He Is Risen
Do you remember the song, “There’s a hole in the bucket?”
Henry - there’s a hole in the bucket
Lisa - well fix it!
Henry - How shall I fix it?
Lisa - With straw!
Henry - The straw is too long.
Lisa - Well cut it!
Henry - With what shall I cut it?
Lisa - With the axe!
Henry - Well, the axe is too dull.
Lisa - Well sharpen it!
Henry - With what shall I sharpen it?
Lisa - With the stone!
Henry - The stone is too dry.
Lisa - Well wet it!
Henry - With what shall I wet it?
Lisa -With water!
Henry - With what shall I get it?
Lisa - With the bucket!
Henry - There’s a hole in the bucket.
It all goes back to the hole in the bucket???
- read the Easter story
- pastor of REMC.
- 27 years ago, I hadn’t sensed God calling me
- become a Christian at a crusade when I was nine years old
- parents taught me what it means to follow Christ.
- they heard the gospel
- Paul had not obeyed the call of the Holy Spirit
- Holy Spirit - day of Pentecost
- if Jesus had not ascended
- if Jesus had not been raised from the dead.
- this week, -- my life a direct connection to the resurrection of Jesus.
- It all goes back to the resurrection.
- Luke 24:1-12.
I. Doubts About The Resurrection
- how do we know that Jesus rose?
- If what I did this week goes back to the resurrection,
- if the resurrection is not true,
- Doubt has always been a part of it.
- Thomas Jefferson, - could not accept the miraculous - edited his own special version of the Bible - closing words - "There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulchre and departed."
- the women,
- did not come to the tomb hoping to see Jesus alive
- wondering who would roll away the stone
- the stone rolled away and the body of Jesus missing,
- they wondered
- angels appeared to them - a rebuke to them
- they should have known, but they had doubted.
- went back to the eleven
- Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary and some others
-had remembered the words of Jesus - had come to belief?
- told the disciples - the tomb was empty, - an angel had appeared - reminded them of the prophecies
- response of the disciples?
-11 - “…they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”
- words seemed as silly talk
- Peter, however,
- ran to look for himself.
- does not say that he believed,
- “went away wondering to himself what had happened.”
- Doubt is a great part of the story and has always been for many people.
- all kinds of explanations.
- women went to the wrong tomb.
- Jesus never died,
- disciples stole the body.
- Jewish leaders stole the body.
- from the imagination of over-zealous disciples
- spiritualised the resurrection
- Doubt has always been a part of the resurrection - not only among detractors, but also among the first witnesses and among those who have heard since.
- Are we among those who doubt, those who struggle with belief or who believe?
II. Evidence For The Resurrection
- three evidences which speak to these doubts
- the empty tomb, *****verifiable
- the presence of the angels *****subjective
- the prophetic words of Jesus. *****verifiable
- help us make the decision to believe.
A. The Empty Tomb
- empty tomb is a big deal in this passage.
- women came upon the tomb,
- first indication - the stone was rolled away.
- second indication – they did not find the body of Jesus.
- the tomb was empty
- “the strips of linen lying by themselves.”
- two witnesses - the group of women and Peter –
- law required two or three witnesses
- body of Jesus was not there. The tomb was empty.
- presented as evidence.
- dispels a lot of the doubt filled explanations.
- the disciples went to the wrong tomb.
- Because there were two.
- disciples stole the body.
- would not have gone to see where Jesus was
- empty tomb points to the resurrection
- best explanation is the resurrection.
- also indicates the nature of His resurrection.
- spiritualise the resurrection.
- the beginning of the church,
- not as a real physical event, but as a spiritual event.
- his spirit rose.
- God is not interested in us physically,
- do as he pleased with his physical body
- still have that kind of thinking
- God does not permit such a separation of our physical and spiritual
- Jesus rose from the dead physically and the empty tomb is the evidence
- conquered physical death
- hope for a physical resurrection
- a new physical body.
- empty tomb is the basis in reality that Jesus rose and that He did not just rise spiritually, but physically. - important evidence.
B. Fulfilled Prophecy
- evidence of the prophetic word.
- key to this evidence is not the angels.
- disciples did not remember the words of Jesus
- God had to send messengers in order to open their eyes.
- to show them what had been there all along.
- What had been there all along was the word of God - Messiah would die and
- Genesis 3:15,
- “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
- death of Jesus - “you will strike his heel.”
- resurrection of Jesus - “he will crush your head.”
- Psalm 22.
- images that remind us of the death of Jesus.
- images that point to the resurrection
- verse 22, “I will declare your name to my brothers in the congregation”
- Isaiah 53
- death - “he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death.”
- resurrection, “he will see his offspring and prolong his days…he will see the light of life and be satisfied.”
- Luke 9:22 - “And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’”
- Luke 18:31-33 - “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
- no wonder the angels rebuked the women
- empty tomb - words predicting that this would happen
- we need never “seek the living among the dead.”
- evidence is quite clear to dispel our doubts and assure us that Jesus rose from the grave and is alive.
- Further evidence, -- next week.
- today, - two truths.
- tomb is empty
- what has been written
- Have you made the journey towards belief?
- There is room for doubt, for a journey of discovery.
- the evidence shows that Jesus rose from the dead.
- I trust that the journey of discovery will also lead you to affirm
- what an astonishing truth
- has implications that reach down to us today.
- For me it is true that my life today is completely impacted by the resurrection.
- John R. W. Stott - “Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.”
- the kingdom of heaven has broken into history.
- war in Iraq
- death has been conquered.
- we will have to face separation, but not complete and final loss.
- eternal life
- the message we proclaim has the power and authority of Jesus behind it.
- not offering man’s message in man’s power.
- When life brings tragedy, we are able to face it
- have been studying suffering
- meaning in suffering.
- This would not be possible were it not for the resurrection.
- The world we live in is evil
- overwhelmed with the awful evil of this world.
- resurrection helps us live in that evil world
- God’s living power is available to
- in the end all will be made right.
- resurrection, it connects to our lives now
- “How could it connect more?”
- “Am I fully living in the resurrection?”
- Is my life really impacted daily by the reality of the Lord Christ who lives today?
Sydney Carter has written the poem, which is also a song:
I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I'd gone;
But I am the dance and I still go on:
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he.