Summary: We look at the Uncomfortable Truth about Easter. Then we look at the “many convincing proofs” that Jesus gave us that He is alive, from the cross and then the tomb.
TOMB FOR SALE: USED ONLY 3 DAYS
Mt. 28:1-3; Lk. 24:36-47
1. A woman and her over-bearing husband went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the husband passed away.
2. The Jewish undertaker told the wife, "You can have him shipped home for $5000, or you can bury him here, in the Holy Land, for $150." The woman thought about it and told him she was going to ship her husband home for the funeral.
3. The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5000 to ship your husband home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would spend only $150?"
4. The woman replied, "Long ago a man died here, was buried here, but three days later he rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance."
After the Sabbath…Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. Mt. 28:1-3.
36 While they were still talking about this [appearances of Jesus], Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Lk. 24:36-43, 45-47.
C. THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH OF EASTER
1. Easter has burst into our world -- the world of space, time and matter, the world of real history, real people and real life -- but our minds and imaginations are too small to contain it.
2. The first Christians weren’t prepared for what actually happened. Nobody could have been. But this problem isn’t confined to the first century.
3. Ever since then, people have tried to squash the Easter message into conventional boxes that it just won’t fit in.
4. THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH ABOUT EASTER, ISN’T THAT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, BUT THAT IT DID HAPPEN! IT’S AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH FOR THE:
a. Medical World – body can’t come back after 3 days.
b. Scientists – want to discount it because it can’t be repeated.
c. Proponents of Religious Equality – don’t lift up one faith over other faiths.
d. Nominal Christians, who don’t want to face the Living God in judgment some day.
e. Atheists, who only recognize the material world.
That’s why the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth caused shock waves that’ve rattled the world then and now.
D. ELIMINATING THE IMPOSSIBILITY
1. In the 1950’s, kids in schools asked questions about whether man would ever make it to the moon. But then on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong walked on the surface of the moon.
2. We don't ask that question any longer, because the demonstration eliminates the discussion. Jesus Christ demonstrated that there is life after death.
3. This morning we’re going to look at the “many convincing proofs” that Jesus gave us that He is alive. Let’s look first at the cross, then at the tomb.
I. JESUS DIDN’T SWOON ON THE CROSS
Muslims are taught that Jesus never really died on the cross, but just fainted; It’s called the "swoon theory." But as we look at what happened to Jesus, you’ll quickly see the fallacy of that position.
A. HOW WE KNOW HE DIED? 1.SCOURGING.
1. Pilate had Jesus beaten with a “cat-of nine-tails” with at least 39 lashes, if not more.
2. This was a whip that had jagged bones and balls of lead woven into it.
3. One witness to a Roman flogging prior to crucifixion wrote: "The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles and tendons and intestines of the victim were open to exposure."
4. Undoubtedly, Jesus was in serious to critical condition even before the crucifixion began. It’s no wonder He was unable to carry His own cross.