04/05/15 Why Do You Seek the Living Amongst the Dead?

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, April 6, 2015 Under: Sermon
Easter Sunday

Intro: Jesus Christ, conquered death, Hell and the grave forever. Oh what a morning it was when Jesus rose again! Oh what a morning it was when He pulled the stinger from death and gave life eternal to all those who will place their faith in Him. You see: HE IS ALIVE this morning! The tomb was empty. Discovering the empty tomb was the greatest discovery in human history. The great tragedy is that most people either are not aware that Jesus arose or do not believe that He arose. Every person has to discover the fact for themselves. The empty tomb and the risen Lord have to become a personal discovery for everyone. The tomb is empty so you don’t have to be!

Text: Luke 24:1-12 (NKJV)

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.

Application: What has the resurrection of Christ done for you?

"For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease.” Job 14:7

The resurrection gives us hope! Like the tree that might give the appearance of being dead but the root system is intact, Through Christ we can have hope. A sprout from this what looks like a dead tree can be translated “renewal” The resurrection has given mankind the opportunity to be restored to a growing active complete life.

What they expected and what they found:

The women were not expecting to find Jesus risen from the dead; their only plan was to finish anointing His body for burial. To their dismay, the stone was rolled away. The scripture indicates that an earthquake occurred and an angel rolled the stone away. The Roman guards fainted with fear, so it appears they fled when they awoke to find the empty tomb. The women must have arrived shortly after.

Vs. 4 “And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.” These were angels, adding the thoughts of all 4 evangelists account: They first found the stone rolled away, the women entered the tomb, but found it empty. While they were still in the tomb, the angels suddenly appeared. The angel who spoke reminded them of Jesus’ promises, then sent them to find Peter and the disciples to report that Jesus was risen. The women did as they were told. The disciples were skeptical at first, but ran to where the tomb was, John arriving first, but Peter actually entering the tomb first. They saw the linen wrappings intact but empty this gave proof that Jesus was risen. They left immediately. Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, and was standing outside weeping when Christ suddenly appeared to her.

John 20:11-18 “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' " 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

That was His first appearance. Sometime soon after that, He met the other women on the road and appeared to them as well. Later that day he appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and to Peter.

What they expected and what they found was the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION.

The news that Jesus was alive began to spread among His followers, at first with hesitation, but then with enthusiasm. Even His disciples did not believe the first reports, and Thomas demanded proof. But wherever people were confronted with the reality of His resurrection, their lives were transformed. In fact, that same transforming experience can be yours today. Ask yourself, “Have I personally met the risen Christ? Has He changed my life?”

The Resurrection is an essential part of the Gospel message and a key doctrine in the Christian faith. It proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that His atoning work on the cross has been completed and is effective. The empty cross and the empty tomb are God’s “receipts” telling us that the debt has been paid. Jesus Christ is not only the Saviour, but He is also the Sanctifier and the Intercessor. One day He shall return as Judge. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (HCSB)

Important events:

1. The First Day of the Week:

2. The First Witnesses of the Resurrection:

3. The Great Stone Rolled Away:

The rolled away stone perplexed the women. “And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this.”

4. The Body Missing From the Tomb:

The account is simple: "They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." Jesus was not there: “But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” Mark 16:6

5. The Two Angels and Their Unbelievable Message:

"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" There was a rebuke in the question. They were seeking to honor a dead Savior, a Savior who was as all other men are, frail and powerless to do anything about life and eternity. Their whole being—their thoughts, feelings, and behavior—were focused upon a dead Savior.
Just a reminder: "He is not here, but is risen.” The fact was clearly evident: Jesus was not in the tomb. He had been there, for the women had seen Him put there. They had witnessed His death and burial, but He was no longer in the tomb, "He is risen." Startling, unbelievable words... The angels reminded the women that Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection. "And they remembered His words."

6. The Immediate Unbelief of the Disciples:

The women rushed to the disciples and shared the glorious news. But the news "seemed to them as idle tales: nonsense, ridiculous talk, wild imagination.” They did not believe." they "kept on disbelieving," kept on putting no trust or confidence in what the women was claiming. They were gripped with a skeptical, unbelieving spirit. The disciples were without excuse. Christ had spent month after month drilling His death and resurrection into His disciples.

7. The Continued Unbelief of Peter:

It is dangerous not to understand the Lord's Word, not to take His Word at face value. Spiritualizing His words, unless the words are clearly symbolic, often leads to serious unbelief and problems. A person has to be open to the evidence of the resurrection. The tomb is empty; He is risen—and the honest and seeking person will be convinced by the Spirit of God. What is needed is to do as Peter did: run to the tomb to see what really did happen.

Conclusion:

Do you understand it yet?

Because Jesus lives, you and I can be saved by the grace of God.
Because He lives, we can have our sins washed away forever.
Because He lives, we can go to Heaven when we leave this world.
Because He lives, the grave has no power over those who believe.
Because He lives, eternal live is our present possession.
Because He lives, one day we too will live with Him in that heavenly city.
Because He lives, I'll never have to take a step in this world alone.
Because He lives, there is hope, there is help and there is a home awaiting us in eternity.
Because He lives, I am alive.
Because He lives, my sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west.
Because He lives, my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.
Because He lives, God is my Father. Because He lives, sin has no more dominion over me.
Because He lives I am saved forever.

GOD’S NOT DEAD!

Jesus came to His disciples with a greeting of Peace (Shalom) the peace that has previously calms the storms the same peace He offers us today that is what the power of the resurrection is all about!

Not only did Jesus come to them, but He reassured them. He showed them His wounded hands and side and gave them opportunity to discover that it was indeed their Master, and that He was not a phantom.

But the wounds meant more than identification; they also were evidence that the price for salvation had been paid and man indeed could have “peace with God.” The basis for all our peace is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He died for us, He arose from the dead in victory, and now He lives for us. In our fears, we cannot lock Him out! He comes to us in grace and reassures us through His Word. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

When Jesus saw that the disciples’ fear had now turned to joy, He commissioned them: “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you”. Keep in mind that the original disciples were not the only ones present; others, including the Emmaus disciples, were also in the room. This commission was not the “formal ordination” of a church order; rather, it was the dedication of His followers to the task of world evangelism. We are to take His place in this world. Jesus came to them and reassured them; but He also enabled them through the Holy Spirit. With the power of the resurrection which we are able to receive thru the Holy Spirit these early disciples transformed from men of fear to men of God.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.”

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