Luke 23:50-24:12 by Pastor Dan Walker
The resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in the history of the universe. The resurrection completed the mission of Jesus to bring salvation to all those who put their faith in Him. The resurrection proves that Jesus is who He said He was, the Son of God, who lives forever more. Learn how the resurrection impacts your life in this special Easter 2022 service.
Duration:33 mins 34 secs

Happy Easter! On Easter we celebrate the most important event in the history of the world. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our message today is entitled “Jesus is Alive.” Let’s begin this morning talking about why the resurrection is so important for each one of us. Jesus prophesied that He would die and rise again.

Matthew 20:18-19 (ESV) “… the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Yet, despite this, Jesus’ followers did really believe that He would die. And when He died, they didn’t believe that He would rise again. If Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, what would He be? He would be false prophet, a liar and certainly not the Son of God. As followers of Jesus, we speak a lot about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. But without the resurrection, Jesus’ death would have accomplished nothing.

1 Corinthians 15:17 (ESV) And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

You see, when God raised Jesus from the dead, it meant that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin on the cross. Jesus was raised from the dead to never die again. This had never happened before in the history of the world. We don’t celebrate Jesus hanging on the cross, we celebrate the empty tomb.The empty tomb meant that Jesus no longer dead, but lives forever more. The resurrection of Jesus means that every believer will be resurrected in the same way.

1 Corinthians 15:52 (ESV) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

As followers of Jesus, we will receive a resurrected body just like Jesus did. That body will have both physical and spiritual dimensions, just like Jesus’ did. Our resurrected bodies will fit us to live forever in the new heavens and new earth. So, sorry to disappoint you, but you’re not going float around on clouds playing harps forever. We will have a wonderful future of eternal life forever with Jesus. All because of the resurrection of Jesus. All because Jesus is Alive. So, let’s look more closely at the resurrection story from the Gospel of Luke this morning to see how it applies to our lives today.

Jesus died and was buried

Luke 23:46, 49 (ESV) Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. … And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

Jesus was crucified on a cross by Roman soldiers. It was their method of capital punishment and was a very cruel way to die. Normally, the soldiers needed to break the legs of the crucified to hasten death. But Jesus released His spirit into His father’s hands and died. The soldiers made sure that He was dead by plunging a spear into His side. The Romans knew when the condemned was dead and there was no doubt that Jesus was dead. Many of Jesus’ followers watched the crucifixion from a distance and were witnesses. Normally, the crucified were left to decompose on the cross or taken down and put into a mass grave. But God had another plan for Jesus’ body, carried out by a man named Joseph.

Luke 23:52-53 (ESV) This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.

Tombs cut in stone were very expensive and so only the wealthy were buried there. Even for the wealthy, the tombs were usually for the whole family, so many were buried in a single tomb. So, this tomb must have been newly carved out for Joseph and his family. It was completely empty, and soon would be again. Joseph took a risk in asking for Jesus’ body, as the Jewish leaders had conspired to have Jesus killed. Not only did Joseph see that Jesus was dead and buried him in the new tomb, but so did the women followers of Jesus.

Luke 23:55-56 (ESV) The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

These women had heard Jesus predict that He would be crucified and rise again. But seeing Jesus battered and bleeding body made any thoughts of resurrection seem impossible. The body had to be immediately buried on Friday, so there was no time to treat the body before the Sabbath on Saturday. So, the women went to prepare the spices and ointments which were part of a respectful burial of the time. Jesus had not fainted, swooned or become unconscious, he was dead as many had witnessed. He was buried with a large stone covering the entrance that was sealed.

Recently, we’ve been studying what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We often think of following Jesus in the things He did and said in His life. But the Bible also speaks of following Jesus in His death. In fact, dying to our old way of life is the first step in becoming a believer in Jesus.

