Luke 24:1-8 New King James Version
He Is Risen
24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, [a]and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were [b]greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” 8 And they remembered His words.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
There is a new song of Triumph coming forth from the Heavens above.
Psalm 19 The Message
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
Except, who is listening to these raucous words of song and triumph?
The heavens sing their words of the Glory and Triumph of God!
They emanate from the deepest reaches of heaven down to the earth below.
They begin echoing outward unto a sleeping humanity from a place of death.
Hushed and Quiet though they may be in this moment at that place of death, they are none the less quite real and quite audible to those who will come to it.
The song will come unexpectedly to those whose hearts and whose souls were prepared to be curious about it, receive it and see it and then utterly believe it!
In this place of uncleanness and death, there is a sure and certain witness here!
In this place of darkness and stench, there is a sure and certain testimony here!
Let us now lend our eyes and ears to what this witness and testimony might be.
“Welcome to this Happy morning!”
“Welcome all ye curious ones!”
“Welcome all ye despondent ones!”
“Welcome all ye silent and tearful and mournful ones!”
“Welcome all ye defeated, downtrodden and broken ones!”
“Welcome all ye faith-filled and faithful and hope-filled hopeful ones!”
“It is wonderful to gather in our beautiful Kingdom of God to celebrate the glory and triumph of God and the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Yes! there is, emanating from here a new, fresh song of witness and testimony.
Except, no one in particular is hearing, even listening to the words of welcome.
In fact, if we were to look at this place in that moment, we would see nobody.
Perhaps because the deafening silence of the glorious words “He is not here!” “praise God” are coming from an empty tomb which has been beckoning others where no others are paying attention, in close proximity or listening distance.
The expectancy of the glorious and triumphant message found from within the empty tomb is not one that is even the least bit anticipated, shared nor shouted.
The “Behold, Our God Wins!” witness and the living breathing testimony of the empty tomb sits all alone in a darkened silence in a place of the unclean dead.
Now, finally – a group of women come over the hill and down a path leading to the tomb of the one whom in life had been believed to be their “Messiah King.”
Three days ago, he had been brutally killed, humiliated as the ultimate criminal.
Because of Sabbath rules, he had been hastily buried and sealed behind a rock.
The women came bearing spices which they had prepared to finish preparing the not so pleasant smelling body of their dead best friend and their king.
But instead of finding a sealed tomb they came upon an open one.
Amazingly, unexpectedly, the stone had somehow been rolled off to the side.
Curious and probably just a wee bit afraid of what they would or would not find, they enter the tomb of their Rabbi and find it empty – there was just no corpse.
The women had come to anoint his body for the burial when they suddenly encountered a pair of angels asking this question – “so, why are you here?”
Followed up by the good news, “He is not here; he has risen!”
What a great and wholly unexpected sequence of “GOD” events for their souls.
Such wonderful good news.
The faith-filled faithful of God went to the tomb before all others were awake.
With their whole selves, in the darkness, their eyes beheld an open tomb and a rock much too heavy for them to remove by themselves rolled off to the side.
Instead of running away and screaming into the night to tell somebody else, the curiosity of the words to a new song reached their souls, so they all went inside.
They lingered inside and witnessed to an unanticipated, unexpected, emptiness inside the tomb of their fallen Rabbi they could not understand nor easily grasp.
As they were all greatly perplexed by this sequence of events, they clearly see the two men in shiny garments standing there, they clearly hear their words:
5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”
“He is NOT here!”
“But, IS Risen!”
Jesus is alive!
Death is defeated!
Witness to, Testify that, The Stone Was Rolled Away
Luke 24:5-8 The Message
4-8 They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.
The gospel of Luke opened with angels delivering messages to Zacharias, Mary, some shepherds quietly going about their everyday duties protecting the sheep.
And to the shepherds, it was a melodious message of great joy for all people.
The message delivered here was also a message of great joy to all people.
Death had been conquered.
Jesus had defeated the power of death.
No longer do we have to fear death.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians. 15:55).
Implications: the Witness and Testimony of a Rock Rolled Away
When we consider Jesus as Messiah, most of us think immediately in personal terms: Jesus is my Messiah. He forgives my sins. He lives in me.
