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81 Luke 24.1-12

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Luke 24:1-12

The Fog has Lifted!

General Wellington commanded the victorious forces at the great battle of Waterloo that effectively ended the Napoleonic Wars. When the battle was over, Wellington sent the great news of his victory to England.

A series of light stations had been set up, one within sight of the next, to convey messages between England and the Europe. The message was sent: "Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo."

Meanwhile a fog settled in and inter­rupted the message. As a result, the people of England got the news: "Wel­lington defeated…"

Later, the fog cleared and the full message contin­ued, which was quite different from the outcome that the people originally thought had happened!

v    On Friday the message was sent…

Ø     “Jesus died…”

·        Then a fog set in for two days

¨     But this morning the fog has lifted

Ø     And the completed message reads…

§        “Jesus died and rose today!”

v    But early on that first Easter morning…

Ø     The fog had not lifted for this ragtag group of Jesus followers

§        And that is where we pick up the story…

READ 24:1

Ø     These women were very dedicated to Jesus

§        Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others

·        Chapter 8 informs us that they had been cured of evil spirits and diseases

¨     And had not only followed Jesus for the bulk of his ministry…

Ø     But supported his ministry

§        They are the living examples of what Jesus said…

·        “Those who are forgiven much, love much”

¨     Isn’t that true of our walk with Jesus

Ø     As you mature, you realize more and more how sinful you are

§        And your love for Jesus grows and grows

v    These women arose early and demonstrated their love and devotion to Jesus…

Ø     But also their lack of faith!

§        Like everyone else, as they approached the tomb

·        They fully expected to find the body of Jesus

¨     They were still in the fog

Ø     But it was soon to lift

READ 24:2-3

v    Can you can picture it?

Ø     5 or so women come to the tomb

Ø     The disk-shaped rock rolled away

Ø     They enter and find no body

Ø     They mill around a cave

Ø     Sifting through the strips of linen folded neatly on the rock shelf where his body was supposed to be

Ø     Searching in all the niches and crevasses

Ø     Looking quizzically at each other

Ø     Wondering what is going on

§        Suddenly a bright light appears in the tomb that dispels the fog…

READ V. 4-8

v    For these women…The fog lifts (They understand!)


Ø     And it lifts because they are reminded of the words of Christ

§        Look at v. 6 & 8

·        Remember…Remember

¨     The women are reminded of the words of Christ

Ø     And fog becomes faith

Ø     That is how the fog lifts for anyone

§        That is how understanding comes to anyone

·        That is how faith comes

¨     Romans 10:17

Ø     faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     By believing God when he says…

§        He loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     By believing God when he says…

§        This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn 4:10)

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     By believing God when he says…

§        Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     By believing God when he says…

§        Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20)

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     By believing God when he says…

·        By his power God raised the Lord from the dead (1 Cor 6:14)

v    Fog becomes faith…

Ø     When you stop looking for the living among the dead!

v    The women are excited by their new found faith

Ø     And they run to the disciples to tell them…Jesus is not among the dead!


READ V. 9-11

But for the Disciples…The Fog Remains


v    They did not understand or believe

Ø     In fact, they berated the women for what they said

§        The GK word “Leros” translated in verse 11 “nonsense” refers to…

·        Delirious stories told by the very sick

·        Stories told by the insane

¨     According to the text…

Ø     The disciples thought these women were crazy

v    And you know what…

Ø     People still think belief in the resurrection and an empty tomb is crazy

§        So crazy that other theories have developed over the years to explain the empty tomb

Ø     The “stolen body” theory

§        This theory states that the disciples stole the body, hid it and lied about it for the rest of their days

·        OK, except 11of the 12 disciples and Paul all died for the lie

Ø     The “wrong tomb” theory

§        Some say that the women went to the wrong tomb, thus it was empty

·        Fine, except that you would have to believe that Peter, then John then the Jews then the roman guard all went to the wrong tomb

¨     All the Jews really had to do to take the air out of the tires of Christianity was point out the genuine tomb!

Ø     The “swoon” theory

§        Some believe that Jesus did not die, but fainted or “swooned” on the cross

§        The Roman soldiers then took him down, buried him in Joseph’s tomb

§        After a day or two in the cool tomb air

§        Jesus woke up rolled away the sealed and guarded tombstone and appeared to the disciples over a period of 40 days before leaving Palestine forever

·        This theory takes more faith to believe in than I could muster!

