Summary: This sermon covers all of Luke 24 in a series of scenes where Jesus establishes his resurrection and commissions his disciples to be witnesses.

Title: “Many Convincing Proofs”

Easter Sunday – 2021 - Luke 24

Subject: what does the resurrection of Jesus mean for us?

Complement: we have a mission to tell the good news!

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”


*As the son of a carpenter – Jesus knew the power of a nail and a hammer… he likely struck his thumb more than a few times as he worked in the carpenter shop with his father, Joseph.

My dad was also a carpenter – hammers and nails were part of the fabric of our family … as a kid I was taught how to strike a nail… and I learned quickly that given the power of a hammer striking a nail it was not something you wanted to get in the way of…

The NT refers to the events of Good Friday frequently, using words such as...

• Cross – 48 times

• Crucified - 38 times

• Blood - 85 times

• Raised - 71

• Death - 145 times

• Dead 157 times...(15 x in Romans)

• Died 68 times

With today being resurrection Sunday – Good Friday is now behind us - sort of. Yes, while we focus today on the resurrection the cross remains forever at the center and core of the gospel.

(Context) in chapter 24 of Luke – the final chapter of his gospel, Luke brings us into the 40-day period following Jesus’ resurrection with a number of dramatic scenes...he moves through them quickly, masterfully painting a compelling picture of the risen Jesus who moves with purpose – a purpose that I hope you will come to discover for yourself.

t.s. Let’s look at the chapter – scene by scene...

SCENE 1/Move #1 – Angels At The Empty Tomb; V. 1-12 (Exhibit 1)

24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 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 wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

There was a Roman guard posted at the tomb...

Remember that it was a guarded tomb with a large stone and a seal.... (guarded because the Pharisees remembered his promise to rise from the dead)

We read of this in Matthew...

Matt 27:62 ... the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Jesus not only overcame death...but also a large stone... sealed with a roman seal and guarded by roman soldiers.

How’s that for making a statement about which kingdom is more powerful!

We must point out that the Father sent reinforcements in the form of a couple of impressive angels... they gleamed like lighting itself.

And we discover that at first light on Sunday morning a group of at least 6 women – are hurrying to the tomb with spices. On their minds was the tragic death of Jesus...they intend to pay their respects – much like our habit of visiting the bereaved at a funeral home.

But instead of encountering a tomb and a corpse they are met by these 2 angels.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here! He is risen! Remember how he told you (while in Galilee)” ... “ the son of Man must be delivered to sinners...crucified... on the third day be raised.”

“And They remembered his words”...these women were part of the inner circle of Jesus!)

In other words... Jesus death wasn't a victory for his enemies... it was a vindication of the authority and sovereignty of God... Jesus was not murdered or martyred... he gave himself to the cross to pay the penalty of our sins.

Listen to Jesus own words, John 10:18 “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

the events of Good Friday go like this...

• 9 AM – Jesus is crucified

at Noon - darkness covers the land

at 3 pm – Jesus cries out the cry of dereliction ... “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me... followed by “it is finished.”

The curtain in the temple is torn (by whom?) symbolizing a new means of access to God.

In one of Peters sermons in Acts he says this about the crucifixion:

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:23

Now these Women tell the “11”... Not something a patriarchal society would use if constructing a myth.

verse 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

However, Peter got up and ran to the tomb! You have to love his passion and unbridled enthusiasm.

Story –

I can relate a little... in 2000 I’m in Kiev, Ukraine... I’m in a house of Christians set up to help Jews & Christians escape Russia. They are digging tunnels and secret rooms and they have people showing up on weekends to dig these tunnels.

I’m listening to this with unbelief!

I’m thinking ...when I go home no one will believe me... I won’t even let’s see them!

You want to see?



Secret door/false wall

Remove the floor boards



There it is... I was a bit like Peter... I have to go inside the tunnel... yep – it's real.

Summary: All of this points us toward the factual events of resurrection morning...the death and resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact. This is not a clever piece of fiction.

Luke is a careful historian – he’s done his research.

