On the Road to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-35

[button url=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:13-35&version=ESV” newwindow=”true” color=”red”]Luke 24:36-53[/button]

Searching for the Living or the Dead? – Luke 24:1-12

We had a great worship service this past Easter Sunday. The sermon was on Luke 24:1-12 where we were encountered by the empty tomb of Christ – a shocking surprise to hearers ancient and present. The apostles who heard the news passed it off as “nonsense” or an “idle tale” (Luke 24:11). Many throughout history have passed the empty tomb off as an idle tale, including Thomas Jefferson. Indeed, he even went so far as to not include the four Gospel’s united resurrection account in his version of the Gospels (although Wikipedia is not the best of sources here is more info on the Jefferson Bible if you are interested http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible).

Nevertheless, my intent was not so much to bring Jefferson into focus as much as how ending the story of Christ at the burial leaves us looking at a graveyard. Luke wants us to look elsewhere. He wants us to look into Paradise (Luke 23:43) and into the face of Jesus. The way Luke records the story functions like this: as we stare depressed at the graveyard of the Lord Jesus he comes from behind and turns us around to look into his face. Luke, under the inspiration of the Spirit, wants us to look into the face of our living and loving Lord.

Jesus is living – the Living One (24:5). He is no ancient character from history past only to be regarded for his great morals. No! Jesus is alive! He is Risen! [quote name=”Luke 24:5″ center=”true” float=”right” size=”one-third”]Jesus is living – the Living One (24:5). He is no ancient character from history past only to be regarded for his great morals. No! Jesus is alive! He is Risen!
[/quote] We can communicate with him now and he hears our prayers.

Jesus is alive…but that may not bring us repose. I mean, he’s holy and we are sinners. Yet, the heavenly men at the tomb remind the women that Jesus’ love for them included the cross (24:6-7). Christ had told them that this all would come to pass. What seemed to the women to be a senseless act of violence against their innocent Rabbi turned out to be part of God’s loving plan for the Son of Man and his people.

Finally, Jesus is Lord. Nowhere in Luke had Jesus been called “the Lord Jesus” until 24:3. Then, in Luke’s second volume (the Book of Acts) Jesus is called by that title over and over again. Why? Christ has now officially been vindicated in his role as King of Kings and Lord of Lords by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:1-4). This is partially what Peter may have been marveling about as he trekked home from the empty tomb (24:12). Peter, who had given up so much for the Jesus movement and seen it all crash days before now had regained hope for the movement based in Jesus’ proven Lordship.

Christian: Jesus is alive today – he hears your prayers. Jesus loves you today – he does not mean you harm in the least. Jesus is Lord today – his movement is alive. Don’t get stuck staring at the graveyard, sin, depravity, and death. The story has moved beyond the grave to the resurrection and Jesus has turned us to look at him our resurrected Lord and Friend.

[button url=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:1-12&version=ESV” newwindow=”true” color=”red”]Luke 24:1-12[/button]

Questions for Conversation

[box icon=”info”]Do people modify the Gospels today? How so?[/box]

[box icon=”info”]How do Christians truncate the Gospel story?[/box]

[box icon=”info”]Have you ever thought that it was proper to dwell on the death of Christ in isolation from his resurrection? Is that possible?[/box]

[box icon=”info”]What would you tell a friend who is not a believer about the resurrection of Jesus if you had one sentence?[/box]

The Burial of Jesus – Luke 23:44-56

[quote name=”Luke 23:44-56″]44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. 50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.[/quote]

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

The Death of Jesus – Luke 23:44-49

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

Blessing in Disguise – the Crucifixion – Luke 23:32-45

Jesus saves. Today we highlighted how the crucifixion is part of the way that Jesus saves, as strange as that may initially seem. At least it should seem strange. It certainly was to Luke’s early readers familiar with the practice of crucifixion.

We noted the paradox of salvation through Jesus’ crucifixion in three ways. Why would the “Chosen One” (Isaiah 42:1-4) of God be hung upon a tree of God’s cursing (Deuteronomy 21:23)? How could one in such a weak and helpless state be the “King of the Jews”? Why would the Messiah, in the line of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), be the sacrifice and not the one making sacrifice?

The substitutionary-nature of the crucifixion is the key to understanding the paradox, to making sense of God’s plan. Jesus, the Chosen One, became the Rejected One, so that we might become chosen ones (Isaiah 52:13-53). Jesus the King became as the Tyrant so that we might become submissive citizens in his kingdom. Jesus the Messiah-Priest became the Sacrifice so that we might have Paradise (see how author of Hebrews references Psalm 40:6-8 in Hebrews 10:1-18).

Since Jesus has made us chosen ones, why do we still refer to ourselves as rejects? Why do we put ourselves down so much? Does the “tape” playing in your soul more often put you down or edify you according to your new identity in Christ? Are you more prone to refer to yourself as “loser” or “idiot” or “useful” and “desirable”?

Since Jesus has made us citizens of his kingdom why do we regard freedom as the absence of submission? We have been freed from the imprisonment of sin and freed back into the society of Jesus. That doesn’t[quote name=”Tim Carroll” center=”true” float=”right” size=”one-third”]Finally, Jesus had to be crucified to re-open the gates of Eden. The only way into the garden is through those doors built by the wood of his cross. [/quote] mean we go back out and break the law again. Rather we enjoy our freedom to live in submission to our King and his wise government. Freedom is not being master-less but in having the right master, as Dr. Michael Williams has written.

Finally, Jesus had to be crucified to re-open the gates of Eden. The only way into the garden is through those doors built by the wood of his cross. Let us respect the work of Jesus by giving hope to our friends and neighbors through the crucifixion of Christ.

[button url=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:32-45&version=ESV” newwindow=”true” color=”red”]Luke 23:32-45[/button]

Questions to Consider

[box icon=”info”]For further consideration read Psalm 22 in conjunction with the crucifixion. Jesus embodies the moans of the righteous sufferer in this Psalm. There are many times Psalm 22 is used in Luke 23:32-43.[/box]

[box icon=”info”]Does the crucifixion help to clarify the love of God for you? How so? If not, why?[/box]

[box icon=”info”]What adjectives most come to mind when you think of the crucifixion? Why? What times in your life could be qualified by those adjectives? How does that shape the way you think about Jesus’ self-sacrifice?[/box]

Institution of the Lord’s Supper – Luke 22:14-23

14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©

 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Prayer for the Old

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