A Faith Response To The Resurrection

Empty tomb

Scripture Focus- Luke 24:13-35

Click Here To Listen To The Sermon

Jesus taught his disciples the Son of Man would suffer many things and be rejected, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, taken away to be unjustly tried, mocked, beaten, and crucified. He was buried in a borrowed tomb and on the Sabbath, Saturday, the followers of Jesus rested and waited. Most of us have lost loved ones, people we care deeply about, to the finality of death. In order to appreciate life, we have to face death.

On the first day of the week, early in the morning, the women came to the tomb and the stone had been rolled away. Two angels appeared to them and asked, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has risen!” Then the angels reminded them of the words of Jesus regarding what was going to take place and they remembered his words. The women went back to the disciples to tell them what they found, but the disciples did not believe them. Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself and was amazed at what had happened.

When the New Testament defines and presents the Gospel, there are several points of reference which focus on the Deity of Jesus, his death, his burial, and his resurrection. The church would have never been, had Jesus not risen from the dead. His followers had to be absolutely convinced that he was the victor over death when he appeared to them after he rose from the grave. There are 13 distinct resurrection appearances (including the one to Paul on the road to Damascus). The one before us today is third in order of the appearances, and the first of three in Luke’s Gospel. The parallel account is in Mark 16:12-13, a more brief account.

Jesus seeks us so we can walk with Him.

Two of the disciples were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles NW from Jerusalem. One was Cleopas (whom we know little about) and the other remained unnamed. The disciples were discussing everything that had taken place- the crucifixion of Jesus, the report of the women regarding the empty tomb, and likely what they should expect next. They were probably confused, disillusioned, and fearful.

While they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. At first they were prevented by God from recognizing Jesus, I think because of their unbelief. They were not expecting to see him.

Jesus asked them a question. He often did so, not because he didn’t know the answer, but to awaken their interest. Then he would follow with what they needed to know.

What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?

Unbelief blinds peoples’ hearts to the true identity of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Jesus sought them out, and Jesus seeks us out, so we can walk with him. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.

Douglas County Oregon Search and Rescue Missions- In one year, their requests for search and rescue have nearly doubled. Brian Melvin, Coordinator attributes the increase to two things- an ever increasing elderly population and young people who are too reliant on their phones. “We have seen an uptick in the elderly.  They don’t know they’re lost. We’ve found people who have been gone for days and they’ll tell you they’ve only been gone a couple of hours.”

Nobody could know they were spiritually lost, or see their need, were it not for the grace of God in seeking us out for rescue. God takes the initiative. Jesus seeks us out so we can walk with him.

Jesus opens our eyes with truth so we can walk with Him.

The disciples stopped walking and looked discouraged when Jesus asked the question. Cleopas answered Jesus, incredulously- v18 Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days? V19 What things? He asked them.

They replied to Jesus and referenced- Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people. The chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. They were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. They told Jesus some women astounded them with news from the tomb that it was empty, which was confirmed by some of the disciples.

Then Jesus began to open their eyes with truth. V25 How foolish and slow you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken! V26 Wasn’t it necessary to the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?

The problem with the Jewish religious leaders of the day was when they read the Old Testament, many of them saw only the glory and the victory of the Messiah as it related to Israel, which is what these men referred to. They failed to understand the fact that the way to blessing was one of suffering. They had experienced Jesus in their midst interpreting the prophecy by who he was, what he did, and what he taught. Now it all had been confirmed in his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

V27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.

The entirety of the Old Testament points to Jesus, and anticipates the Messiah. Later on that same day Jesus would say to the disciples assembled in Jerusalem- vv44-46 These are my words I spoke to you while I was still with you- that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

I read about a new technology being utilized in glasses. They are called Enchroma glasses. The purpose of them is to correct color deficiencies that many color blind people face to give them the opportunity to see the world in a different light.

This is the what the Holy Spirit does for unbelievers through the Word of God. Our eyes are opened with the truth.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. Jesus opened their eyes, and Jesus opens our eyes with truth so we can walk with him.

Jesus empowers us to make him known as we walk with him.

They came near the village where they were going, and he acted as though he was going on further. They urged Jesus to stay with them. They sat down at the table together.

V31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. V32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”

There should be belief in what has been made known to you- they recognized him.

There should be passion about what has been made known to you- their hearts were burning within them while he was talking.

A job interview question often asked is, “What are you passionate about?” The question is a good one to look on the inside of a person. The question speaks to what you value, and are willing to invest yourself in. What are you passionate about spiritually? There should be sharing about what has been made known to you.

They got up and found the eleven and others who were gathered with them and they bore witness to what they had experienced. They could not keep the news to themselves.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

The Lord has truly been raised. . .

Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople; sermon, ca. 400

A faith response to the resurrection is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, and walk with him.