Summary: Anytime a loved one dies I remember the resurrection and look to the Scriptures for comfort for the Bible alone contains the message of hope
Hope in the Midst of Our Pain (Luke 24:1-11)
Anytime a loved one dies I remember the resurrection and look to the Scriptures for comfort for the Bible alone contains the message of hope. And that is what I’d like to share with you on this Easter Sunday: A Message of Hope. Listen to this beautiful passage of Scripture in Luke 24:1-11:
“1. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3. but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5. and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6. "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." 8. And they remembered His words, 9. and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.”
Mary Magdalene was devoted to Jesus. Luke 8:2 tells us she had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses; indeed, she had been delivered from seven demons. She contributed to Jesus’ ministry; she also lingered at the cross (refer to Mark 15:47) and she was also first at the tomb. Mary was devastated by the death of Jesus, (v. 4) perplexed, terrified (v. 5) and did not expect to see Him alive. But God always sends us a messenger of hope in the midst of our pain (v. 4). And that message of hope is what I briefly examine with you on this Easter Sunday.
First, the message of hope Offers Words of Comfort. Notice again the words of verse six: “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee.” Did not Jesus say to us in John 6:40: “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” In like fashion, Paul could say to those who believe in Christ in 2 Corinthians 4:14: “knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.” Then, in verse 10 we see Mary and the others are comforted and their sorrow is transformed into joy: “Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.”
Second, the message of hope Offers Words of Counsel. Notice verse 5 asks the question: “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” They were seeking the dead among the dead – But Jesus was not there – the costly apices (v. 1), time and energy were wasted. They were looking backward when they should have been looking forward. And, “For the Christian the best is always yet to come.” A cotton farmer in Lamesa, Texas once said: “When I plow a new row I fix my eyes on an object at the far end of the field and never look back. You can’t plow looking back.” That is good advice for us. Don’t live in the past of self-pity and faultfinding. God in not there – He is the great I am not the great I was… we must get out on the waters of faith and press forward in our Christian life. Listen to the words of Luke 9:62: “But Jesus said to him, “No one after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” And Luke 12:37 tells us: “Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes.”
Third, the message of hope Offers Words of Choice. Notice in the passage of Scripture there are two different reactions experienced to the Word of God. Listen again to verse 10: “Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. A sad labor of love had been transformed into gladness for Mary Magdalene and the other women. But in verse 11 we read: “And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.” The King James Version translates the word “nonsense” as “idle tales.” That was the response of the disciples to the greatest message of hope available to mankind.