The Inspiring Word
Pastor Terry Cheek Th.D.
Luke 24:1-7 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. (3) And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: (5) And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? (6) He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, (7) Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rises again.
Many of us have our hearts turned to the resurrection. Speaking of the resurrection have you ever considered that resurrection is one of the three main answers for the question; what happens after we die? Some folks, for example, our atheist and secularist neighbors believe nothing happens after death, it is an absolute end. Do you realize the Sadducees mentioned in the Bible believed in this (see Acts 22:30 – 23:9). This view is sometimes called nihilism (nothingness). Another view of death is reincarnation, or the soul is recycled into a new body to begin a new life after death. Today this view is practiced by many Eastern religions including Hinduism. This view was taught by well-known Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato and many first-century Jews were followers.
You already know the view of resurrection is held by Christians. Did you realize the Pharisees of the Bible also believed in resurrection (See Acts 23:8), along with most of the Jewish people of Jesus’ day? As we reflect on the resurrection let's keep in mind that (1) the resurrection of Jesus was a victory of death, He will never die again (Romans 6:9), and (2) Jesus’ resurrection opens the door to eternal life for all (Philippians 3:21). It is easy for you and me to look back across history to learn about the bodily resurrection of Jesus but for a little while let’s try to see what the disciples saw. Notice with me…
From verses 1-3 in our scripture and applying to our current calendar we acknowledge Jesus’ death and burial to have taken place late Friday afternoon. The burial was done quickly because the Sabbath was to begin at sundown (Luke 23:53, 54). These women were not satisfied with a hasty burial, they were determined to honor Jesus by giving His body a fitting preparation (Luke 23:56), just as they had ministered to Him during His life among them (Luke 8:1-3). Mark 16:3 tells us these women were worried about getting the tomb opened, getting the seal broken and the large stone rolled away. We read there was no obstacle to Jesus; the stone was rolled away when they arrived. I would like to ask you something right now. Have ever sought Jesus, with determination and obligation, and witness the moving of obstacles that you knew stood in the way? I assure you I have, and many others have testified to the same. The first and most important was the obstacle of not knowing Him as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit called, I responded by seeking Him and nothing could stand between me and my Savior. You too can experience this. These women didn’t find the body of Jesus; they were met by two men with an angelic appearance.
In verses 4-7 we learn the angels were there to comfort them and inform them they would not find the living among the dead. I am amazed at how many people today actually believe Jesus is still dead. There was no grave robbing, there was no trickery, there was only a resurrection. There was no corpse to minister to. Today we do not visit a memorial for Jesus, there is no gravesite to weep besides, the only tears we shed are the ones that victory brings to us because of His resurrection and our salvation. It is my sincerest prayer that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that you can share in the joy of the resurrection.
Finally, we are reminded of the promise Jesus made to rise again after His crucifixion. We have a record of it and those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior have personal knowledge of it. I truly hope you and your family can celebrate Easter as the resurrected Savior who redeems lost sinners and reconciled those who accept Him to the God who created us.
Consider this, there is eternal life after death. We will all spend eternity somewhere, either with Jesus in Heaven or in torment and darkness eternally separated from God in Hell. God will honor our choice, what will yours be?
Until we meet again, in print or in person, may God keep you firmly in His grip.