¨     Romans were experts at what they did

¨     The spear in the side proves his death

¨     Houdini-like escape from linen wrapping

¨     Herculean strength to roll away the stone

¨     Casper-like invisibility to evade the guards

¨     Pea-like intellect for the disciples to see him and believe that he was raised from the dead

Ø     The “Hallucination” theory

§        Some believe that it was all just a mass hallucination

§        That the women, the 11 disciples, the 2 on the road to Emmaus and the 500 that saw the risen Christ all just hallucinated it

·        First, hallucinations are generally not shared experiences

·        Secondly, Hallucinations generally only affect a certain narrow range of people

¨     But Jesus appeared to a large and diverse range of personalities.

·        Hallucinations generally recur over a long time period, and do not normally stop abruptly.

¨     Yet, Jesus appeared to people over a 40-day period, and then the appearances stopped. And they stopped for everyone.

·        Hallucinations do not involve physical presence

¨     Yet Jesus' followers touched, talked and ate with him at various times.

·        Perhaps most compelling of all…

¨     Hallucinations are often stimulated by expectation

Ø     But Jesus' followers were not expecting his resurrection, and in fact were skeptical about such reports

v    In fact…

Ø     Given the state of mind the disciples were in on that Sunday morning

§        They would have been the first to offer up one of these theories regarding the empty tomb

·        Because for the disciples…

¨     The fog remains

Ø     Except for one…

READ v. 12

For Peter…The Fog is beginning to lift!

v    To Peter’s credit

Ø     He is skeptical but decides to investigate

§        He hears what the women have to say

·        And decides to check it out for himself

v    And I guess…

Ø     If you are sitting here today and are skeptical

Ø     If you are sitting here today and the resurrection of Jesus sounds implausible

Ø     If you are sitting here today and the empty tomb is nothing more than an empty argument…

§        Then the encouragement I would give you is…

·        Be like Peter

¨     Go and investigate

·        Be like Peter

¨     Don’t simply shrug this off as “Leros”, “Nonsense

·        Be like Peter

There is a true story of a Law student in the mid-sixties who was challenged by some fellow students to examine the Christian faith.  He took up the challenge , feeling certain he could prove Christianity to be false. A religion built on nice stories that couldn't stand up to the test of truth.

But as the months wore on and he dug deeper and deeper into the claims of Christianity, he was shocked. He found facts, not fiction.

He found so much evidence that I could only come to one conclusion:

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was crucified, He died, and He was resurrected on the third day.

That Law student was Josh McDowell and the research he did was turned into a book called…

Evidence that Demands a Verdict      (put book in stand)


v    And I guess that is what I will leave you with

Ø     Be like Peter

§        Don’t take my word that Jesus rose from the dead

§        Don’t take my word for it that the tomb is empty

Ø     Be like Peter

§        Look at the evidence for yourself

·        Don’t just shrug it off

¨     If there's even the slightest chance that He truly is the Son of God, shouldn't you be willing to find out?


Ø     Even though they had heard it from Jesus’ own lips numerous times

§        6x recorded in Luke alone!

·        Lk 9:22

¨     The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life

Ø     Even though

Ø     Some people will not believe no matter how much evidence they are given

§        They even make up elaborate stories to explain the resurrection

Ø     It is interesting that people are willing to believe the a lie and disbelieve the truth

Ø     Man is so interesting…

§        Those that believe despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary

·        The “Elvis” syndrome

Actually, some people do believe that Elvis did not die but has perpetrated "the Graceland Hoax" - this despite the fact that he was pronounced dead by several physicians, was autopsied and the cause of death determined, and was prepared for burial by two morticians, dressed by his wardrobe manager, made-up by his personal cosmetologist, his hair colored to jet black by the famous Larry Geller, and then viewed by his entire family before closing the seamless copper casket

§        Those that disbelieve despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary

·        Different hoax theories


§        Some remain in unbelief despite overwhelming evidence

v    Conclusion:

Ø     Lk 24:12

§        Peter left “wondering what had happened”

·        Are you “wondering” today about Jesus

¨     What it all means

¨     What is true and what is not

¨     What

·        If you are here today and you are wondering what this is all about

¨     Don’t stop there

Professor Thomas Arnold, the chair of modern history at Oxford University, wrote:

I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”

v    Be like Peter


v    Evidence that demands a Verdict (Josh McDowell

Ø     Peter didn’t

§        And neither did the disciples

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