Summary: This sermon looks at the first reactions of the women and disciples, upon arriving at the tomb. Some people in our culture still don’t get it. After evaluating the facts, there is a choice to make. He is risen!
In Jesus Holy Name April 8, 2007
Text: Luke 24:1-12 Redeemer
“They Didn’t Get It! Do You?”
He is Risen! He is risen, indeed!
In February Oscar-winning director, James Cameron (The Titanic) along with Emmy award-winning documentary film maker Simcha Jacobovivbi held a press conference in New York to promote a film they had produced for the Discovery Channel entitled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” .
Displaying some ossuaries (bone boxes) discovered in Jerusalem, they claimed that the boxes came from “the family tomb” of Jesus and that one of the boxes actually contained the bones of Jesus.
In reality the discovery was not new. The tomb and its contents were discovered in 1980 by construction workers who were digging a foundation for a new building in Jerusalem. The discovery was big news.
I remember Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America with excitement in her voice, asking: “Are these the bones of Jesus?” I remarked to myself… As a great and knowledge able reporter, why didn’t she ask…”where is the nail marks in his hands and feet?”
These skeletons proved only what we already knew. Lots of people died 2000 years ago. Six of the ten limestone ossuaries had the following names. Jesus the son of Joseph, Matthew, Jofa, Judah, the son of Jesus, and two with the name Mary.
The name of Jesus was so common in the first century it appears on 98 other tombs and 21 other ossuaries. There is no historical record of Jesus ever being referred to by His followers as, “Jesus, Son of Joseph.” To his disciples He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.”
His family did not live in Jerusalem; but 70 miles north in the village of Nazareth, located in Galilee. As the time Jesus was killed, he was a pilgrim in Jerusalem.
“Skeletons and skeptics will abound, but the witness of the New Testament is not that a company of martyrs was forged out of frightened men because they saw the skeleton of Jesus.”
Easter is a season of joy. Christians around the world sing: “I know that my redeemer lives”, not because a grave cut from the limestone, contained a linen shroud with no body. No! Christians sing “I know that my redeemer lives” because this Jesus, who was crucified, secured in death by professional Roman soldiers, showed himself alive, with a resurrected, glorified body. The New Testament lists 13 times when the crucified Jesus showed Himself alive to the Apostles, to more than 500 at one time (I Cor. 15:6) and to the Apostle Paul.
As Christians, we know the story of God’s love for us. He created our world. He created each and everyone of us. He created human beings to be in a relationship of love and friendship with their creator. God’s love demanded that human beings, men, women and children be given a free will to chose or reject his love. Satan offered Adam and Eve an opportunity to be their own god. They chose to disobey God and Satan gained a momentary victory by bringing death into the world.
The Bible tells us that God himself came to rescue and restore Adam and Eve to a place of harmony, forgiveness and peace through the sacrifice of one of His beloved creatures.