Summary: It is time for the church to live in resurrection power.
May 1, 2011
Text: Luke 24:1-12
Subject: The Resurrection
Title: Will You Let Jesus Rise
The greatest event in the history of mankind was celebrated last Sunday – The resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We all know the significance of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 that without the resurrection, salvation is incomplete. 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
Well over three hundred verses are concerned with the subject of Jesus' resurrection in the New Testament. We are told that this event is a sign for unbelievers (Matthew 12:38-40); cf. John 20:24-29) as well as the answer for the believer's doubt (Luke 24:38-43). It serves as the guarantee that Jesus' teachings are true (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20) and is the center of the gospel itself (Romans 4:24-25, 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Further, the resurrection is the impetus for evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 10:39-43), the key indication of the believer's daily power to live the Christian life (Rom. 6:4-14, 8:9-11; Phil. 3:10) and the reason for the total commitment of our lives (Rom. 7:4; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58). The resurrection even addresses the fear of death (John 11:25; 1 Corinthians. 15:54-58; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15) and is related to the second coming of Jesus (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7). Lastly, this event is a model of the Christian's resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2; 1 Corinthians. 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and provides a foretaste of heaven for the believer (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Gary R. Habermas & J.P. Moreland, Immortality - The Other Side of Death, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992, p. 245.
Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in the resurrection? Really? Do you really believe in the resurrection? Today I want to take you through some scriptures and show you some things and when we are done I want to ask you this same question again. Do you believe in the resurrection?
Luke Chapter 24 verses 1-12,
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
As we study the resurrection today I want to look at three things.
1) The response of those immediately connected to the resurrection of Christ…
2) The response of the early church…
3) The expected response of God’s chosen people – the church…
I. THE RESPONSE OF THE ELEVEN AND THE WOMEN… look at verses5-7, 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” The women who had gone to tomb to basically “embalm” or anoint Jesus’ body with spices didn’t understand what had happened. But as soon as the “men” (they were angels) spoke to them they remembered what Jesus had said. Does that mean that they understood? No, they just remembered. While they were wondering about this... Now the next group that we come to is the eleven. Of them, Luke says, 11 But they did not believe… If they didn’t believe then what would you call them? Wouldn’t they be unbelievers? What was it that they didn’t believe? They didn’t believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Now, if they did not believe this then in reality they didn’t believe the word of God, for Jesus told them what would happen. The prophet Isaiah told them how the Messiah would suffer and die. The Psalmist wrote that God would not allow His Holy One to experience decay. 11 But they did not believe… Now, out of the eleven, according to the gospel of John, only two of them – Peter and John – went to the tomb to see for themselves. And even then only Peter was willing to go down into the tomb at first and see for himself. John went down after that. But here is Peter’s response …he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Now, let’s turn over to John 20. I’m not going to condemn the disciples just yet. There is a reason that they didn’t get it. At this stage they were not yet able to receive revelation from the Spirit of God because they did not have the Spirit. Now for believers today, what happens when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? The Holy Spirit takes up residence in you. So at that time there is a spiritual resurrection that takes place in you. Your dormant spirit man now is raised to life in Christ Jesus. So now we are able to understand the significance of the resurrection in the same way the disciples did after they received the Holy Spirit.