He’s Alive (Luke 24:1-12)
When I was a kid, the biggest conspiracy theory was that Elvis had faked his own death and was really alive. Truth be told, Elvis is dead, but Jesus is alive.
However, the story of Jesus’ resurrection is one of the craziest in the Bible. When one studies this narrative, he finds:
An Empty Tomb, vv 1-3
Some women went to the tomb early Sunday morning. The time is called “deep dawn.” This was very, very early in the morning.
The women came to the tomb with spices they had prepared. These spices would help preserve the body. These women came to embalm Jesus’ body.
When the women arrived, they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. In Jesus’ day, individuals were often buried in caves. A stone would be rolled in front of the tomb to prevent grave robbing and to prevent the smell of decay from escaping.
These women fully expected to find the stone in front of this tomb. Mark informs us that the women were worrying about how to roll this large stone away from the tomb’s entrance (Mk. 16:3). Yet, when the women arrived at the tomb, they found the stone had already been rolled away.
The women went into the tomb but did not find Jesus’ body. This caused them to be greatly perplexed. To be perplexed means to be at a loss, in doubt. These women had no idea what had happened.
These women went to the tomb expecting to embalm Jesus’ body, but they never found the body; the tomb was empty.
The body of Jesus was not in the tomb.
- Some say the women went to the wrong tomb. But they helped bury Jesus (Lk. 23:55). You don’t forget where you put the body of a loved one.
- Why did the Jewish authorities never produce Jesus’ body? The Sanhedrin ordered Peter and John to stop preaching in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:18). It would have been much easier to bring out the corpse and show the Apostles to be liars-We must remember that a record would have been kept as to where the tomb was (Matt. 27:62-66). The only reason the Jewish authorities never produced a body is that there wasn’t a body to produce.
- The apostles could never have preached the resurrected Christ in Jerusalem had the tomb not been empty.
- That women found the empty tomb supports the idea that the tomb was empty. We must remember that women were not considered highly in this society. Women were not considered worthy to serve as legal witnesses. Women occupied a low rung on the Jewish social ladder. Had the apostles invented this story, surely they would have invented more reliable witnesses to the empty tomb.
A Living Corpse, vv 4-7
While the women were perplexed about the empty tomb, two angels appeared to them. The women were afraid and bowed their heads.
The angels spoke to the women:
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
The women had come to embalm Jesus. Yet, Jesus is not dead. There isn’t any sense in seeking living individuals in tombs.
Jesus had been raised just as he promised.
Jesus told these women and his apostles that he would be raised. Just as Jesus promised, he had been raised form the dead.
Jesus had told them that he must be crucified and resurrected.
Jesus had to die and be resurrected, for his death and resurrection was the fulfillment of prophecy. Acts 2:24-31. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
Jesus’ resurrection signifies that he is the Son of God (Rom. 1:4).
Jesus’ death and resurrection brings salvation from sin (1 Cor. 15:17).
The tomb was empty for Jesus is alive.
Preaching Women, vv 8-10
Women, of course, cannot stand in pulpits to preach (1 Tim. 2:11-12), but women can do much. Priscilla and Aquila explained to Apollos the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:26). Phoebe was a servant of the church in Cenchrea (Rom. 16:1). The women listed in this text did much.
The women remembered Jesus’ words. Apparently, the women were with Jesus when he spoke about his death and resurrection. After the fact, the women (and the apostles) remembered what Jesus had said.
The women went from the tomb and told the eleven and the rest what had happened.
These women were so excited that they couldn’t keep their mouths shut. We need men and women who are so excited about what Jesus has done that they can’t keep their mouths shut.
God wants Christians in this age to be like these women. When Jeremiah tried not to speak of the LORD, God’s word was in him like a burning fire and he could not keep it back (Jer. 20:9). David did not restrain his lips (Ps. 40:9-10).
Are you telling what God has done in your life?
Unbelieving Apostles, vv 11-12
The words of the women seemed to the apostles as an idle tale. The word was used by Greek medical writers to describe the babbling of a fevered and insane mind. The Apostles thought the women had gone mad. These are the men who are going to be pillars in the church! These are the men who are going to preach Jesus’ resurrection.
Peter went and looked at the tomb, saw the burial clothes, and went home amazed.
Like Peter, we need to go home amazed.
We need to be amazed that: A man could be raised from the dead and that the Creator of the world loved us that much!
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.