Summary: THE RESURRECTION IS MORE THAN INFORMATION; IT IS AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN CHRIST!
THE RESURRECTION: A BURNING HEART
LUKE 24: 13-35
SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: A few years ago the Spokesman for the American Atheists Inc. entered into a debate with William Craig a Christian with a PH.D in theology, in front of 8000 people and with 100+ radio stations broadcasting this event. During the debate people were amazed to find out that Christianity can stand up to rational analysis and rugged scrutiny.
In the end it was no contest. Among those who had entered the auditorium that evening as avowed atheists, agnostics or skeptics an overwhelming 82% concluded that the case for Christianity had been most compelling, and an amazing 47 people came to Christ, and absolutely nobody became an atheist!
So what was so compelling? What did William Craig say that turned so many people to Christ? And what evidence was given for the resurrection of Christ?
What was so compelling was that William Craig defended the resurrection with common sense. William Craig saw, that the only thing that makes sense after looking at all the evidence for and against the resurrection, is that Christ is alive! Contributed by: Ian Barker
A former skeptic by the name of Josh McDowell puts it, “After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the ‘most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history.’” Hank Hanegraff who heads up CRI (Christian Research Inst.) wrote this: “The Resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith — without it there would be no Christianity. It elevates Christianity above all other world religions. Through the Resurrection Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad. Jesus Christ is utterly unique. He had the power not only to lay down His life, but also to take it up again.” Contributed by: Andrew Chan
TRANSITION THOUGHT: The resurrection of Jesus has the potential of truly transforming a life. For many of us here, the resurrection of Jesus the Christ has become more than a story told, it has become a reality experienced.
As I thought about how Easter comes and goes so quickly, I realized that I was kind of like those folks who only come to church on the big holidays. I realized that my thinking about the resurrection was something I only do at Sun Rise services on Easter Sunday. I love to sing the Tomb Is Empty, but then I soon forget that the Resurrection is something we should celebrate every Sunday. So I am extending Easter Sunday for a while. I want us to think together about the Resurrection and what it means, not only theologically, but also personally! The Resurrection is the most important aspect of our faith, so let’s dig into the text that Tony shared with us today and see what Jesus and Luke wanted us to know!
THESIS SENTENCE: THE RESURRECTION IS MORE THAN INFORMATION; IT IS AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN CHRIST!
I. A BURNING HEART IS NOT A DEPRESSING WALK VV. 13-17
A. A DEPRESSING WALK IS A DEAD JESUS (The Crucifixion)
B. A DEPRESSING WALK IS UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS V. 21
C. A DEPRESSING WALK IS AN UNRECOGNIZABLE JESUS V. 16 & 17
ILLUSTRATION: John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.
Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store! Contributed by: Mark Hensley
TRUTH: OUR WALK WITH THE RISEN LORD SHOULD NEVER BE DEPRESSING!!
QUESTION: WHAT WOULD OTHERS SAY ABOUT YOUR WALK WITH JESUS?
II. A BURNING HEART IS NOT THE INFORMATION VV. 18-27
A. INFORMATION IS DETAIL VV. 18-24
B. INFORMATION IS NOT BELIEF V. 25
C. INFORMATION IS INTERPRETATION 25-27
ILLUSTRATION: James May writes, “I remember a few years ago, that the Disney Channel presented a movie called “Flight of the Navigator”. It was a Sci-Fi movie where a young boy is abducted by an alien spacecraft. It seems that this spacecraft was piloted by a computer generated being that consisted only of one long mechanical arm with a large eye at the end of it. This spacecraft had somehow been damaged and needed some place to store its memory banks before it lost all of its star maps. The alien had attempted to fill the mind of the captive boy with all of the information contained in its computer systems but found out that the information was “leaking” from the boys mind as fast as they could put it in.