Every human being has sinned, which separates them from God. Jesus called on people to repent from their sins. To repent is to turn away from sin, to die to our old way of life before following Jesus. This death to sin is represented as a new believer is baptized by immersion. They go under the water, just as Jesus was buried in the tomb. But that is not the end of the baptism, nor was the tomb the end of the story of Easter. The good news, the amazing news is that …

Jesus rose from the dead

Luke 24:1-2 (ESV) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,

The women came to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with the spices. I wonder what their plan was to remove the massive stone rolled over the tomb entrance. Most likely in all the emotion over the death of Jesus, they had not realized that they could never move the stone. Nor could they have entered the tomb because of the soldiers guarding it. But none of those impossibilities mattered, because the enormous stone had been rolled away. Undoubtedly the women were amazed and wondered what had happened.

Luke 24:3-4 (ESV) but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

Seeing the tomb open, the women went inside, expecting to find the body of Jesus. But there was no body inside at all, only grave clothes neatly folded. The women couldn’t figure out what had happened, when suddenly something else happened. Two angels appeared to them, looking like two men clothed in dazzling light. How would you have responded?

Luke 24:5-6 (ESV) And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,

The women were frightened and couldn’t bear to look at the brilliant angels. The angels then explained what had happened, the only explanation for the empty tomb. Jesus had risen from the dead and was now alive. It was just as Jesus had told them previously, that He would be crucified and rise from the dead. This was amazing and upsetting news at the same time. Their whole world had once again been turned upside down. Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.

Others had been raised from the dead by the Old Testament prophets. Jesus Himself had raised people from the dead, but all those eventually died again. Jesus was raised from the dead never to die again, He’s alive today and forever more.

The New Testament records many accounts of hundreds of people seeing Jesus alive, risen from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection proves that He was the Son of God and everything He said was true. The resurrection means that the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for the sins of those who would believe in Him. The resurrection of Jesus meant that all believers will also be resurrected at the return of Jesus.

When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, their old self is buried and they are spiritually raised a new creation. When a person is baptized, their coming up out of the water represents them being born again and beginning a new life with Jesus. If you have not been baptized since believing in Jesus, I’d encourage you to sign up for our next water baptism coming on May 29. You can signup on your Connect Card in your bulletin. Since Jesus conquered death, He can help you overcome any obstacle in your life. Since Jesus rose from the dead …

We must tell others the good news

Luke 24:9-10 (ESV) and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,

This was not just one or two women. Three are named and there were others as well. They came running back to tell the eleven apostles what had happened. Not only did they tell the apostles, they also told every other follower of Jesus that they could find. Everyone was grieving at the death of Jesus and this was the best news ever. So how did the faith-filled apostles respond? Did they jump for joy?

Luke 24:11 (ESV) but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

Wow. You’ve got at least half a dozen women, believers in Jesus, telling the same story. Yet, they men thought they were either making things up or having some kind of delusions. The apostles did not believe the story, even though Jesus had told them it was going to happen. It just seemed too good to be true. But one of the disciples decided to check out the story.

Luke 24:12 (ESV) But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Peter ran to the tomb to see if the stone was still there and if not, what was inside. He saw it was just as the women had said. The tomb was open and empty, except for the linen clothes that Jesus’ body had been wrapped in. This verse tells us that Peter went home “marveling at what had happened. Peter saw the empty tomb and believed that Jesus indeed had risen from the dead. He was awestruck at this unexpected turn of events and wonderful news. The women and Peter couldn’t keep this good news to themselves, they had to tell others.

Once a person truly understands the significance of the resurrection, they will become a follower of the living Jesus. In a few minutes, I’ll give you an opportunity to become a follower of Jesus or to recommit your life to following Him. Once you become a follower of Jesus, Jesus calls you to be a witness for Him. A witness for Jesus simply tells others the good news that Jesus is alive and He wants to give them new life.

How can you have the courage to be a witness for Jesus in a hostile world? Jesus promised in Acts 1:8, that He would make available the power of the Holy Spirit to enable His followers to be His witnesses. All you have to do is ask Jesus for that power of the Holy Spirit to help you be His witness. Then Jesus will use you to tell others the good news about Jesus. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Today, Easter 2022, we’ve taken time to reflect on what happened on that first Easter Sunday 2000 years ago. On Friday, Jesus died on the cross and was buried. His followers mourned and lost all hope. But on Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again.

Because Jesus is alive, you can have hope today, no matter what you’re going through in life. Because Jesus is alive, you can know Him as your Savior and Lord. Because Jesus is alive, we must tell others the good news.