A Strange Message for a Strange Time
Hey, good morning. Welcome to Calvary Heights Baptist Church. Happy Resurrection Sunday. We are glad you are with us today. Thank you for tuning in such an unusual way to present and Easter Sunday sermon, but you know, we do what we can do in these times and we just thank you guys for tuning in and being here with us. We had a wonderful time and our small group this morning and we are glad that everyone was able to show up for that and we appreciate those guys were there. We just thank everybody for being here. Let's go ahead. What are we in? Luke chapter 24, if you've got your Bible with you this morning go ahead and TuneIn or turn to Luke chapter 24 me to look at the first 12 verses of Luke 24, you'll see if you're on the screen next to me and make sure that I like I'm able to see it. If you would kind of go through things are on our booth this morning. There's a lot of screens around me. I feel like I'm like on the bridge of the Enterprise trying to keep everything in tracksuit. With me a little bit. Luke chapter 24 7 verse 1 put on the first day of the week at early Dawn they went to the tomb taking the spices they had prepared and they found the stone rolled away from the temp, but when they did, but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus while they were perplexed about this behold two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowel their faces to the ground the men said to them, why do you seek the living among the dead he is not here. He is. Risen.
Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee at the son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise and they remembered his words and returning from the tomb. They told all these things to the 11 and to the rest. That was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them. Who told these things to the apostles but these words seem to them and idle tale and they did not believe them. Peter Rose and ran to the tomb stooping and looking in any saw the linen cloth by themselves and he went home marveling at watered happened.
Such a great story but it is a strange message for a strange time. And I find it interesting that that was a strange time then and it's a strange time for us now and we're going to be taking a deep look into this bit of scripture today, and I'm really looking at it and talking about the Risen this of Jesus Christ with me for word of Prayer. Probably just thank you so much for the day. You've given us to take for this time. We have to gather even though it's electronically we're still able to gather and have corporate worship with you today Father. I pray that is As we are here and we're listening and we're looking at the word that you would just speak to her heart. So you would just open us up and an aluminum in us what you'd have to know is the truth, by the way, just pray that you would just be with us that you would just seriously speak to us deeply today. And son Jesus name. I pray amen. So here we are Luke chapter 24 and it tells a story that's really the single most important event in human history story this section this this moment is what all of Christianity hinges on if it were not for the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. None of his earlier teachings would matter the crucifixion of Jesus Christ would be completely insignificant if Jesus remain dead. But the beauty of this is that he did not when you get that. He did not remain dead salute tells the story of Resurrection, Like it's a a breaking news cast. There's there's a lot of this just in kind of moments as lubricants the events of that day and it's great the whole last chapter of the Book of Luke is that way from from this moment where there's all these this just in what these folks are staying here with with the ladies and then Peter it and all of this at the tomb to then the man on the road to Emmaus and then later on in the same chapter Jesus appearing to the 12 and just all of this is happening on and it's just as beautiful kind of this just in kind of moment and it's just neat the way that Luke portrays the story of the Resurrection here. Who's take a look at this though? It is it is early Sunday morning. and this the beginning of the Jewish work week on Sunday morning. I did Jesus have been crucified and buried on Saturday or on Friday. I'm sorry juice has been crucified and buried on Friday Sabbath Saturday was the Sabbath and now some of Jesus's female followers were coming to the Grave with spices to anoint his body. The gospel of Matthew tells us at the ladies were even wondering how they would get into the tomb because of stone had been placed in front of that tomb. That's one of the ladies get there late. They come upon this strange scene. I think that now when we look at this in the gospels of the three synoptic gospels Matthew Mark and Luke the races at the ladies were kind of their they witnessed that stone being rolled over they follow Jesus's body is Joseph of Arimathea it taken the body and they put it there in the Tomb. They watched it all happen. They watch that stole be rolled in and in here they come in in this The tomb is open. Now these stones that they're talking about are not like Iraq like we think of a rock. This would have been a large Yoon wheel Stone wheel tried three or four thousand pounds of whatever stone is available. And it not just rolled in front, but she rolled into like a channel it would have blocked the tune. But here it was opened. This would have been a huge feet for several men. To get open and so so that was that was strange to come up on and then Not only was the tomb open. The tomb was empty. This is a strange seen the women have been present for all the same wouldn't fall asleep knew about this Roman Guard from the palace that have been placed at the grave and it's a tune to kind of watch over that but they walked up to find the tomb open and empty. Now. This must have been in some regards heart-breaking to these women. They were devoted followers of Jesus Christ. I can't imagine. On my own it