Summary: An Topical message on the assurances that the resurrection gives to Christians.

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"Good News From The Graveyard"

March 31, 2002

Introduction: Welcome to New life in Christ. It is our normal teaching practice to go through books of the Bible verse by verse. Currently on Sunday mornings we are going through the Gospel of Luke but since this is such a special day I will not be teaching in my normal manner. Rather I will be bringing you a special message entitled "Good News From The Graveyard."

Opening prayer

Read Luke 24: 1-8

Everyone longs for and needs to hear some good news. In a year’s worth of time, since Easter 2001 we have certainly had a year of bad news. It has been a year of tragedy, terrorist, and trouble, not only for us as a nation but also for many of you personally. Many of you have experienced troubles in your relationships. Some of you have experienced financial and business struggles. Others as you have experienced major health problems, spiritual dilemmas and so forth. For a few you this has been a year of loss, hurt, and grief. This is the way the world is-a lot more bad news than good. The early disciples could relate to such a situation for they were filled with defeat and despair.

Because of the abundance of bad news most of us are always ready and are overjoyed to receive some good news. Certainly the women disciples or followers of Jesus could use some good news as they were going to the burial place but they did not have any reason to expect to receive any good news at the graveyard. This just is not the place for good news. This is as a place for sorrow, grief, and hopelessness, but God has a way of working and bringing good news in the worst possible circumstances. On that first Easter morning they heard the greatest news of all, "He is not here-He is risen!" Jesus is alive!

That is good news from the graveyard. In fact this good news is so great that it far supersedes any tragedy or trouble we have ever faced or will ever face.

Why is the resurrection of Jesus such good news? What does it mean for you and me today, some 2000 years later? To be sure it was the greatest miracle of all. A miracle that was validated and proved beyond any reasonable doubt. It is a marvelous and miraculous thing that a man can be beaten with 39 strikes, have his beard pulled out, struck with fist, nailed to a cross, pierced with a sword in his side, wrapped in burial cloth, and then placed in a tomb for three days and then come to life. There can be little doubt that this was a marvelous an amazing miracle.

This miracle was also validated as genuine. The eyewitnesses of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, the Roman Guards who supervised that punishment, and the totally and radically committed disciples, even unto death, all attest to the reality of the miracle.

Without Easter Sunday, the name of Jesus Christ would be about as recognizable as the name Theudas. Who, you may ask, is Theudas? That’s my point. He lived in Israel several years before Jesus. He was, in his time, a popular prophet and teacher. He attracted hundreds of followers, and when he offended the wrong people, he was put to death. Sound familiar so far? Then why haven’t we ever heard of him? Because after his death his followers scattered and went on to other things, and the world soon forgot about Theudas.

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