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Luke 24:13-35

He is Not Here

  • Matthew Dodd
  • April 1, 2018

The death of Jesus took place over 2,000 years ago, so how can we be certain that He was truly raised from the dead?

We are going to study one of the post-resurrection appearance accounts of Jesus and discover life-changing answers to this question which confirm what the angel said to the women at the garden tomb that Sunday morning over 2,000 years ago, He is not Here, He is Risen!

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

He is not Here

Luke 24:13-35 

ILLUS – Former atheist, now defender of the Christian faith, Josh McDowell, was once asked by a student from the University of Uruguay, “Why can’t you refute Christianity?”

1. It has been said that Christianity stands or falls on whether or not Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead.

2. Now the death of Jesus took place over 2,000 years ago, so how can we be certain that He was truly raised from the dead?

3. Tonight, we’re going to study one of the post-resurrection appearance accounts of Jesus and discover life-changing answers to this question which confirm what the angel said to the women at the garden tomb that Sunday morning over 2,000 years ago, He is not Here, He is Risen!

Luke 24:13-35

Context

1. “Conspiracy Theories” have developed over the years, each arguing against the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. How do we know the Gospel accounts are reliable?

3. Scholars have developed a standard for determining authenticity, standards like a detective would use to determine if a witness was credible.

a. Early Testimony – How soon after the event was the testimony recorded? Less time increases credibility. NOTE: The Gospels were written between 10-30 years after Christ’s resurrection. This increases the credibility of the Gospels because scholars agree it takes at least 120 years for myths to develop!

b. Eyewitnesses – Eyewitness testimony is stronger than second-hand accounts. When more than one independent witness attests to an event, there is a strong indication that the event happened.

c. Embarrassing Details – Details which may embarrass a witness or potentially weaken one’s argument increases credibility because people typically try to make themselves “look good”.

d.Unsympathetic Sources – If testimony affirming an event is given by a source who does not sympathize with the person, message, or cause, authenticity increases. Typically, a person is biased against his or her enemy, not the other way around!

Transition – How do the Gospels measure up to these standards for credibility? Very well on every point!

I. Eyewitnesses Confirmed Jesus is Alive (15-24)

A. First Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene

Mark 16:9-11, “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.”

1. It was the first day of the week, Sunday.

2. We’re told in Luke 24:1-12:

a. Some women went to the tomb and found it empty. But angels told them Jesus had risen from the dead just like He had said.

b. The women ran back to the apostles, but the eleven thought they were speaking “nonsense”. (11)

c. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Their report was true; the stone had been rolled away, the tomb was empty, and only grave clothes remained. (John 20:4-10)

3. The Gospels of Mark and John are clear that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene and then to the other women.

4. Why is this significant? Embarrassing Details!

a. In that day and culture, women were treated like second class citizens.

b. Their testimony wasn’t admissible in court.

c. Therefore, if the Gospel writers wanted to avoid any questions about the resurrection of Jesus, they would have said that He only appeared to His “male” apostles!

d. By declaring that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to the other women, God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, strengthened the credibility of the Gospels accounts!

APPL –At Christmas we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth.

  • His was not a noble birth, though none born of a woman is more noble!
  • He was born in a manger and His first bed was a feeding trough for farm animals.
  • His first worshipers were dirty, despised shepherds.
  • Then after His resurrection, His first worshipper was a former prostitute who had been possessed by seven demons!
  • Jesus is not a Messiah for the rich and famous. He is Savior for all!

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” 

Transition – But it does not stop there. The Bible declares that there were multiple eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

B. Jesus appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses

1 Corinthians 15:5-8, He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 

1. The story behind two of those 500+ witnesses is found in verses 13-35.

2. They were not apostles. In fact, one is left unnamed, though the Lord knew his name.

3. They headed home to Emmaus, seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. And why not? The party is over because Jesus is dead!

4. Along the way, they were trying to get their minds around what happened and are depressed over Christ’s death. None of it made sense to them. One week earlier, the crowds were shouting, “Hosanna!” Then Jesus was crucified five days later.

5. How could Jesus do what He did and be who He was, only to die the way He did?

ILLUS – Building puzzles with Malina

6. Then Jesus overtook them on the road and started talking with them. I love the exchange! There must have been a smile on His face when He asked them to tell Him about what had happened to Jesus in Jerusalem.

7. Their eyes were prevented from recognizing Jesus. Why? They had a limited view of who He is. Look at how they described Him.

a. “Jesus the Nazarene” – just a man! (19)

b. “a prophet” – not more? (19)

c. “Mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people” (19)

d. But He was crucified (20)

e. They had hoped that He was their “political” Messiah (21)

f. “It’s the third day” – too late for a natural resuscitation (21)

g. Strange report from women – empty tomb (22-24)

APPL –When this passage is combined with others; does it appear that we have the making of a cover-up or a conspiracy? Not from this group!

