Summary: The significance of the “Risen” Christ is clearly proclaimed in Luke 24:1-12 as seen by: 1) The Empty Tomb (Luke 24:1–3), 2) The Angelic Messengers (Luke 24:4–7), 3) The Witness of the Women (Luke 24:8–10), and 4) The Unbelieving Disciples (Luke 24:11–12)
Today is the strangest day on the calendar for two particular reasons. A common association with April 1st is for pranks. Those who participate in “April Fools Day” pranks attempt to deceive for humor. A common objection to Christianity is that this is just a celebration for fools. Some claim that Jesus’ disciples stole His body. Besides the fact that people trying to deceive, will not willing die for a lie, the Romans guarded the tomb and every opponent of Christianity merely had to produce the body to discredit the claims of the followers of Christ.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most significant event in history. Central to God’s redemptive plan and the foundation of the gospel, the resurrection is the essential truth apart from which there is no Christianity. Paul put it bluntly in 1 Corinthians 15:17: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” The resurrection is not the epilogue to the story of Christ’s life; it is its triumphant goal, objective, and purpose. The resurrection vindicates the hope of the gospel. The good news of salvation is not just that believers might experience forgiveness of sin, but rather that having been forgiven, they will live forever in the bliss of heaven in glorified, physical, resurrected bodies. The message of the gospel is not that people can be delivered from their troubles in this life. Nor does it promise that they will live on in the sense of their continuing influence, or that Christ merely lives on in His continuing influence, or in some nebulous spiritual form. The Christian message is that Jesus Christ rose from the grave in a glorified, physical body, and that believers who repent of their sins, and trust in the work of Christ on their behalf one day will rise with a body like His glorified body (1 John 3:2).
The church has always understood the importance of the resurrection. Throughout its history it has met on Sunday, commemorating Jesus rising. The church does not meet on Friday, because Today is the interpretation and validation of Good Friday. The resurrection is the divine vindication of the work that Jesus did on the cross. Apart from the resurrection the cross means nothing. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He affirmed that He had indeed borne believers sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), and thereby propitiated or satisfied the justice of God (Rom. 4:25). The resurrection was not created by the church; rather, the church was created by the resurrection (Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke (p. 606). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.).
The significance of the “Risen” Christ is clearly proclaimed in Luke 24:1-12 as seen by: 1) The Empty Tomb (Luke 24:1–3), 2) The Angelic Messengers (Luke 24:4–7), 3) The Witness of the Women (Luke 24:8–10), and 4) The Unbelieving Disciples (Luke 24:11–12).
1) The Empty Tomb (Luke 24:1–3)
Luke 24:1–3 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (ESV)
The resurrection took place on the first day of the week in fulfillment of Jesus’ prediction that He would be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40; cf. 27:63; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34). The Jewish people had no names for the days of the week, but numbered them in relation to the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. The first day, therefore, was Sunday, the day after the Sabbath. The Saturday that Jesus’ body was in the tomb was the last official Sabbath (Col. 2:16–17).
Please turn to Acts 20 (p.929)
Coming to corporate worship can be intimidating. There may be strange sounding prayers, music you are not familiar with, terms mentioned that don’t seem readily understandable and, if you don’t directly engage with what is presented, it may tire you out. That’s not unusual. Notice this account of worship in Acts 20
Acts 20:7-12 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted. (ESV)