Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Festival

Easter Festival Service
April 8, 2007
Luke 24:1-11
Reasoning through the Resurrection

Introduction: Luke’s account is devoid of the spectacular: an earthquake, rolling away of the stone, terrified soldiers, and the appearance of Christ at the tomb, men rather than angels. Luke uses reasoning as proof of the resurrection. It is modern man’s version of the resurrection as proof of the resurrection. It is modern man’s version of the resurrection because today we cannot have a reappearance of the risen Lord. Luke answers the question how we of today can be convinced of the reality of the resurrection.

1.    The cold fact of an empty tomb – Vv. 3 “but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”  - Luke 24:3

The tomb of Jesus is empty!  This is the reality of the resurrection.  The tombs of other great religious leaders contain the bones of these dead men. Christ’s tomb remains different. We base our faith the one simple yet important fact. An empty tomb and the visible appearance of Jesus Christ to His disciples.

2.    The logic of the situation – Vv. 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?”   Luke 24:5

St. Paul would remind us, “But if Christ is not raised from the dead you are still in your sins and we are to be pitied above all men.”  But now Christ is raised from the dead. The logic of the witnesses rings true. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  Christ will not be found there in a tomb. He is alive.  For a period of 40 days Jesus appeared to His disciples time and again so they would know without any doubt that He truly is alive and risen from the dead. In fact, the testimony of the early disciples was simply this, “we have seen Jesus alive from the dead” And remember, these disciples did not run off to Athens or Rome. They remained in the very city where Jesus had died. While the church scattered due to persecution the disciples remained in Jerusalem bearing witness to any who would hear that they had seen Jesus with their own eyes.

3.    Trust in the words of Jesus – Vv. 6-8 “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”  - Luke 24:6-8

We are called to live this same faith. Recalling Jesus’ words we live by them. Recalling His promise of life beyond death we live in this sure and certain hope. For the Christian death is not the end. We trust in Him who has conquered death and given life and immortality to all who believe. 

Conclusion: He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah! 

+ Soli Deo Gloria +

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