Summary: The question is not, “Is Jesus a factual, historical figure who lived and died and rose again just as the Bible tells us?” No. Every reasonable, honest person knows that those things are very, very true. The question is, “What are you going to do about it
For many in our world today, fear and guilt reign supreme. The most powerful thing that we as followers of the Risen Savior can do in the face of this is CELEBRATE! We must always understand and never forget that reigning on the Throne of Eternity and over our world today there is a God who blesses, a God who endures, a God who lives!
One the first Resurrection Morn, there was a lot of commotion going on.
The faithful women had gone at sunrise to tend to the corpse that had been laid in the tomb days before and sealed in with an enormous stone.
The fearful disciples were gathered in the city, trembling with dread.
The guards were accepting a bribe to lie about how the tomb had become empty.
The Pharisees and Scribes were scheming still on how to silence the voice of One they thought they had silenced forever.
And Jesus Christ was alive and well and preaching the truth of the passion and mission He had come for in the first place.
In our text in Matthew, we see that people are very much the same throughout history…we don’t really expect the miraculous out of God, even after we’ve seen it. We still expect everything to be the same as it was before; we still expect the same old dead routines to be the only thing we can depend on.
That is why the women went to the tomb.
That is why the disciples were in hiding.
That is why the plotting and the scheming continued.
But Jesus Christ, the Lord of All Creation, is the Living Miracle of the God who created us, loves us, died and rose for us, and Who continually seeks to bless us.
He has defeated the reign of fear and guilt; He has defeated the reason for routine and hopelessness. He has defeated the reign of the Ruler of Evil and given us victory and freedom in all things!
That is why we MUST CELEBRATE!
That is why the lies were then and why they are being told today.
That is why Jesus meets us in the very time and place of our need and intercedes for us.
That is why the routine and the mundane are a return to bondage.
That is why we simply cannot trust anything or anyone that contradicts the complete, inclusive Word of God.
That very afternoon, there were two of the followers of Jesus who finally got it. When we look at their reaction to the reality of the Resurrection, we see what it is that we need to do.
When we look closer at Luke 24:32-35, there are three simple ideas that should inspire us and induce us to live a life of celebration.
First, we have to come to the realization that the tomb is empty, that Jesus is alive, and that He is interested and involved in everything that matters in our lives.
Jesus invested personal, one-on-one time with these two men. He made sure that they understood the truth revealed in the Word of God about Him, and He made sure that they were able to recognize Him for who He was.
Their eyes were opened and they immediately had an attitude of celebration and wonder!
Second, we have to respond to the truth that is revealed to us with a sense of urgency. We are not to keep silent. Think about it for a moment…every tomb of every founder of every other religion, philosophy and system of belief is still occupied – but, not the tomb of Jesus Christ.
How can we be silent? How can we not have an excitement, an anticipation, an eagerness to share what we know?
The answer to that lies in what we really and truly believe.
See, the women didn’t believe He would rise; the disciples didn’t believe He would rise; the Pharisees were upset that He did rise; and, the Devil still tells his lies about the whole thing.
Third, just as these two disciples did, we need to be “ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us for the reason of the hope that is in” us, as Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15.
Who is Jesus Christ to you?
These two men “related their [personal] experiences” (Luke 24:35). See, churches are fuller today than at any other time of the year. Why? People know and cannot escape the fact that the tomb of Jesus Christ is indeed empty. It is the center-point not only of Christianity, but of world history itself.
The question is not, “Is Jesus a factual, historical figure who lived and died and rose again just as the Bible tells us?” No. Every reasonable, honest person knows that those things are very, very true. The question is, “What are you going to do about it?”