The King Reigns
Luke 24:1-35 PCC am 4/3/21
Happy Resurrection Day. It is always great to be in the Lord’s house on the Lord’s day. Here at Princeton Christian Church, we remember the Lord’s death burial, and resurrection every Lord’s day. But today is special. This past week has been what we call Holy Week. It is a time we set aside each year to reflect on the last days of Jesus’s earthly ministry, his mock trial, crucifixion death, and burial.
But today is Resurrection Day, the day we set aside to celebrate Jesus' resurrection and victory over sin and death. So let's take a look at what Luke records about this glorious event.
Jesus Has Risen
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 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? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
I believe that sometimes we are too hard on Mary Magdalene, Joana, Mary the mother of James, and the other women that went to the tomb. Nothing in life is more painful than the death of a loved one and the grieving process can take years. And these women were not just grieving the loss of someone that died of natural causes. They were grieving the loss of someone who had suffered the cruelest form of execution known to mankind. To make matters worse, the chief priest went to Pilate and requested a guard be posted to prevent Jesus' body from being stolen and his disciples claiming that he had resurrected. Pilate not only posts a guard but orders the tomb sealed.
In spite of all this these women loved Jesus and wanted to honor him with a proper burial. This took extreme courage and no small amount of faith on their part. Going to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body meant they were going to publicly identify as his followers, this would likely bring repercussions from the religious leaders. And then there was the matter of the seal. Breaking the official Roman seal would have been a criminal offense. And there was the stone, how would they ever move the stone? Mark records that they discussed who will roll away the stone but exactly how they expected to enter the tomb is unknown. But what we do know is that they were committed to honoring Jesus even if it meant being ostracized by the jews and prosecuted by the Romans.
We can only imagine the shock that they felt when they found the empty. And then to be gripped by fear in the presence of angels proclaiming the resurrection. And then remembering Jesus' words and realizing that He is risen.
It is really no wonder that the eleven didn’t believe the news. A group of distraught grieving women go out to anoint Jesus' body and come back overcome with joy and excitement. They probably just dismissed the whole thing as grieving. But Peter on the other hand was curious and went to see for himself. Luke records that Peter went away wondering to himself what had happened. I like the Dr. Seuss translation of Luke 24:12, I think Peter stood there puzzling and puzzling until his puzzler was sore. But luckily for Peter and for us Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus and clears everything up.
Imagine if you will that your closest friend has just died. Not only have they died but your hopes and dreams have died with them. For the past three years you have traveled together, ate together and you sat at his feet while he taught the multitudes about a new way of life. About forgiveness, loving your neighbor and his coming kingdom. You love your friend very much and you believe that he is going to redeem your people and crush your enemies. But your friend is betrayed and handed over to your enemies and publicly executed. Not only is he dead but so are your hopes and dreams and you wonder if your close association with him has made you the next target of your enemies. And now you and another friend are walking from Princeton to Fort Branch. You are crushed by grief and choked by fear. As you walk along with your face to the ground praying that no one recognizes you the two of you discuss all that has happened and try to make sense of it all. When suddenly a stranger joins you on the road and asks what you are talking about. You can’t believe that he hasn’t heard the news so you begin to tell the story of your deceased friend. As you reach your destination you invite the stranger to stay with because it is nearly nightfall. And then over supper, the stranger reveals his identity to you. Imagine the joy that you would feel. Would you get up at once and run back to Princeton to share the good news? I hope so.
Jesus traveled along the road to Emmaus with two of his disciples. Along the way, he has to chastise them for not believing the prophets. But then around the table, their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
Luke’s gospel records it this way
0 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Perhaps it was the way Jesus prayed that made them realize it was him. Or maybe what he prayed, I like to believe that he took bread, gave thanks and broke it saying “ take eat this is my body” . Scripture does not record that but something clearly made them realize that they were in the presence of the risen Saviour. Then they asked each other, “ were our hearts not burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and with those with them assembled together and saying, “ It is true! The lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
You see that’s what happens when you hear the good news. Your heart burns inside you and you can’t wait to go tell everyone. Three days ago Satan was laughing with delight and now he kinda looks like Elmer Fudd. He is jumping up and down with smoke coming out his ears, stomping on his hat, breaking his gun in half, cursing his defeat, and screaming at the top of his lungs“ That wascally Jesus, I almost had him”. But back in Jerusalem, there is great rejoicing. Jesus is alive!!! And he has won the victory over sin and death.
There are thousands of religions in the world. And each one claims to be the path to god. And they each offer a system of works by which they claim man can reach god. But Christianity is different. Christianity is not about man pursuing God but about God pursuing man. You see God loves you so much that he put on flesh and came to earth and for 33yrs lived a human life just like you. Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. For 33 yrs he lived and worked just like any other man. He experienced hunger and loneliness and isolation. Every day that he was here on earth he walked beside common men and saw their struggles. And he saw men that were trapped under a load of sin and he had compassion on them. He had so much compassion for them that he laid down his life for them and three days later arose victorious over sin and death so that men would no longer have to die. And that is what we celebrate today.
The Resurrection of Christ
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: 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, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
There are four things that God does not know.
God does not know a sinner that he does not love.
God does not know a sin that he does not hate.
God does not know a way you can escape if you neglect your salvation.
God does not know a better time to be saved than now!