He’s writing around the year (60-63 AD) ...within the lifetime of eye-witnesses who can corroborate his account... if he was fudging the truth the entire Christian movement would have fallen apart like a house of cards.

Lee Strobel among others has written about the reliability of the resurrection accounts

“Scholarly skeptics” - now in great numbers believe in the event of the resurrection... much of the reason has to do with

(1) the early dates of the documents

(2) the writings of Paul and Luke.

Regarding Paul, they point out several things;

(a) he’s a convert – so there’s a reason why

(b) he is himself a scholar of the highest rank, and

(c) his writings are so logical and well-reasoned – he doesn’t write as a shallow or deceived person... his letters are anything but fanciful fiction.

What I also find fascinating is the attempt to cover-up the resurrection by those who wanted to silence Jesus... Matthew records the story:

Matthew 28:11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.

12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of ($$$) money,13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

15 So the soldiers took the (SSS) money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The cross reinforces 3 unavoidable truths:

1. Our sin is extremely horrible.

2. God’s love is wonderful beyond comprehension.

3. Christ’s salvation must be a free gift - being that it required the Son of God to die - for no one else could ever achieve salvation.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”

Now Luke moves us along to another gripping scene...

SCENE/MOVE #2 – Walking The Road To Emmaus; V. 13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;16 but they were kept from recognizing him.17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

“ but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”

I think this is best described as a “pastoral visit”...after all Jesus put a high premium on visiting the sick, the imprisoned... the least of these.

Well here, he visits 2 disciples, one nameless – and another “Cleopas” - while identified by name, is completely unheard of until now. He’s not one of the 12!

As such a beautiful story – and also rich in theology – it speaks to all of us in a very personal way in our journey of faith.

Jesus references the prophecies of the OT... He explains that the OT points to Jesus, Messiah

I cite 2 likely examples:

o Genesis 12 “through Abraham’s seed all nations will be blessed.”

o Isaiah 53 “he was wounded for our transgressions...”

As they approach Emmaus the 2 disciples invite Jesus into their home...just like we do... after all, Jesus was never meant to be contained by Sunday or by a church building... he always wants to come home with us!

There at the table... as the bread is served...something changes!

** it seems he is no longer the guest at their table... now they are guests at his table (!)

...he gave thanks... broke it and gave it to them... sound familiar?

v. 31 – “then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”

“I am the bread of live... whoever eats this bread will never be hungry.”

Jesus reveals himself at the table when he breaks bread.

***Here we see the heart and soul of the church – the ministry of the word and sacrament!!!

What about us???

Are we 2nd hand Christians?

Do we have to depend upon the experiences of others?

Yes, the Word is a living word... the inspired and authoritative word.

But We are not 2nd hand Christians - with a 2nd hand revelation!

Christ also reveals himself to us in word and sacrament by his HS – so that we too have a first-hand revelation of Christ.

You can know him as your personal Lord and saviour.

Now then – what to do with this good news – this most incredible news!

It's dark by now... but, They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true!

You see that... they wanted to know if it was true!

That’s me too... that’s you too... is it true? And, If it is true we have to wrestle with it's implications.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”

(SCENE) Move #3 – Jesus Appears To The 12: V. 36-44

the scene shifts to Jerusalem...

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Yes, Jesus walked to Emmaus... 7 miles/ 12 kilometers. (about 3 hours ) but I don’t think he walked back!

... just a feeling I have!

As for Cleophas and his friend ...maybe they ran some of the way – they “hurried” to Jerusalem.

And Jesus appears among them... his resurrected body seems more portable than his previous one... he’s able now to appear and disappear; to show up wherever and whenever.

The limitations of the incarnation are now behind him.

I think we get a glimpse of what our resurrected bodies will be capable of.

I mean I can’t wait for electric cars to become affordable.

...I can’t wait to get on an airplane and fly.

But Jesus doesn’t need a car or an airplane!

“Peace Be With You” he says... “Why Do Doubts Rise In Your Minds?”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

(Hence the tradition of fish and chips I guess...)

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus has a brand new “glorified” body – one that can appear and disappear – a body he still has today – and yet he retains the scars.