All of which, of course, is true.
But 1st-century Jewish expectations concerning the messiahship of Jesus were far broader than that.
If we had talked with a 1st-century Jew about his or her messianic expectations, we would have discovered hopes that were, in a sense far grander in their scope.
The Jews anticipated that their long-awaited Messiah would come to defeat the pagans who held sway over them, to decisively conquer their enemies, then to rebuild the temple, and to once again establish God’s just rule upon the earth.
Theirs was a nationalistic hope—a hope that the Messiah would come and vindicate the nation of Israel.
Jesus’ arrival, together with the miracles He performed, stories He told, and the prophecies He fulfilled, built to a great crescendo of high expectation among His followers, that Jesus was in fact sent of God as their true conquering king.
But just when they began to think that He really would be the one to politically redeem the people of Israel, at Calvary they saw all of their messianic hopes hanging up on a Roman gibbet, a gallows, an ugly instrument of pain and death.
And when Jesus cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30), many of them must have quite literally agreed – any hope for their future of prosperity – was “finished.”
Now the question beckons us: How, then, did this group of believers, whose messianic hopes had been buried in a Palestinian tomb, not only continue to believe that Jesus was the Messiah but stand in the streets near where He had been executed and make an unashamed declaration of His messiahship?
The answer comes reverberating through the pages of the New Testament is found in the witness of an immovable rock having been summarily removed, somebody physically entering an empty tomb: the bodily resurrection of Jesus!
The angelic announcement to the women who had brought spices to embalm a corpse provoked a radical reassessment of what the believers had witnessed on the past Friday and a complete change in their view of their lives and futures.
When the Messiah reappeared among them, as alive as ever, these previously sad, sorrowful, defeated, brokenhearted disciples were radically transformed into bold, joyful witnesses with the loudest heartfelt songs of God’s triumph.
They now have a sure and certain witness, bearing testimony to the reality of Christ resurrected with a body that could be seen, handled, and touched, and yet also possessing capacities to do what His pre-resurrection body had not done.
His earthly work of salvation was finished;
His life and His reign were most certainly not!
By His Resurrection,
By God’s own Authority and only through God’s power,
His life and His reign were most certainly never going to end
Only in the disciples’ actions that night, seeing the rock moved away, their display of courage and not fear, to physically enter the tomb, enter, witness its emptiness, exit the tomb, hear the words of the two white clad angels, their recognition of His risen presence did Christ’s messiahship finally make sense.
Indeed, what the early Jewish believers discovered when they “found the stone rolled away from the tomb” (Luke 24:2) and saw “Jesus himself stood among them” entering through a locked and sealed door and into the Upper Room (v 36) was that an eternal hope, joy, and triumphant power ignited within their hearts.
And these remain available to all who put their trust in Jesus, the resurrected Messiah.
It is the triumph of the resurrection, and only the triumph of the resurrection, changes our witness of sadness, sorrow, and defeat into hope, joy, and power.
It is the resurrection, and only the resurrection, that declares that our Messiah will defeat His enemies, will restore His people, and will rule from sea to sea.
The Glory of God, The Triumph of God that morning, The resurrection of Jesus our Lord, Savior will change everything about how you go about your day today.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
We Are One with the Risen Christ
Lord of life, we lift our hearts to you. As the dawn breaks, may we carry the unity we share into every moment knowing that we are one with the risen Christ. Lord, we lift our eyes to you. As the sunrises, may this moment stay with us, reminding us to look for the beautiful colors of promise in your word. Lord, we lift our prayers to you. As the dew air falls, may we breathe this morning in and know that like the earth, you sustain us, keep us and work within us always. And so, we lift our voices to you. We celebrate the greatest day in history, when Jesus rose from death, defeated darkness and bathed the world in stunning resurrection light. May we ever live to praise you! Thank you Lord of my my life and my Salvation that, in you, I no longer need to fear death and its great unknown. Instead, I can face it with confidence, knowing that you have truly defeated it. And, that on the other side of death, I will be with you forever.
Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.