesus Said to His Disciples...
Thanking Jesus
Jesus and the Coming Kingdom
Jesus Says, "Keep Praying"
The Proud, the Humble, and Jesus
Jesus Does the Impossible
Why Did Jesus Come?
Investing for Jesus in 2011
King Jesus
Jesus and the Temple
The Authority of Jesus
Jesus and Caesar
Jesus and the Sadducees
Jesus' Turn
Jesus and the End of the World
The Plan for Jesus to Die
Jesus' Last Lessons
Arresting Jesus
Judging Jesus
Crucifying Jesus
Burying Jesus