while grieving wanting to get up before Sunrise to do anything, but these ladies were they were that devoted to Jesus Christ if they got it Before Sunrise. The head to the tune to take spices to anoint his body to give them a proper embalming for the time. It is so they came there and injust and I didn't really in hopes that they could get their it wasn't even that they had an assurance that they could do the same as it was about hopes that they can give his body that performs a hope. They can talk the Roman Gardens and helping them open the two mates. They hope these things and they show up and they find the tomb opened and empty. It is bad enough that these ladies witnessed a dear loved one killed. It was bad enough that they witnessed him being buried now. They're coming in and finding his body missing. Play versus foreign five here. Vs45 hear some strange men wearing dazzling clothes and verse 23 of the same factor that these men were angels and the women respond to seeing Angels by falling on their faces before them. This is the appropriate response. If if the glory of angels causes people to fall to the ground in reverence what you think about what the image of seeing God God Almighty creator of the universe would be like and how much Glory that would be. So these women come upon these strange men. And the strange man give them kind of the strange message during the second part of verse 5 through 7 the Angels give a stranger message to the women, right? Why do you seek the living among the Dead? I love this is a great question. Why do you seek the living among the dead this question is one of the most beautiful phrases. I think that's ever been recorded and all of scripture. It does so much in this one simple phrase. Why do you seek the living among the Dead? the correct this misunderstanding that the women had right and it also makes this announcement to the world. It says you are looking in the wrong place. You shouldn't be able to find a living person in a graveyard. I thought that's that's not what it's about here. It's his first six is just as beautiful as verse 5 when we read it. It said he is not here. He has risen. Oh my goodness that is just to meet this is a strange message when you're expecting to find a sealed tomb of a friend on a loved one has a strange message because the women had forgotten that Jesus taught them. When they were in Galilee with him, these were women that have been with Jesus's Ministry for the almost the full three years that he was without ministering in life. These were women who were with him pretty consistently be the one who financially supported the ministry of Jesus Christ while he was ministering here on Earth. And they had forgotten his teachings. That's that's something that happens to a lot of us. See Jesus told his followers numerous times that he must suffer. He must have died. He must Rise Again 3 days later and women like all of his followers should have been in a state of anticipation instead of a state of dismay. It would be natural for them to grieve and mourn the pain that Jesus suffered that that's natural. We see somebody hurt. We see somebody ache we see somebody and paying we mourn and we grieve that
I think it's time to my own life. When I seen loved ones in pain loved ones hurting loved ones sick or ill in the hospital and I have grieved and I have mourned for their sake. And it would be all natural but we say that it is natural to grieve and mourn the pain that Jesus suffer, but to feel and act defeated the way they do here shows that they have missed the gospel message. They had forgotten the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You not remembering the gospel is is genuinely one of the greatest. Struggles that a Christian will still face in life. When we forget the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were we forget everything we we forget who to focus on remembering the gospels the most most important thing that a Christian can do keeping the truth of Jesus Christ should be first and foremost at our minds and then our hearts We haven't we have a horrible problem that the hymn writer says prone to wander Lord It's just their we forget we wonder we stray from the truth of the Gospel.
If you keep Jesus Christ as your savior, you must strive to keep your feet on the path of his teaching. Focused on Jesus Christ, he will keep us from being completely overcome by the troubles in the Sorrows we face. rooster face them I won't will not will never really be free of Sorrows and troubles this side of Eternity. But but he will keep us from being completely overcome by those.
I think of a time of my own life when and just my world felt like it's crashing down upon me. You know that that that Thursday afternoon when I found out that my father had been killed in an accident and my mother was was In a in a coma due to the accident and I remember just feeling those troubles in that way. And I remember what I did is I just turned to Jesus. I just started praying and crying and crying and praying and just focused on him.
I remember prepping all of these things in my mind all of these things in my heart and thinking it through and then I remembered feeling this hard piece during this time of what should have been overwhelming sorrow in my life, you know, this not know this truth here that those of us who have trusted Christ those of us who remember the gospel and we stay to his teacher will be able to rejoice even in the face of death and despair a friend of mine was asking me how I was doing during that a friend of mine who been a pastor and it's been my password one point and how are you holding up, but I remember being able to say to him facing that time of trouble in my life that I grieved and I mourned Bri could Rejoice knowing that my father neutralized and was saved I grieve and I mourn but I knew that no matter what happened with the outcome with my mom and that, she knew Christ and I can Rejoice later. Those of us who have the gospel are able to Rejoice even when we Face death and despair in our lives.
