4-15-12 “He Is Not Here, He Has Risen!”

“He Is Not Here, He Has Risen!

Luke 24:1-12                                          Written and delivered by #Matt Cizek# 4-15-12 for
the DuPage/NIU Easter Bible Conference
Key verse 24:6, “He is not here, he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.”
Happy Easter! Thank God we were all able to attend this conference this weekend. On the first day, we heard a message about Jesus’ trial. On day two, we learned about Jesus’ crucifixion. Now, we’ll study about Jesus resurrection. The first half of today’s gospel lesson is on Luke Chapter 24 v. 1-12. The key verse is verse 6, so let’s read verse 6 together. Let’s go: “He is not here, he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.” Let me pray…

Part 1: Jesus Resurrected

Jesus Christ died on the cross. When he died, many of the disciples- except for John- ran away in fear. A large number of people who witnessed his death on the cross were women who had followed him from Galilee. These women were very faithful spiritual mothers and women disciples. Chapter 24 states that on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took spices to the tomb. They believed that, as a final tribute to Jesus, they could lather his body in spices so that he would produce a better odor. The fact that they went to the tomb on the first day of the week shows their everlasting commitment to Jesus by showing us that they honored the Sabbath.

When they got to the tomb, two things perplexed them. Can anyone recall what these two things were? First, the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. Secondly, does anyone know what the second thing was…they found a tomb with nobody in it. Now the average size of a tomb is likely seven or eight feet long. I am approximately 6 feet 5 inches tall. Standing on top of this little podium, I’m likely 7 feet 5 inches tall. For a stone to cover up a tomb this big, it would probably have to be about the size of this room. A stone this size is far too heavy to be moved by man. Also, there was no technological device – like a crane or bulldozer – that could be used to help move it. So this real sight that lay in front of them appeared very “un”real, or impractical.

In verse 4, it mentions that something occurred while the women comprehended this empty tomb before them. How about Augustine, would you read verse 4? “While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.” Thank you. Often, when pictures are developed that depict angels, they feature a bright, gleaming light shining in the background, creating a kind of spiritual aura. These two men with clothes gleaming like lightning were in fact angels themselves. So we can see the connection that is made here. In verse 5, being made humble and in fear of the Lord, the women immediately bowed down to these angels. Unless you own your own business, your job is probably controlled in some part by a figure they call, “the boss.” Some people, when they see the boss, try to put on what may be called a “busy” face. But do you bow down to the boss when you see them and cry, ‘We are not worthy!’ I hope not. What this shows is that the power that wealthy people have is no match for the power that God has in bringing us nearer to him.

The angels, in a sense, were present to do business – God’s business. This business of God’s is very different from what the world may define as business. The angels came as messengers of God to deliver the good news of Jesus’ life here on Earth. They started out by asking, in verse 5b-7, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” It was then that the women remembered what Jesus had said.

Jesus had said that the Son of Man MUST be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again. Jesus was aware of the great pain and suffering he would have to go through. By the human portion of his dual nature, he must have feared greatly. Some may say that a human being would have to be crazy to go through such things. But Jesus transcended the human will by being our Lord, and loving us enough to die on the cross in order to save us from our sins. Thank you Jesus! Remember, that in verse 8 it says that they immediately remembered Jesus’ words. How then did they respond?

Part II: The Women’s Resurrection Message of Jesus to the 11 Apostles

In verse 9, immediately following the admission that they had now remembered Jesus’ words, it says, “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.” The word “they” has been used to describe these women on more than one occasion. But “they” does not offer much explanation in regards to credibility. So, especially after knowing what happened in verses 1-8, let’s ask who “they” are. Verse 10 says, “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.” We do not know just how many women made up this cast of “the others.” But there are three names here of women that we do know: Mary Magdalene, who was healed of demons by Jesus. Does anyone remember how many demons? Seven…seven demons. There was also Joanna- the wife of Cuza, who worked for King Herod, and Mary, the mother of the disciple James. When they heard the angels’ message, they remembered Jesus’ words and went out to speak the good news that they heard. It’s inspiring to recognize these women’s immediate action and witnessing to others. In this, all fear disappears. This resurrection faith is the faith that we have in knowing that God’s kingdom awaits us in the eternal life.

When I think back to recent memory, I recall my (a person) being very sick and bedridden at the hospital. He was expected to die. Along with my family, I felt very sad. I probably felt a little bit dead inside myself. But I thought back to the Well Conference and its message on Revelation, and also remembered the resurrection chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 v. 58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” With this knowledge God comforted me, and enabled me with the tools to comfort others. Please help me continually to be a voice of comfort for those in despair in the power of death.

The quick response by the women to tell others of Jesus’ message lets us see their unquestioning faith. This was made possible by the knowledge that Jesus is ever faithful to his disciples and his word. Sometimes, if we view television, we may see famous or highly regarded people giving their opinion on certain matters. If you’ve paid attention to recent politics, you’ll know that there are many making promises of “Yes”. However, they can’t always abide by what they say. Their promises are limited. But the sinless and almighty God, Jesus Christ, is forever faithful to his promises, and shines light unto his followers and unto the world.

Who, specifically, did the women talk to? It says that they talked to ‘the Eleven.’ The Eleven what? The starting eleven of the Chicago Bears? Maybe the eleven cast members from the movie, “Ocean’s Eleven?” No. Neither is correct. Here, the eleven refers to the eleven remaining disciples. One disciple, Judas Iscariot, had hung himself on a tree. Verse 11 states: “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” One reason that the disciples may not have believed the women could be that they at the time were members of a society that in many ways called for men to have most of the answers. As such, they could’ve ignorantly regarded the women’s stories as secondary source material. But a more likely reason is that they were still very afraid, and found no rationality in what was being said. Giving into the fear of sin and death, the disciples could’ve had a lapse in faith, resurrection faith, at this moment.

Today there are billions of Christian followers all over the world willing to attest to Jesus’ resurrection. But nearly two thousand years ago, the disciples were being forced to believe in something that was still, shall we say, a very unpopular choice. Also, the disciples may not have believed the women because they only saw them in light of their previous life of sin, and would not account for how God’s angels had personally encountered these women with a message – “He’s not here! He has risen!”. In any case, this message would seem to point to perhaps one of the biggest ironies in biblical history: that following his death, it was the disciples who were at first most in doubt over accepting the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.

But does this only suggest that people, even disciples, are not always who they say they are? No. The disciples, being human, are just as capable of faith blindness as anyone. Look at verse 12. How about Amanda, could you read verse 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 happened.” Thank you. Now Peter had courage to go to the tomb with curiosity.. Yet when he arrived at Jesus’ tomb and saw only the straps of linen, even he wondered to himself what had happened.

What have we learned thus far? In this chapter, Jesus has asserted that he is the Lord of the living, not of the dead. In doing so, he will not be a God merely for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. Grasping this reality comes down to one’s ability to understand resurrection faith, and let go of the fear of sin and death. Let’s remember the angels’ message to the women, “He’s not here! He has risen!”, and know that Jesus is the risen Lord of the Living for you and for me. Let us remember verse 6…let’s go, “He is not here, he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.” Let me pray and finish…

Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.