Jesus Christ is risen!
Published 12:46 pm Friday, April 10, 2009
Scripture: Luke 24:1-36
Aim: To present to the student some facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Golden Text: “Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7). “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you” (Luke 24:36).
One of the greatest points of difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is that the Christian believes in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, while the non-Christian rejects it as unscientific and unbelievable. The literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a foundational truth of Christianity. If this teaching of the Church is false, all the rest of Christianity is unsustainable.
The Apostle Paul carefully points this out in his discussion on the resurrection in First Corinthians. He there gives several points.
First, that the Christian Gospel is that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures (Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus Himself (15:2-4). Second, that He was seen after the resurrection by Peter and the disciples (15:5). Third, that He was seen of more than 500 persons at one time (many of whom were still living when Paul wrote I Corinthians in about 54 A.D., 15:6). Fourth, Paul himself saw Jesus alive on the road to Damascus (15: 8-9). These were all eyewitnesses to the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the grave.
Again, Christianity holds the resurrection as a necessary foundational truth. Thus Paul explained in I Corinthians Chapter 15. That if Christ be not raised from the dead: There is no resurrection of the dead, period (vs. 12-13), the preaching of the resurrection is vain (empty, useless, worthless, vs. 14), all Christian faith is vain (vs. 14), such preaching is giving false witness concerning God (vs. 15), Christian faith is vain (vs. 16-17), there is no forgiveness of sins (vs. 18), and there is no such thing as a Christian’s hope of a home in eternal glory with God (vs. 18).
Paul then affirms, “Now is Christ risen from the dead” (vs. 20).
I. On Sunday after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, some of Jesus’ followers came to the tomb (Luke 24:1-3). They found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty ( vs. 2). They went into the tomb to investigate (vs. 3). They were very “perplexed” (vs. 4).
II. Two men (angels-as messengers to men angels always appeared to be men. Both in the Old Testament and the New) stood by them in shinning garments (24:4-8). The women were not only puzzled, they were also afraid and fell on their faces before the men (vs. 4-5).
A question was asked by one of the men, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” The answer was given, “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee?” They remembered Jesus had told them (vs. 6-8).
III. The women went and told the apostles (24:9-12). The apostles thought the women told “idle tales” (vs. 10-11), they did not believe. Peter and John went to the tomb to see for themselves (vs. 12). They did not meet the angels, but saw the empty tomb. John believed immediately.
IV. Two followers of Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus (a short way from Jerusalem, 24:13-32). Jesus joined them, and He taught them from the Old Testament Scriptures about the resurrection (vs. 19-32). The two men returned to Jerusalem and told the apostles (vs. 32-35).
A judge in the Supreme Court of New York State, after a trial which was supposed to disprove the resurrection, made a summary statement that the “resurrection of Jesus Christ in one of the most established facts of history”. Yes, whatever one may believe, Jesus Christ is risen!