Faithlife Sermons

The Appearance of Jesus Christ - Part 2

The Last Days of Jesus Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Luke 24:36–53 ESV
As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Introduction - Are You Certain?
Introduction - Are You Certain?
The other day, I had an email come in about an upcoming event. I sent it to Julie with a note that saying we should do it. She comes over to my office here a bit later and asks me what I meant by it. It seems that the way I wrote it made it seem like I was accusing her for a mistake because it wasn’t on our calendar. I meant, “I don’t see anything else on our calendar - we should go!” We laughed and I thanked her later for the sermon illustration.
Then, we were looking something and the description was “scrambled eggs and rotating meat” as in the selection rotates. I read it as “rotting” meats and said that we aren’t going anywhere with rotting meats. Again, Julie clarified my misunderstanding and we laughed and I was secretly relieved that no one was serving rotting meat.
We live in a world that is filled with misunderstanding and confusion. This uncertainty leads to a life filled with anxiety and frustration.
One of the things our culture
And on this weekend when our taxes are due (actually next Tuesday, April 17th) - an article from the New York Post says even that isn’t certain.
And while I’ll admit that there are things that we may never know - there are things we can be certain of.
In 2016, approximately 45% of all American didn’t pay any federal income taxes.
Life may be uncertain, but within the uncertainty, there are things we can be absolutely certain of. The love of Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the Dead is one of them.
At the end of November 2015, we started out on a journey in Luke’s Gospel and we looked at
Now, I’m not here to make a political statement on that,
Luke 1:1–4 ESV
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Notice there at the end - Luke wanted his benefactor Theophilus to be certain about what he had been taught.
And now, today, we are at the end of our time in Luke’s Gospel, I want to show you today that Luke is bringing this idea of certainty through to end of Luke’s writing as well
The Resurrection is PHYSICAL (vs. 36-43)
EX - Despite the Disciples misunderstanding, we can be certain Jesus rose PHYSICALLY from the dead.
When Jesus came into the room, the disciples were confused and scared - they though they had seen a ghost!
But Jesus is quick to dispel this idea - and he asks them a question “Why are you troubled and why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
One thing we should notice in is that every step of the way, the followers of Jesus were asked questions to clarify their hearts. To bring clarity and certainty to what they were experiencing.
Luke 24:5 ESV
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luke 24:26 ESV
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
Luke 24:38 ESV
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
These questions serve to point out their misconceptions and confusion about the events surrounding the resurrection.
What we need to see is that Jesus is meeting the disciples where they are at.
There is a lesson for us there - it’s ok to
And he is correcting their misunderstandings about his teaching, his role and the very nature of God’s Kingdom.
But in this case, we need to see that Jesus is saying, “Look, I really rose from the dead. I am physical.”
We see that he invites them to touch him and be certain that He is really there.
We see that Jesus hungers - he wants something to eat. So they give him fish.
We see that Jesus wanted them to be certain so we too could be certain that Jesus physically rose from the dead
I can only hope that we won’t put on weight in the new kingdom!
IL -
AP - Because the Resurrection is physical, our future is certain.
Friends, this means that our future is a physical one. And that our bodies will not rot in the grave forever.
When we trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, we know that our future is not the grave but instead a resurrected body and the joy of the presence of Jesus for all eternity.
So many of us fear the future - or we worry about the future.
But we don’t need to worry or fear the future.
We don’t need to worry or fear death. Because we aren’t going to stay in the grave forever.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds us that our future isn’t a tomb or a grave or a crypt. It’s a new body on the new earth worshipping the risen Christ. Of that we can be certain.
If you are trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, that is your future - and you have nothing to worry about.
The Resurrection was PROMISED (vs.44-45)
EX
IL
AP
The Resurrection is to be PROCLAIMED (vs.46-53)
EX - Again, Jesus takes the disciples to his teaching and to the Scriptures
EX -
We talked about this in depth last week - and if you missed that sermon, I encourage you to go back and listen to it.
IL
But I want you to see that once again, where Jesus takes the disciples is remind them that everything Jesus taught was prophesied generations before.
AP - Make no mistake, the resurrection is to be proclaimed to all the nations.
And this includes the resurrection.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was promised by Jesus both in his teaching while on earth AND in the pages of Scripture recorded generations before.
And it is a promise and certainty you can take to the bank - kind of like this story.
Conclusion - what difference does the Resurrection make?
IL - Keeping Her Word
Ann Landers tells the story about a man who all his life, every time he got paid took $20 out of his paycheck and put it under his mattress. Then he got sick and was about to die. As he was dying, he said to his wife, “I want you to promise me one thing.” “Promise what?” she asked. “I want you to promise me that when I'm dead you will take my money from under the mattress and put it in my casket so that I can take it all with me.” He died, and his wife kept her promise. She went in and got all that money the day he died and went to the bank and deposited it, and wrote out a check and put it in his casket.”
AP - Because God kept this promise, we can trust Him to keep the rest.
Now, that is a funny story - and I have not a clue how true it truly is.
But the truth is this, we can be certain that Jesus will keep all his promises.
Every. Single. One.
Friends, for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior, we have a New Testament that contains over 1100 promises.
And Jesus Christ has kept, is keeping or will keep every last one of them.
“I
So, we need to trust him and take him at his word - be certain that he is telling us the truth!
This is why we have hope and not fear.
This is why we have purpose and passion in life.
The Resurrection is to be PROCLAIMED (vs.46-51)
IL - No Hope In the Future
Halford Luccock writes in his book, Unfinished Business, “One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. Then he added by way of explanation: “Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present.””