It's one of the odd things that makes Christians unique. Inverse ate the ladies. Remember what Jesus said said in the end they run back to where the 11 apostles were at the ladies give the strange report to all the folks that are there. They work out the entire story to the 11 Apostles and to the others that were gathered up in that room, but they aren't believe
You know what? That's that's easy. We tell a strange story sometimes when we when we share the love of Christ. We share the truth of Jesus and we aren't necessarily believe that's that's okay. They persisted though the 11 and their grief had forgotten the gospel as well. They had forgotten what Jesus had told him in Galilee is ever follow. These were men when we think about it should have known better than anyone else. These are guys who not just listen to Jesus's teaching but they lived with Jesus Christ Dan a day out for three years being a disciple in this time wasn't just Being caught it wasn't it a teacher-student relationship. Like we think now no matter how close we can get with our students. It's not the same these guys shared life together and in their grief, they forgot the gospel message as well.
the Peter call Peter Peter rose up and he ran to the tomb right he wanted to see from self. He wanted to make sure what these ladies were saying was true. We think about Peter story and how he had just just Wednesday night or Thursday night before before Christ being taken out that Thursday night and told him I will never betray you I will never deny you my Lord. I I will never do these things. And yet three times between Thursday night and Friday morning. Peter deny Christ and he acted cowardly in that way.
I wonder if it's in him running to that tomb. I wonder if if Peter wasn't running trying to make up for his cowardly Behavior, just three days earlier.
I wonder about that that if he wasn't trying to make the last time he saw his savior a time that or his Lord is his teacher his Rabbi if he wasn't trying to make up for the way he behaved. Computer runs and gets that to me why he finds there is confirm it confirms what the lady said seen what we see described in scripture. Is that that Peter found when he gets to the gym also confirms that what he saw was Supernatural. Peter finds the linen cloth all by themselves This is this is a strange thing to happen. This will prevent a very strange thing for the grapefruit any old grave robbers to do when we read what happens in in the Apostle John's account of the story. Is not only tells us that the linen cloth replaced by themselves with the cloth that covered. Jesus face was folded neatly at the head of the grave.
Now that's another interesting strange fact that folded neatly in place at the head of the Grave is is this sign in a Jewish table Jewish, especially at the time of a Seder. I'm going to be coming back. I'm not done here yet. What a fold up my napkin. Neatly so that when I come back I'll return. It was all of this. Is all of this when Peter gets there and do that to him that that jog Peters mine and reminded him the truth of the Gospel. So so here is the strange story telling a strange message in a strange time. And it's it's the story of a God who loved the people who rebelled against him in a forgotten him so much. He loved them so much. He sent them a savior. Who would suffer and die in their place only to rise from the grave over to overcome death for all who believe? That's the strange story of the Gospel in the gospel changes lives. This gospel won't believe overcomes the waiting Us in the despair the world this gospel frees you from that. It in the gospel is this wonderfully? kind of simple message
And it talks about God's design. So as we look at this God's design is us that do we see beauty and purpose and evidence of God all around us. The Bible tells us that they got originally planned for the world and the way it originally workout. Was it everything worked perfectly where everything and everyone fit together in harmony? God made each of us with a purpose and that purpose is to worship him and to walk with him. The Bible says in Genesis 1:31 that God saw that all he had made was good and it was very good and then Psalm 19:1 is of the heavens and the Earth or the heavens declare the glory of God in the sky proclaims the work of his hands.
But we know what happens in Genesis chapter 3.
Adam and Eve were deceived and they send the life doesn't work. When we ignore. In his original design for allies it that their sin drops into all of us and that we selfishly insist on doing things our own way.
The Bible calls that soon and we all sin and we all just wrote the original design in the consequence of our sin is separation from God in this life. And for all of eternity Romans 3:23 remind us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God and then Romans 6:23. The first part of that versus wages of sin is death. The second part of that versus where it's it's right there, but the Forgiveness that for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of eternal life comes through Jesus Christ, and then we will look at that. But that's in our lives brings us to state of Brokenness.
Social sin leads us to this place broadcast. We see this all around us and our own lives as well. Realize that life is not working. We begin to look for a way out. We we tend to look at many different directions trying many different things to try to figure out everything on her own broken. This leads to a place of realizing a need for something greater. Romans 1:25 says they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served something created instead of the creator.
And that's why remembering and knowing and responding to the gospel. So important at this point. We needed a remedy we needed some good news because of his love. God did not just lead us to leave us in our Brokenness. God loves us so much that he's not going to leave us hanging out there just grasping at straws trying to find something. Jesus God in human flesh came to us and live perfectly according to God's design. Jesus came to rescue us to do for us what we cannot do for her. So he took on all of our sin and all of our shame on that cross. He paid the penalty of our sins by his death. Jesus was in raised from the dead. To provide the only way for us to be rescued and restored to relationship with God. Scripture says in John 3:16 for God so loved the world in this way. And this way he gave his one and only son and in Colossians 2:14. It says he erased the certificate of debt and he is taking it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.
