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Summary: What’s all the buzz about the Lost Tomb of Jesus. Is it real? Was the body of Jesus really buried in a family tomb outside of Jerusalem? In this compelling message, Pastor Terry will look at the facts presented in this nationwide documentary in compari

The Lost Tomb of Jesus

Resurrection Sunday 2007

Text: John 20:1-10

Last year the sensation of the Da Vinci Code thundered throughout the world as a fictional novel as some new revelation hidden by the Church for the last 2000 years. Now, the world is in awe of the “lost tomb of Jesus”. To the surprise of many, this “find” is nothing new. It first made a splash in the media in the mid 1970’s when the tomb was first discovered. But did you know that people have been trying to dispel the fact of the resurrection since three days after the crucifixion of Christ?

Matthew 28:11-15

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, "Tell them, ’His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure." 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

What’s the big deal? “So what if Jesus had not really died, or if He had not risen. It doesn’t change anything”.

Don’t kid yourself! The account of the resurrection of Christ changed everything and continues to change the lives of those who will believe.

A professor of Theology at Harvard stated that “the fact that Jesus’ tomb was discovered does not put in doubt biblical accounts of his resurrection”, which he said was actually a spiritual event rather than physical. With regards to the ascension, however, he suggests that while the tomb’s discovery does not render impossible the notion of a spiritual ascension, it does do so for those who believe that Jesus physically ascended to heaven.

The Resurrection story is the very linchpin of Christian faith.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

See the tomb of Jesus what never lost, it was borrowed, and when you borrow something, you are suppose to leave it like you found it! It was empty before they laid Him there and it was empty when He walked out Sunday morning.

Now I know that some need facts. So let’s look at some of the facts of the bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ that dispel the myths of then and now.

A. The body was stolen

1. Who would have wanted it?

a. Religious leaders – only proves what He said?

i. Attempted cover up – “say his disciples”

b. The disciples – they were hiding in darkness, afraid for their lives.

B. Jesus really wasn’t dead (Swoon theory)

1. Beaten ¾ to death – hung on a cross for 6 hours - Nails tearing through nerve endings in hands and feet – Stabbed in the side clear to the heart. (He wasn’t Dead?)

2. Laid in a hued cave (58o for three days) Hypothermia

3. THEN from the inside – move a 2 ton stone, knock out the two guards.

I want to give you three of the most compelling evidences of an empty tomb that I know.

A. The origin of the Disciples courage.

1. Scattered the night of His arrest

2. Together in hiding in the dark

3. 40 days later!!!

a. Why would you face death for something you knew to be a hoax?

Acts 4:32-33

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

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