Did you ever wonder why?

Fleming Rutledge expressed it this way: “The wounds of our Redeemer will always be there, for all eternity, as the sign of the price he paid.”

“We bear all the ruins of the lives we’ve lived and the loves we’ve endured. What a gift to have a Savior who does the same.”

***He will be worshiped, the book of Revelation (5:6) says, in the form of “a Lamb looking as if it had been slain.”

Notice What Jesus Addresses Here... It Applies So Perfectly To Our 21st Century Experience.

• Peace – when there’s so much anxiety

• Faith – when there is so much doubt

• Connection – at the table eating fish - when there’s so much loneliness

• The Affirmation of scripture and the sovereignty of God – when the world seems out of control.

Jesus wants them to believe – to really believe – because it's true!

“Touch me and see”

“do you have anything here to eat?

They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate “in their presence.”

The meal was fish – or maybe fish and chips!

It all started with Fish!!!

“Follow me” said Jesus and I will make you fishers of men!

Jesus now moves to a more supernatural means: V. 45... “He opened their minds”... SO THEY COULD UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES.”

Isn’t that how it must be... isn’t that what it takes... a revelation of Christ the incarnate word, a revelation in the written word and a revelation in the proclaimed word.

And then -- we must decide... we must receive... we must choose to believe – or not.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”

Move #4 -- Jesus Opens Their Minds And Commissions Them; 45-49

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

He opened their minds– not merely for their own belief – but for witness of the gospel (!) to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem!

*** 48 You are witnesses of these things. **

Indeed, we are witnesses of these things! ... not just a few preachers – all God’s people are to be his witnesses.

And then the next verse...

49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus had already talked much about the coming of the Spirit after his ascension... and it's going to another 7 or so days and Pentecost happens.

The word “Pentecost” means 50 days after Passover.

Jesus was crucified on Passover, he was in the grave 3 days; he showed himself alive over a period of 40 days

(50 - 43 = 7)

The message is the cross!

The power of the message is the Holy Spirit!

The agency of the message is you and me – his followers!

No one gets a pass... we are all called to tell the story!

By the empowering Spirit the gospel is still spreading... today there are churches all around the world.

The global south is now the center and heartbeat of Christianity... the places where we once sent missionaries are now sending missionaries to our shores to evangelize here.

There is still about 3 billion people and 7400 people groups that do not have a disciple making movement in their local culture and language.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”

The “Joshua Project” keeps statistics on the global expansion of the gospel.

We are the people of God – on mission for God and with God.

the immediate consequence of the resurrection is “witness” – v. 48-47

“repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations...”

Scene/ Move #5 -- Jesus Ascension 24: V. 50-53. (Luke collapses the 40 days)... fast -forwards...

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

So here we are ... waiting for his return... and while we wait... we worship and witness.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”


The resurrection of Jesus is something we can and must be sure of – (historically and spiritually) and, once sure of – it is our mission to tell that story – empowered by the Spirit.


“It is impossible for us to face Christ’s cross with integrity and not to feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. It is only when we see this, that stripped of our self-righteousness and self-satisfaction, we are ready to put our trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior we urgently need.

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”

“Jesus resurrection is not a primitive religious myth or superstition, and not a case of “broken telephone” that exaggerates a heroic story; it is true... It is absolutely true. It is scientifically true, medically true, historically true, and biblically true.” ... And because it's true – you have to wrestle with the truth – and its implications.”

...Here’s how Luke begins volume 2 – “ACTS”

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

...Remember that Pilate sealed the tomb and placed a guard –

Did you know that Pilate became a convert? - The Egyptian Coptic church sainted him.

Did you know about that the tax collector named Zacchaeus... he became the 1st Bishop of Caesarea... Zacchaeus!

Ever since the resurrection... the story is being told... Jesus reveals himself... and the holy spirit is calling people.

Today he is calling you!

Hear his voice... believe... put your faith in him!

You cannot save yourself – only Jesus can.

It's true – he is risen, just like he said.

“you are witnesses of these things!”***

Big Idea: “ The Resurrection Accelerates The Mission”