Summary: This is an easter message looking at Luke 24 and Paul’s conversion

Paul Harvey, for years, has ended his broadcasts with a story called, “The rest of the story” They are usually stories with endings that are unpredictable. Or maybe they point out the meaning of something that we thought we knew already - Last week we looked at Mark 15. We looked at the brutality of the cross. It was a dark message - and it was difficult to preach. This week we look at “The rest of the story”

I recently came across this story, it was told by “Dear Abby” in a response to someone’s question. A young man from a wealthy family was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in that affluent neighborhood for the parents to give the graduate an automobile. "Bill’ and his father had spent months looking at cars, and the week before graduation, they found the perfect car. On the eve of his graduation, his father handed him a gift wrapped Bible. Bill was so angry that he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house. He and his father never saw each other again. It was the news of his father’s death that brought Bill home again. As he sat one night going through his father’s possessions that he was to inherit, he come across the Bible his father had given him. He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cashier’s check, dated the day of his graduation - in the exact amount of the car they had chosen together.

As I thought about this story, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people in this world have done the same thing to God. Literally tossed aside a wonderful promise, because they didn’t understand it, or they didn’t believe that it was possible. In our world, we are taught that; “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” So many of us have been taken in by “empty promises,” that we are leery of anything or anyone that tells us we can have something for nothing.

It’s possible for us to look at Easter in that same light... It’s a story that sounds almost too good to be true, right? (Read Luke 23:55 - 24:48)

I have been trying all week to get my brain around this text. I wanted to come up with something witty - something that rhymed...something that sounded pretty - but as I read this text over and over again - there was really only one thing that came to mind - It’s centered around the verse in 24:25 “Then Jesus said to them, You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe...”

I think the Easter story is a story about Christ - and about coming to terms with the fact that he was more than just a prophet, more than just a great teacher, but someone that deserves to be believed - and that if I would believe him - everything would change...

I first believed as a boy. I was seven years old when I was touched by the Holy Spirit - At the foot of my mother’s bed I prayed to receive Christ as my savior - for him to come into my life and save me...

See as Christians we are called believers - because we believe the story... We believe that Jesus Christ was God’s son, that he was born of a virgin, that he lived a sinless life, that he died on a cross to atone for my sins and that he rose again in three days - that belief is everything...

What is the message of Christ without the empty tomb? It is dark - it is hopeless - it is empty...

And what is the message of Christ after the empty tomb? There is light - there is hope - there is victory over death - there is a savior - there is one who should be believed and one who I can give my life to - and trade my sin for new life with him....

Have you encountered the risen savior?

Do you believe? (What’s stopping you from believing?)

Is your belief changing you?

On a road traveling to damascus a man named Saul was headed to find the rest of the Christians and kill them. He was a climber, He was all about position and status and had been given this task because of his zealous nature - but something happened on that road. On the road to damascus, Saul encountered Jesus - the risen Christ! For Paul, that Jesus had risen changed everything. In one moment, he went from antagonist to believer... From then on, he preached this message - “Truly Jesus is the son of God”

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