Summary: The disciples find an empty tomb!
Witnesses of the Resurrection
Jeff Hughes – April 14, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Today, like every other Sunday of the year, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But, unlike any other Sunday, this is the actual anniversary of that fateful day, nearly two thousand years ago, when a few of Jesus’ disciples were the first ones to arrive at the tomb to see just what had happened.
b. In light of us celebrating Easter today, we are taking a break from our normal study of the book of Acts, to look at the events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus as told by Luke.
c. Jesus’ resurrection was undeniable, and would be witnessed by many of His followers. Luke was a Greek physician who verified this, along with Matthew, a tax collector, Mark, a young disciple of Christ at the time, and John, a fisherman from Galilee who also happened to be one of Jesus’ most beloved disciples.
d. As we have seen over the past four months, the resurrection is a cornerstone of our faith, and the disciples after the Lord’s resurrection and Ascension were charged with the duty of carrying the good news of His resurrection to the whole earth.
e. Each gospel writer brings his own perspective to the good news about Jesus Christ, and we can learn quite a bit by seeing each one’s view of the resurrection. Since we are studying through Acts normally, I chose the narrative of Luke to be our baseline as we look at the resurrection. As we are familiar with, and used to studying Luke’s literary style. But, we will be looking at what the other gospel writers have to say as well.
f. But first, let’s pray, and ask the Lord to come and bless our study of His Word this morning.
a. On February 27th, 1991 Ruth Dillow was at home in Chanuk, Kansas when the phone rang. It was bad news from the Pentagon. Her son, Private First Class Clayton Carpenter, had stepped on a landmine in the Persian Gulf War and was dead. It was an awful, sickening reality to learn that her son would never come home again. Three days later Ruth received another phone call. The voice on the other end said, "Mom, I’m alive!" Ruth said that at first she could not believe it was the voice of her 23 year-old son, over whom she had mourned for nearly three days. Ruth said, "I jumped up and down. I was overjoyed! You just don’t know how much.".
b. This same scene was played out in the homes of seven more of our soldiers, as they were returned unhurt from being held as Prisoners of War. Many thought they were dead, they thought that they had been executed, but the fact was that their loved ones were alive.
c. The apostles didn’t get a phone call from Jesus letting them know that He was alive when they had assumed that He was dead. They had a good basis to assume this, because they had seen him killed on the cross. They saw a Roman soldier put a spear through His side, and they saw His lifeless body being taken down from the cross.
d. The women saw Jesus laid in the tomb. How could they not believe that He was dead? That why what we are going to look at today came as such a shock to them. Jesus had risen from the dead.
e. There’s a place for you to take notes in your bulletin if you would like, and if you need a Bible, just raise your hand. Luke is right past Mark in the New Testament, and just before John.
f. Our scripture reference today comes from chapter 24, and we are looking at verses 1 through 12.
i. 1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ’The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ " 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.