Transition – Now, Jesus asking questions because He wanted them to correctly understand His identity and the recent events in light of His teachings and the Scriptures…

II. God’s Word Predicted It All (25-27)

A. Jesus died according to the Scriptures

1 Corinthians 15:3, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures

1. He rebuked them for being “slow of heart” (25)

a. They didn’t believe the full counsel of God.

b. They only listened to what they wanted to hear.

ILLUS – Going to the doctor… 

2. Christ must suffer (endure the cross) before glory (the crown) (26)

3. “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets… in all the Scriptures” (27).

a. Moses recorded that Messiah would suffer.

Genesis 3:15, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.

b. David prophesied of Christ’s sufferings almost 1,000 years before it occurred.

Psalm 22:16-18, For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

c. Isaiah also prophesied about the death of Christ about 700 years before it happened.

Isaiah 53:5, 9, But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

APPL – During His ministry on earth, Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies. If you want to understand the Old Testament, look for Jesus. He is found in the prophecies, the priesthood, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, and feasts like the Passover and the Day of Atonement. Coincidence? Conspiracy? No! It’s concrete evidence that Jesus is Messiah and our Savior is alive! 

B. Jesus rose according to the Scriptures

1 Corinthians 15:4, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 

1. David prophesied of Christ’s resurrection

Psalm 16:10, For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; neither will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

2. Isaiah also spoke of Christ’s resurrection 

Isaiah 53:10-11, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. 

APPL – During His ministry on earth, Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies. If you want to understand the Old Testament, look for Jesus. He is found in the prophecies, the priesthood, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, and feasts like the Passover and the Day of Atonement. Coincidence? Conspiracy? No! It’s concrete evidence that Jesus is Messiah and our Savior is alive!

III. Changed Lives Proclaim Jesus is Alive (28-35)

A. Their actions were a witness (28-33)

1. They asked Jesus to stay with them. (28-29)

2. When Jesus broke the bread, their eyes were opened, and they knew Jesus is alive! They found the missing piece to the puzzle! It all made sense!

ILLUS – Amazing Grace by John Newton. “I once was lost, but now am found, T'was blind but now I see”

3. Their hearts burned within them as He taught them. Their depression vanished!

4. They ran seven miles at night back to Jerusalem! They had to tell somebody!

B. Their words were a witness (34-35)

1. The moment they arrived in Jerusalem

a. The disciples told the two that Jesus appeared to Simon Peter.

b. Then the two shared their story about their journey with Jesus to Emmaus.

2. They couldn’t stop talking about Jesus…

Acts 4:19-20, But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.’ 

APPL – Conspiracy? No! One Bible scholar noted that “liars make terrible martyrs.” Many of these would not renounce their belief that Jesus died and rose again. They lost their lives but gained something far greater, eternal life!

APPL –Yet there was a conspiracy. Matthew’s Gospel records the very first one, called the Stolen Body Theory… 

Matthew 28:11-15, Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.

And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

APPL – How do we refute the Stolen Body Conspiracy theory? There were two of the 500+ eyewitnesses that I have not mentioned, Paul and James. Why are they important? Before they became Christians, they were Unsympathetic Sources! Paul was Saul of Tarsus who persecuted Christians (Acts 9). James was the half-brother of Jesus, a skeptic, who thought Jesus had lost his mind (John 7:5). A skeptic and a persecutor would not die for a lie! Paul would have used all the power at his disposal to make Christians confess where the body of Jesus was! James would have walked away!

Transition – Why was the death and resurrection of Jesus necessary?

APPL – God is holy, and He requires that each person perfectly keep His Law, called the Ten Commandments. But if we lie, steal, or lust even once, we have broken the Law.

James 2:10, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

  • The penalty for even one infraction is death, eternal separation from God in the lake of fire…

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death,

  • All are guilty because all of us have sinned

Romans 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

  • But Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, then rose again to give us the gift of eternal life

Romans 6:23, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • How do we receive this gift of salvation?

Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.

Conclusion

APPL – I am not talking about taking a leap of blind faith. Please look at the evidence: Early Testimonies, Multiple Eyewitnesses, Embarrassing Details, and Unsympathetic Sources. Look at the prophecies fulfilled, and the lives changed. Yet faith is required if you want to have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.

ILLUS – Ferry accident in India

Jesus Christ is still changing lives. Will you let Jesus change your life by taking away the judgment for your sin and giving you the gift of eternal life?

 

Luke 24:13-25    NASB

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them,named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?"

19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." 25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!


 

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