Summary: When we read the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus it seems as if His enemies believed He had risen and His followers did not. In this contemporary world many are trying to put Jesus back into the tomb and re-seal it with the stone of death!
Friday! Jesus is dead. The sinless Son of God given as a sacrifice for our salvation. He is dead.
Not so fast, buddy! Jesus is ALIVE!!!
Just three days after He was crucified and put into a guarded sealed tomb!
And, we’ve got two amazing groups of people
1) His enemies who know He’s alive and are bribing people to keep their mouths shut
2) His followers who don’t believe He’s alive and are engaged in various activities.
Jesus’ enemies …
- an angel appears and rolls back the stone from the entrance to the tomb
- the guards pass out
- they regain consciousness but the tomb is empty
- they report this to the chief priests
- the chief priests bribe them to keep their mouths shut and make up a lie
- the chief priests will “protect” them
OK, so now, Jesus’ friends …
But first, what has Jesus told His disciples?
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
“When they came together in Galilee, [Jesus] said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and on the third day He will be raised to life.’ And the disciples were filled with grief.”
“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day He will be raised to life!”
Jesus has warned them. He didn’t hide the rest of the plan from them. He didn’t just tell them about the death and forget about the resurrection.
Yet … on the 3rd day where are they? Are they waiting outside the tomb taking bets on who will see Him first?
Two of the Mary’s are on the way to the tomb with embalming spices to complete the task that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had started when He was placed in the tomb.
Embalming Him, especially on the third day, did not show belief in His prophecies.
The remainder of the twelve disciples are hiding out in locked room.
Two of the other disciples are headed to Emmaus
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him.
“He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
“They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’
“What things?” He asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him;
“but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us.
“They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
Isn’t it easy on this side of history to believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day?
We know now that the tomb was indeed empty,
We know that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene
We know that Jesus appeared to the Eleven multiple times
We know that Jesus cooked fish for some of the disciples
We know that Jesus appeared to > 500 of His disciples at one time 1 Cor 15:16
Most of us have heard this since we were young.
The resurrection of Jesus is a “line in the sand”. Not a line that says, "I dare you to cross this line" but a line that says "You MUST cross this line". How do we know that?
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.