Summary: The "sayings" each represent a word of hope and encouragement to anyone who would turn to Christ and the power of the resurrection. These are words to live by because they are words of life! That’s what the Cross and the Resurrection mean for us!
Seven Sayings from the Empty Tomb Luke 24:1-12
Sermon by don Emmitte, Grace Restoration Ministries
Take Your Bibles, Please….
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:1-12 ESV).
It is interesting how enamored we are with beginnings. We know this to be true from our experience. This is true in all areas of our life. Whether it is the beginning of a sports season or an historical era, we tend to remember the beginning with flourish and celebration.
For example, in science we trace our beginning to the turn of the century, ca 1900. It was then that a discovery was made completely changing the landscape of classical physics forever. In his Berlin laboratory, Max Planck, a 42-year-old German physicist, was trying to describe mathematically the emission of light by glowing bodies. No one had done and Planck could not do it either, until, in a desperate move he assumed light did not flow in a smooth stream as everyone until then supposed, but in tiny indivisible bursts.
Our temptation is to ask, “So what?” Even at the time it seemed frivolous research. It was almost like saying that a railroad train moved in one-foot jumps. However, as soon as Planck made his daring assumption, his equations came to life describing the emission of a radiant energy with elegant precision never before possible. It was from this “beginning” that we would see the development of Quantum Physics. This basic discovery provided the mathematical basis to understand and develop everything we know today about atomic energy. Out of this came Einstein’s theory of relativity that matter is equivalent to energy. And from this came a new age of science, some of which have been for the great good of mankind and others the great destruction of mankind. Most of the modern technology we prize so greatly began with this one discovery. Internal combustion engines were developed from this root. Radio waves were developed from it, ultimately leading to our use of cell phones and computers. The broad exploitation of this principle, largely in the last 50 years, has changed our lives enormously. We have acquired unprecedented mobility becoming truly a global community. Through some of the most common daily routines of our lives, things we take for granted, our lives have been enhanced. From public sanitation to chemotherapy Planck’s Law has advanced mankind. Yet we rarely, if ever, celebrate his life and work.
So it is with the crucifixion and death of Christ. Of course we celebrate Easter, but Easter would mean little without the Cross!
When we read the New Testament and historical accounts of the early Church we find the central theme of their message to the world was the truth that Jesus Christ, who was crucified and died, had been raised up from the dead. The Greek word most often used for resurrection in the New Testament is anastasis. It literally means “to stand again.” In the pagan world it was associated with the cycle of nature and the “nature gods.” It sometimes indicated the survival of a “spiritual part” of a person after death. Because of Jesus and his “standing up” again from the dead, resurrection came to mean the restoration of the whole self by God who gave life and creates it again in the heavenly kingdom. The Cross is the real beginning. The Apostle Paul said it this way:
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:14-20 ESV).