Summary: In a time when many deny the existence of Jesus and the fact He arose, we offer the biblical story and compare it to some of the worldly explanations about Jesus and the tomb, using the truth found in facts.
There are many thoughts as to what actually happened on that first Easter so many years ago, or what it actually means to us today. That is what we will address today. So, if you would, please open your Bibles to LUKE 24. We will begin there, but first . . .
What do you think a good sermon does? One experienced preacher said a good sermon will make you sorry you sinned, but overjoyed that you are saved anyway. He said it will make your heart cry out with empathy for others and make it laugh out loud with thanksgiving that they are there for you to talk to.
My hope is that no matter what it does, it will always bring you closer to Christ after hearing it than you were before you heard it. And that is my plea today; that God will draw you closer to His Son than you ever were before.
Most biographies devote less than 10% of its pages to a person’s death, but in the Gospels, we see that Jesus’ death is the central theme. Well, not so much His death, but that He arose after His death.
Why the difference between the two types of biographies? That is very simple. The only biography that affects your eternal life is the one that is about Jesus.
Today, all over this world, Christian preachers will be talking about the same message: “Jesus Christ arose from the tomb!”
And, all over the world, Christians will be asking the same question and will be receiving the same good news: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He arose, just as He said He would.”
Many years ago, there was a well-known judge. One evening, while standing in his bathtub, he reached up to turn the light switch on and he got electrocuted. His wife heard him fall, and she ran up to find him lying across the edge of the tub.
She called 9-1-1 and they took him to the morgue. The local radio and television stations received the news and began immediately broadcasting it across their airwaves. Soon, the entire area was grieving about his death.
But in the middle of the night, this judge awoke! He had been merely knocked unconscious. When he awoke, he was dazed and confused, and did not know where he was. It was dark with only the faint glow of a distant light to give an eerie outline effect to the room.
He fumbled around for a phone and when he found it, he called his wife to come and get him. She panicked and screamed for him to stop calling because he was dead! That scared him even more, so he called a friend. The friend also yelled and said he was dead.
The judge now was frantically trying to find a way out of wherever he was. And in so doing, he began knocking things over and creating a loud commotion.
It turns out he was not alone. There was a young college student who was living there while learning how to be a mortician. The noise woke him up, and knowing they were coming from the morgue, he got scared and ran out of the building!
He was last seen running in a dead panic out of town, still dressed in his pajamas and screaming something about ghosts.
To wake up in a dark place that was unfamiliar to you and not know how you got there would indeed frighten most of us. But there was another man who woke up in such a place, but He knew where He was and He knew what happened to cause Him to be there.
And just like the judge, others claimed He could not be there because He was dead. And there are many who, years and years later, still deny that this man is alive. This man’s name is Jesus, and He is our Godly Christ. And it is this man who our entire Christian belief revolves around.
Now, you might say that is unnatural. I would agree, but I would counter with it is SUPER-NATURAL, and that is how Jesus works in our lives; on a super natural basis!
Last week was Palm Sunday, and we talked about the empty tomb. Let’s go back there again for a few minutes so we might be able to experience what the two women experienced as they approached the tomb early that morning to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.
In LUKE 24:1-3, we read -
“1 Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had made to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. 2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 3 So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.”