So when we hear that gospel message. We have we have a choice of responding here. The appropriate response is to repent and believe now simply hearing the good news is it's just not going to be enough. We must admit our sinful Brokenness and stop trusting ourselves. So we don't have the power within us to escape this broken this on her own. We need to be rescued. We must ask God to forgive us turning from sin to trust in Jesus only. This is what it means to repent into believe. Believing we received new life through Jesus Christ and God turns our lives in a New Direction. Scripture says in Mark 1:15 repent and believe in the good news. Enter fusions 2 verses 8 and 9 it says for your saved by grace through faith. And this is not from yourselves. It is God's Gift not from works. So that no one can boast and in Romans 10:9. It says if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.
And when that happens, we we cry out we ask God when we've heard that gospel and we we we beg for his forgiveness and we return we seek his ways and we are in this mode of recover and pursue God restores our relationship to him. We will begin to discover the meaning of purpose of our life in this broken world. Now, we can pursue God's design and all the areas of our lives and even when we fall and fail because we will trust me we will we understand God's Pathway to be restored this same good news of Jesus have a ladies didn't remember the gospel. But when they did it changed everything from that Peter had forgotten the gospel, but when you remember that it changed everything for him Peter becomes one of the greatest preachers of the early church,
The ladies continue to support the ministry of the Apostles to God Spirit empowers us to pursue his design and Usher's us of his presence in this life. And for all eternity Philippines 213 says Ford is God who is working in you enabling you both to desire into work out his good purpose. And then the fusions 210 says we are his creation created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. So you've heard all this in the question then would be so what now? What should I do now?
Now that you've heard this good news cuz I want you to respond and you can talk to him using words like what you see here on the slide. You know, my life is broken. I recognize is because of my sin that I need you. You can just say I I Believe In Christ came to live die and was raised from the dead to rescue me for my sin. You just cry out to God saying forgive me. I turn my selfish ways over to you and I put my trust in you. And to say that I know that Jesus is Lord of all and I will follow him.
The scripture say in Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.
Romans 10:13 says for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. That's the message we here today that that is we see the grave that is empty this tomb that is no longer filled. What we really see is the gospel message of Jesus Christ that we know the truth that those of us who Call On Jesus. Will be saved. Today is we we kind of talked about the grave we talked about this. I want you to think about this. Think about what we talked about here. I don't want you to pray about your response.
If you don't know Jesus personally, if you know that you're outside of God's design today is a day for you to ask to get back in it to turn from your Brokenness to ask him to change your life. Did you pray with me? Father in Heaven, I thank you so much for the truth of the Gospel. Said that you designed this world to be a perfect place, but it is our sin. That is created Brokenness and distance between us and you. Father we know that the gospel message is this that the Jesus Christ came to Earth lived out your design perfectly in his life. Is you in flesh?
And he willingly sacrificed himself for rebellious and stubborn people. Probably that sacrifice paid the price for the sin that I cannot pay for. Father call us to repent call us to believe in this message so that may we may recover and pursue you in your design. Is there somebody here whose hearing this message for the first time? Speak to their hearts move in them.
Father for those who are who are forgotten the gospel message. That everything we do is about Jesus and for his glory. Remind us of the Gospel.
The father I pray that as we depart from here that you would just continue to speak to us. Your bless us. Remind us to pursue you Above All Things. We thank you Lord for this time. We've had to be in your word this morning. We praise you and thank you for the Resurrection The brings life. It's in Jesus name I pray.
Kaiser thank you so much. I know that God loves you and that we love you and that if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to if you can send us a message through Messenger. I you can send us an email at office at Calvary Heights. Org get ahold of us sometime soon. We are responding to those things as much as we can right now and frequently and trying to get to them quickly appreciate you guys tuning in today will be back. Chris will be back actually at 6:30 this evening. I'm for our last of our Holy Week devotions, and so encourage you to tune in for that. If you would like to be a part of our small groups, you can send us an email at office at Calvary Heights. Org and we can get you plugged into one of our online small groups right now and do remind you about coffee with Calvary Heights early in the mornings. If you would like to be a part of that as well, you can be a part of that. We get in at about 8 right now. We're reading through the Book of Proverbs and taking some time to pray. We thank you so much for joining us this morning for our time of sermon. We ask that you guys would just continue to keep praying and seeking God in all that you do have a wonderful wonderful day.