Just Some More Foolish Talk
Luke 24:11 (KJV) And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Last Sunday we celebrated the holiday commonly referred to as Easter.
Easter is the commemoration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We commemorated this holiday in a variety of ways.
We bought new “Easter outfits” for our children and for ourselves.
We sang “Easter songs” like “He Arose” and “I Come To the Garden Alone”.
We attended and worshipped at one or more “Easter Services” – The Seven Last Words , Sunrise Service, or the traditional 11am worship service.
But for the Christian, the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is much more than just another holiday.
For the Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than just the resuscitation of the physical body of Jesus that was taken down from the cross for burial.
For the Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a radical transformation of Jesus’ humanity that enabled him to appear, vanish, and move unseen from location to location.
For the Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith.
But contrary to what one might expect, the disciples, the devoted followers of Jesus, didn’t readily accept the fact that He had risen.
Oh no, they wrestled with the news that Jesus had risen.
That’s why I’m not overly critical of those who take longer than others to make up their mind about Jesus.
After all, it’s a personal matter, it’s between you and God.
And the truth is that His own disciples who had been his constant companions for 3 ½ years did not accept the reality of His resurrection.
Luke describes for us how Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women arose early to visit the tomb of Jesus; discovered the stone rolled away; but did not find the body of Jesus.
He describes how 2 angels appeared in dazzling clothing and asked them that provocative question – “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, he is risen!
Don’t you remember when He raised Lazurus ... I am the resurrection and the life,
Don’t you remember when passed by Herod's temple that if destroy this temple in 3 days I'll raise it up.
Don’t you remember what He told you – How the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.
So why do you seek the living among the dead?
Skeptics and critics still seek him in a graveyard.
Unbelievers and the self-proclaimed intellectuals of the world still seek him in a graveyard.
Archeologist still seek Him in a graveyard.
You might find Julius Caesar there ...
Alexander the Great,
MLK, JFK, RFK ... but won't find Jesus.
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
You won’t find him in dead orthodoxy.
You won’t find Him in dead rituals.
You won’t find Him in dead tradition.
You won’t find Him in dead worship.
You won’t find Him in dead singing.
You won’t find Him in dead preaching.
You won’t find Him in dead churches.
Haven’t you heard? He moved out of the graveyard a long time ago.
READ VSS. 6-7
Isn’t it interesting how the peddlers of a cross-less Christianity conveniently forget what makes the “good news” so good is that it more than offsets the bad news.
The bad news is that Jesus was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified.
The bad news is that the innocent was crucified on a cross and hung between two thieves.
The bad news is that the he died and was buried.
But the good news is that no one took his life; He laid it down.
The good news is that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.
The good news is that on the third day, as he promised, up from the grave he arose.
The good news is that death could not stake its claim upon him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
The good news is that when Mary Magdalene and those other women arrived at His tomb the stone had been rolled away, not to let Jesus out but to let them in.
So that Mary and those other women could be invited to “come and see”.
Come and see the place where he used to lay.
Come and see that if God is for us who can be against us.
Come and see that good will ultimately trump evil.
Come and see the evidence that our God is a mighty God.
Then go and tell!
Go and tell others that he lives.
Go and tell others that He has risen.
Go and tell others that the “I AM” is and always shall be.
The invitation remains the same today – come and see and then go and tell.
You don’t think that timeshare peddlers were the first to come up with the come and see sales pitch.
So they came back and the told the Eleven and all the others what they had seen.
READ VSS 8-11
But the text says that their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
I’m so glad this verse is here because the truth of the matter is that I suffer from the same malaise.
I know what God said but the problem is sometimes I simply refuse to believe it.
The problem isn’t the lack of knowledge but rather the lack of faith.
The problem is I have too much “show me” in me.
Show me first and then I will believe.
But faith doesn’t operate that way.
Faith says, “I believe” even though the evidence to support your claim isn’t readily apparent.
That’s risky when it comes to a man because you can’t always take a man at his word.
But when it comes to God, He’s faithful to do all that He has promised.
If He said, I’m laying down my life and on the third day I’m picking it back up, then that’s exactly what He meant.
The text says that the words these women were speaking seemed as idle tales.
In other words, they were speaking foolishly.
They weren’t making any sense.
I’ve discovered that among others things good preaching is foolish talk.
There are some folk who like those disciples, hear the good news but their human understanding gets in the way.
I want to believe preacher, but I’m a pragmatist and I don’t see any results yet.
I want to believe preacher, but I’m a realist and there’s no real evidence.
I want to believe preacher, but I’m rational and what you’re saying is irrational.
I want to believe preacher, but what you’re saying is just some more foolish talk.
Dead men don’t get up, that’s foolish.
But if the gospel is foolishness, it is foolishness only to those who are perishing.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 1:23-25.
We preach Christ crucified,
to the Jews a stumbling block
and to the Greeks foolishness,
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men,
and the weakness of God is stronger than strength of men.
I know it’s foolish talk, when I tell you that this world is not our home.
Because you know I live on highway 54 in Haw River, North Carolina.
But that’s just my temporary residence, it’s not my home.
I’ve got a home, and you’ve got a home, not made with human hands.
A prepared place; eternal in the heavens.
In my soul, there is a longing for home, a place where the mortgage has already been paid.
A place where there will never be a need for upkeep or maintenance.
A place where there’s no racial discrimination.
A place where there’s no socioeconomic discrimination.
A place where there’s no age discrimination.
I know it’s foolish talk, when I say weeping may endure for a night but joy comes with the morning light.
But how many of you know that God can turn your midnight into day.
How many of you know that God can transform your nightmare into a dream come true.
How many of you know that God can dry up your tears.
I know it’s foolish talk, when I talk about loving your enemies and praying for those who despitefully use you.
But how many of you have found out that when you love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you, that God gives you peace in the midst of a storm.
I know it’s foolish talk when I talk about bringing all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse and God will pour you out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
But how many of you have found out that if you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly.
But if you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully.
That God has blessed you will more than you have room enough to receive.
I know it foolish talk when I say, If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, thou shalt be saved.
But it was foolish talk, that saved my soul, 31 years ago.
When my Father asked me and my brother have you thought about where you plan to spend eternity?
You can spend it with God or you can spend it with the Devil in a place prepared for Him and his angels.
It was foolish talk when Pastor John Davis opened the doors of the church and said, if there’s anybody that believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that God has raised Him from the dead, you can be saved right now.
It might sound foolish to you right now.
But you’ll understand it better by and by.
They didn’t believe at first, but then Jesus appeared to them as well.
He appeared to 2 disciples on a road to Emmaus.
He appeared to Peter that same afternoon.
He appeared to the disciples as well.
Before he ascended the NT records at least 10 appearances of the risen Lord.
I want to leave you with the words He spoke to Thomas.
John 20:29 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.