EX - Jesus has one last lesson to teach the disciples so they could be certain of their new calling.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about misunderstandings the past couple of weeks.
And, I hope you see that I’m making a case that all of Luke’s Gospel is correcting misunderstandings and bringing certainty.
Remember - waaaaay back in December of 2015 we looked at this verse
Luke 1:1–4 ESV
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Luke wrote on the request of Theophilus so that Theophilus might KNOW - that he might have certainty.
Now, notice that is says “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
Let’s look again at
Luke 24:45 ESV
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Can we not say that Jesus once again taught them?
Yes - and what did he teach them?
That the work of the Kingdom isn’t done yet.
Friends, the disciples were given one last job and the job isn’t finished - to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to all the nations so that they too might come to repent and find forgiveness for their sins.
IL -
Maybe you have seen a sign before at a church that says on your way out of the building “You are now entering the mission field.”
I get the sentement, bu
AP - Make no mistake, the resurrection is to be proclaimed to all the nations.
Friends, because of the resurrection, we have a certain future and certainty that Jesus will keep his word.
And, one could make a case that all of Luke’s Gospel is correcting misunderstandings and bringing certainty.
We have a hope that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we find forgiveness of sins when we repent and hope that the grave is not the end.
Remember - waaaaay back in December of 2015 we looked at this verse
Now, do you know anyone who needs to hear this message? I know I do.
Luke 1:1–4 ESV
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Being a missionary doesn’t mean you have to go around the world. It does mean you need to share Jesus with those around you for the glory of His name.
Luke wrote on the request of Theophilus so that Theophilus might KNOW - that he might have certainty.
Now, notice that is says “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
Let’s look again at
Luke 24:45 ESV
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Can we not say that Jesus once again taught them?
And
IL- What Does Telling People Look Like?
I love the account of the blind man that Jesus heals as recorded in .
This account has a man born blind and then given sight by Jesus, as we read in verse 3, in order that “the words of God might be displayed in him.”
Of course, this causes quite the stir in town and the religious people didn’t like it. So they questioned everyone. Including the man.
And I love what this man said to them in -
John 9:25 ESV
He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Friends, too often we want to make sharing Jesus with others difficult. It never was meant to be.
We are to tell others what Jesus has done for us - that we once were blind and now we see.
That we once were far away from God but through Jesus we were brought near.
That Jesus died and rose again so that we can repent and trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins.
Will they ask you questions that you can’t answer? Probably. That’s why we have study. But I don’t have a problem in saying “I don’t know about that, but I am certain of this - once I was blind, but now I can see.”
Look, we don’t have to have all the answers. We are called, though, to tell people about what Jesus has done for us in his death, burial and resurrection.
The Resurrection Leads to PRAISE (vs. 52-53)
EX - When we are certain that Jesus is alive, our hearts should be filled with joy
Notice how Luke ends his book, his account.
There is some overlap with his second work, The Book of Acts.
In there we see the disciples proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem for the forgiveness of sins.
And then we see the conversion of Saul and how he went out and preached as well.
But we also see the disciples gathering together and worshipping Jesus. Just as we do in this text.
This teaches us that if we are truly born again we will be people who worship Jesus Christ.
And lest you think that means we have to sing - although I think that is important - there is no singing here.
Yet, there is worship going on here. And they praised and blessed God almighty.
IL - Back to the man healed of blindness
If we go back to this man, what happens when the religious people kick him out?
Jesus finds him and asks, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
The man, of course, isn’t sure and what’s to know who the Son of Man is so that he might believe in Him.
Jesus tells him that He is the Son of Man, a title that calls out his place as the Messiah.
Look at
John 9:38 ESV
He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Experiencing the resurrected Jesus leads to confession which leads to worship.
AP - Missions exists because worship does not.
John Piper, in his book Let the Nations Be Glad, reminds us that the ultimate goal is for every man, woman and child on this planet to worship Jesus Christ as Lord.
That is were this wonderful quote from Dr. Piper comes from -
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate.” —John Piper
Jesus came to bring us back into fellowship with the Father in order that we might worship.
We must remember that we are not out to make converts of people so they follow a set of rules we make up.
We are called to lead people before Christ so they might see His glory and worship Him.
Jesus led his disciples into a realization that He is the Messiah. And in this, they worshipped. We should to.
Conclusion - Do you have certainty?
As we wrap up our time in Luke’s Gospel, let me challenge us to have certainty in our faith and certainty in the resurrection and certainty our calling.
Luke wrote this to bring a sense of certainty to Theophilus about what He had been taught.
Likewise, Jesus came and spoke to the disciples about the resurrection, bringing them hope and certainty from his presence and his word.
And this certainty leads us to worship.
The hope that our sins are forgiven, leads us to worship.
The hope we can be reconciled to the Father through repentance leads us to worship.
Let me ask you - do you have certainty today?
Do you trust that Jesus rose from the dead and defeated the grave after atoning for our sins on the cross?
Have you repented of your sins and trusted in Christ as Jesus told the disciples to proclaim?
You can do that today, right now. And if you do, I’ll be right over there during our closing song. I want you to come tell me if you have done that.
But I also want to challenge us to remember that we Christians need certainty too
Certainty that Jesus keeps his Promises.
Certainty that we have hope because he rose from the dead.
And that same certainty should lead you to worship as well.
We need to be people who say thank you to Jesus for what He has done.
And that worship should lead us to share that same hope with others and make a difference in this world.
Luke wrote so that Theophilus would have certainty. But God inspired him to write so that we might have certainty as well. I pray that no matter where you are with Jesus right now, you will trust in him and rest in His certainty today.
Let’s Pray
Benediction -
Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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