Scriptures: Luke 24:13-49
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the essential tenant of our faith! If this is not true, then our faith is untrue! If he did not rise, then there is no eternal life, and death is ultimately forever!
It also means that the Church and Christianity are then nothing but a strategic spiritual scam that has been perpetrated on an emotionally naive society for over 2000 years.
Paul’s chapter on the Resurrection in First Corinthians 15 reminds us of this truth. If there be no resurrection of Christ, then faith, preaching, singing, testimonials, worship, service, commitment, and salvation is vain. The apostles were false witnesses with a faulty faith and a fake relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Connection to the Theme
Jesus is the risen King who is victorious over death, recognized by His disciples, validated by Scripture, and enthroned over all creation. That truth changes our faith, theology, and life. The resurrection also changes our practical living. The resurrection isn’t just a doctrine to believe, but a truth should change our behavior. Luke 24 addresses this as well.
Think about the most famous person who died recently, someone whose death made every newspaper and television news broadcast. Imagine a few days later as you watch your favorite news station, a breaking news alert interrupts. The anchor explains that this famous person has come back to life! The nation is in shock. As you change the channel, you discover this news is the subject on every station. You go to work and everyone is talking about it. You browse the internet, and everyone is posting and blogging about it. This is monumental. This is impossible. This has never happened before! Or has it?
If we aren’t in awe of the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event, we may only see it as a fairytale. The resurrection is scientifically impossible, but historically true. The resurrection is history-making, earth-shaking, life-transforming, and eternity-changing truth. You may believe it, but do you understand how it changes your life? You may comprehend the theology behind it, but has it yet changed your behavior? Luke 24 shows us how Jesus’ resurrection does this.
I. Jesus’ resurrection changes our conversations (Luke 24:13-24).
Two of Jesus’ disciples walk together down a seven-mile stretch of road, having a conversation. It was about the resurrection of Jesus, obviously the most shocking news they had ever heard. A stranger began to walk with them (Jesus incognito), and they were astounded to learn this man had apparently not heard about the resurrection. Notice that their conversation wasn’t just about the details of the resurrection, but also about who He was supposed to be, His life, His death, and what it all meant.
Application: The truth of the resurrection is just as shocking today as it was the day it occurred. Don’t treat the resurrection as some cold truth you’ve always heard. Do not allow your understanding and presentation of the gospel to be about the death of Jesus alone. Let Jesus’ resurrection change your conversation. Talk about it this week with the same excitement as if it just happened.
II. Jesus’ resurrection changes our Bible study (Luke 24:25-44).
Staying in stealth mode with His two disciples, Jesus “the stranger” called them a couple of fools and began a Bible study during the journey. If there were any conversation in history you would want to overhear, this would be the one. Jesus walked the men through the entire Old Testament to tell them how it all refers to Him, His death and suffering, and His resurrection and glory (24:27, 44). He began with the books of Moses (the Pentateuch) and led them through the Prophets (ending with Malachi). This was the best Bible study ever! The Old Testament promised and prophesied the whole point: Jesus’ resurrection.
Application: Study your Bible with the resurrection in mind. Watch how God takes his people through good-as-dead experiences, such as Isaac’s sacrifice, Joseph’s imprisonment, and Daniel’s den of lions. God loves to orchestrate scenes that point forward to the resurrection of Jesus while leaving the greatest glory for the resurrection itself. In your personal devotions, family Bible studies, Sunday school classes, small group sessions, age-based ministries, and group Bible studies, be aware of the resurrection theme running throughout Scripture.
III. Jesus’ resurrection changes our witness (Luke 24:45-49).
As Jesus revealed His true identity to His disciples, He taught them a very important truth. His gospel presentation explains how their lives will change because of that truth. “Repentance and forgiveness should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning with Jerusalem” (24:47). Don’t miss this – repentance does not just mean to turn away from sin. That is only part of the truth. Repentance also means turning to Jesus. Forgiveness means that God will not hold His judgment against us for our sin because Jesus has been judged in our place. “Nations” means that there is not one person on earth who does not need to hear about the gospel of salvation through Jesus.
Application: Repentance and forgiveness should not be whispered, muttered, or mumbled. Witnessing lost people turn from their sin and to Jesus is a joy. Telling sinners who feel the weight, guilt, and shame of their sin about Jesus should be our pleasure. Jesus says that repentance and forgiveness are to be proclaimed because this is the news that people are dying to hear. The nations are looking for ways to relieve their guilt and shame for sin that only the gospel can bring. Let the resurrection change your witness by proclaiming its truth.
Imagine our country being attacked on our own soil. The invading military wipes out all forms of communication. Our military forces strategize together and strike hard against this enemy. After a long, difficult battle, our military wins the war. Communication has not yet been reestablished. You are assigned to an elite team of messengers that spreads the word that we are no longer slaves and captives of our enemy. Do you go out embarrassed, quietly muttering about victory and freedom? No, you proclaim it! Jesus told His disciples that it is our joyous task to proclaim God’s offering of repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.