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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.

“For without the shedding of blood there could be no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22) “for it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s sins.” (Lev. 17:11)

Dallas Willard in his book “The Divine Conspiracy” writes: This holy creator, “slipped into our world through the back roads and outlying districts of one of the least important places on earth… He lived for thirty years among socially insignificant” fishermen and ordinary citizens. “He grew up in the home of a carpenter from the little Middle Easter village of Nazareth. After his father, Joseph, died he became the “man of the house” and helped hi smother raise the rest of the family.

Jesus stepped into the public arena to proclaim, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He backed his words with a perfect life. He healed every kind of sickness and disease. He raised the dead to life. Enormous crowds followed Him. People trampled one another (Lk 12:1)

And ripped roofs off houses (Mk 2:4) to gain access to him.”

“His ministry team included the 12 apostles from the surrounding villages and towns; and a number of women whom he had healed. He offered forgiveness and proclaimed that He and the Creator God wore one in the same.” The invisible had become visible. (Col. 1:15) He was acting as God on earth, because He Was!

At the home and graveside of his friend Lazarus, who had been in the grave for 4 days, he said, “I am the resurrection and the life he who believes in me will live even though he dies.” He then called Lazarus back to life. The bible tells us: “that many who had come to mourn the death of Lazarus, believed, but others did not. It was a choice they were free to make.

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