Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Easter Week 2020: Luke 24:4-5

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:  (5)  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Luke 24:4-5 

Explanation:

The ladies came to the tomb.  What they had found there certainly must have astonished them.  If the rolled away stone and the empty tomb had not perplexed them enough, the two angels must have suprised them even more.  But they were not just suprised.  They were afraid.  They had a difficult time even looking up at the radiant duo. 

Notice the question, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”  What an incredible question.  It pointed to the new reality that they had not expected.  They Lord was alive.  They were looking for this live Savior in a cemetary. 

Application:

Clearly the application is important.  Jesus is alive!  We should not treat him as if He is dead.  His death reconciled us to God, and His resurrection life brings us new life.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Romans 5:10

Response:

As we begin to get ready for Easter, take some time to think about the life that God has given to you through His death, burial and resurrection.

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Easter Week 2020: Luke 24:2-3

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.  (3)  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.   

Luke 24:2-3

Explanation:

What an incredible finding.  They did not expect the stone to be rolled away.  They expected it to be closed.   They did not expect the body to be gone.  They expected it to be there.  They thought that Jesus was dead, but He wasn’t.

Now if you and I find an empty tomb today we would conjecture everything but the supernatural.  We would think that someone exhumed the body.   We would think that someone took it.  We would make every kind of naturalistic explanation, and investigate what actually happened, never even thinking the supernatural as an explanation.

And what is amazing is that God, in His infinite wisdom, orchestrated the events of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection to make every possible naturalistic explanation of the empty tomb implausible. 

First of all, Jesus was obviously dead.  He died at the hands of Roman executioners.  They knew death.  He was pierced until blood and water flowed.  This was a sign that death had happened.  He was laid in a tomb, wrapped in grave clothes, with a giant stone put in front of the mouth of the tomb.  These would have all been obstacles that a recently crucified man would not have been able to manage on His own.  The grave was guarded by Roman soldiers who would have paid a severe price to lose the body.  Finally, that early body of believers right in Jerusalem made the foundational claim that since Jesus rose from the dead He substantiated His claim to be God and could forgive sins because of His atoning death on the cross.  What would have killed that movement was to present the body of Christ, and it never happened.  In fact, these men who had been cowards previously, were bold in the face of persecution and even death.

Yes, the tomb was empty.  No, they did not expect it.  Nothing has been more significant in all of history than that fact.

Application:

You can believe the Gospel, not just because the Bible claims it, but because there is historical and logical reasons that back up the claims.  Jesus Christ is who He said He is.  By believing we can have eternal life in His name.

Response:

The most important response you and I will have is the response to this fact.  If you have placed your faith in Jesus, rejoice in the resurrection.  Jesus said in John 14:9, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”

If you have not placed your faith in Christ, do it today!

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Easter Week 2020- Luke 24:1

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:1 

Explanation:

To understand who is being referred to in this passage you must go back to the previous chapter. In Luke 23:50 we learn about a pharisee name Joseph who went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus.  Apparently Pilate gave him permission to take the body.  In verse 53 we learn that he wrapped the body in a linen, and placed him in a brand new stone tomb.  In verses 54-55 we learn that it was the Sabbath, and so the women, his disciples from Galilee who had come with Jesus to Jerusalem, saw the wrapped body in this tomb.  They left to go prepare the spices and ointments traditional to preparing a body for burial.  In verse 56 we see that they couldn’t fully complete this process because of the Sabbath day.

“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

Luke 23:56

Then comes the first day of the week.  These women who were now prepared to honor Jesus by finishing putting spices and ointments on his body came to the tomb.  Can you imagine their demeanor as they came?  Funerals and cemeteries are not known as fun, positive places to hang out.  Certainly this was a morbid and difficult task that they were coming to do.

Jesus was dead.  At least that was what they thought.

Certainly, even at this point, they weren’t thankful that He died.  And Jesus did die. He was physically dead and in the grave on Friday and Saturday. The most important act in human history was Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection.  But at this point they did not understand the significance of what had happened.

Jesus was dead.  At least that was what they thought.

Their emotions didn’t match reality.  Their vision of their future at the moment was not complete.  If you were to ask them to guess as to what would happen next they would have been wrong.  Their understanding of who Jesus is and what He could do was about to be expanded, and they had no idea.

Because as far as they knew Jesus was dead.  At least that was what they thought.

Can you imagine their conversation over the past couple of days.  Did their conversations with each other bring them any comfort or hope?  Was their plan to finish this morbid task and then head back to Galilee, defeated, despondent and depressed?

Jesus was dead.  At least that was what they thought.

Application:

Often the way we feel and reality do not match.  As I have heard from a wise person in my life over and over again, feelings make a great caboose, but they make a horrible engine.  

These people were doing all they knew to do to honor the Lord.  Yet, I’m sure their feelings about what had transpired were not in keeping with the truth of what had happened.  

We can be that way, too.  For the child of God, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  As difficult as things may get for us on this earth, our hope is secure, and our home is sure.  God does not promise prosperity for his followers.  In fact, he assured us that we will be hated by the world system.  But He told us, “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” 

Response:

Are you discouraged?  Hope in God. 

Are you hurting?  Cast your cares on the Lord.

Is your sin forgiven?  If it is not, call on the name of the Lord to be saved.  If it is, rejoice in the Lord!

If you need someone to help pray for you, contact me!

Romans: Week 6- Day 5- Romans 6:12-14

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  (13)  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  (14)  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:12-14 

Explain:

One of the most important interpretive words in Paul’s epistles is the word translated “therefore”.  He is tying what He is saying or about to say to what has been said.  So, what has been said?  Because we have been justified by faith we are no longer slaves to sin.  We are dead to sin and alive to Christ. 

It is on this basis then that Paul says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obe it in the lust thereof.”   When we reckon, or consider, or estimate that we are dead to sin, then naturally sin no longer dominates in our bodies.  We know longer have to be obedient to sin.  We don’t offer our bodies up to sin to be used to do sinful things.  Rather, since we are alive to God, we offer our bodies up to him to do righteously. 

So the grace that is given, by faith, through justification leads us to righteousness, since it breaks the power of sin.  Sin doesn’t dominate our lives any longer.  Now we are dominated by the grace of God.

Apply:

By saying “let not” Paul implies that a believer can still allow sin to dominate him at times, even though as a believer we are dead to sin.  Have you ever been there?  I’m sure you have.  As believers, we must choose by faith to reckon ourselves dead to sin.  We must consider ourselves alive to God, and rely on His power to help us fight temptation.

Respond:

Today, let these words be on the tip of your tounge:

  • No.
  • I’m dead to that.
  • Lord, please help me to reckon myself dead to sin, and alive to you!