Christ’s Death, Burial & Resurrection Gives us Grace, Purpose, Hope & Trust
What do you need this morning? Really, what do you think and believe you need? If you need grace and forgiveness, Christ offers you grace without shame! If you need purpose & meaning in life, Christ offer you an eternal legacy of love! If you need hope, Christ offers you hope you can live on! If you need to trust & believe in something beyond yourself, Christ offers you Himself
If you need a car, a job, an apartment or various ‘things’, you’re in the wrong place!
LAST WEEK: We ended with the second thief owning up to his sin and asking Jesus to be included in His kingdom
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
- Christ made this promised to a repentant sinner who believed He was God
- He makes that promise to YOU AND I today if WE repent and believe.
- Here is the grace we can all have, no shame only forgiveness!
Luke 23:44-56 & 24:1-12
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.
- It doesn’t say it got real cloudy, it literally says ‘The Sun Failed’
- THE Curtain…torn in two means down the middle, top to bottom
- The barrier to God’s mercy was removed from the top (Only God could do it)
- It was finished! And He made the final surrender as the incarnated Christ
- In all His humanity, staring death in the face, He entrusts it all to The Father
- And in all His humanity He died. A physical death just like each of us will face
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 for the spectacle 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.
- Why does the centurion say this? To show that God can make anyone believe
- The Jews gathered for nothing more than the spectacle that it was
- They did what they were supposed to do, outward show of remorse
- This show how the Jews could be unconvinced while a Roman soldier was
- Then there are Christ’s followers, all the way from Galilee to The Cross
- The followers heard the heartfelt declaration of the soldier
- The followers saw the jews ‘go thru the motions’ of religion
- How are you responding to the reality of Christ’s sacrifice today?
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 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 expectantly for the kingdom of God.
- Joseph of Arimathea was not complicit in the evil actions of The Sanhedrin
- From the birthplace of Samuel, near Bethlehem, most likely an Ephraimite
- Waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God = On the lookout for the Messiah
- By going ‘All in’ with Jesus, Joseph left an eternal legacy: talk about meaning!
- He didn’t have all the answers but he acted, sacrificed and risked for Christ
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.
- Because of his faith, Joseph took great risk and sacrificed much
- He used his status to do what he could for the kingdom
- Joseph had purpose and meaning serving Christ as best he knew how
- Provided an honorable grave to compensate for such a dishonorable death
- It is widely believed it was to be his own personal tomb, in upscale cemetery
- God said: “Go to Pilate, get the body, put it in your tomb.” And Joseph did it!
- I went in that tomb! (I believe it was)
- Normally the work of getting the body ready for burial would happen
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.
- The women kept following Jesus from the Cross to the Tomb
- They kept putting their hope in Jesus even though total uncertainty
- They had to do nothing for 36 hours…
Sundown Friday the Sabbath begins, the sabbath during Passover. Nothing happens for 36 hours or so it seems…God was content to wait for it all be revealed. Did God have His own Sabbath?Did God want to demonstrate Jesus was Fully Dead. Maybe He was building the hope in His followers.
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
- It’s Sunday morning, they endured the Sabbath of inaction, waiting & hoping
- Can you imagine how they felt when they see the empty tomb?
- When your hope is being fulfilled your heart skips a beat
4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; He has risen!
- How is the stone moved? Where is Jesus’ Body? What’s happening… BOOM!
- Two big guys dressed in ‘lightning’… that is the literal translation
- They’re a little freaked out seeing the tomb empty, imagine seeing these guys!
- They don’t know what to do besides fall prostrate before the Angels
- The Angels are like: “Of course He is alive, why would He not conquer death?”
- They basically say: He is God, He is more powerful than death!
Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” 8 Then they remembered his words.
- Holy Spirit Flash Back!
- The gift of seeing God do what He says: Trust and believe it when God speaks!
- The story of Easter was foretold by Christ Himself
- He is bigger than these events, He is the Author of these events!
- Jesus is worthy to trust in and believe on because He is God!
9 Returning from the tomb they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
- They were not ready to believe, we have all been there…
- They would put it all together soon.
12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, reverently contemplating what had happened.
- Peter, just like you and me, wanted grace, purpose and hope he could trust in
- He found an empty tomb and he looked to God to explain it
God graceful promise of forgiveness and eternal life is for all who repent and believe: it’s never too late, no one is too sinful!
Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ, The Messiah actually died a physical death as each person must.
How you react to Christ’s death is what matters, not what motions you go through.
There is eternal meaning and purpose to be found in serving God, it’s not about getting some master plan, it’s about doing what He asks when He asks it.
In the middle of the most amazing story in all human History, God has everyone honor the Sabbath, showing not the abolishment of the Law, but it’s fulfillment!
Hope in Christ is rewarded with God’s faithfulness and in that we learn how to trust and be part of something transcendent: Christ’s Kingdom!
If you can’t quite make sense of what God has done, run to the empty tomb and see for yourself!
How aware are you of your soul’s need for forgiveness?
What specifically gives your life meaning and purpose?
How would you rate your capacity to hope?
Do you completely trust God that God has provided grace, meaning and hope for eternity in your heart and soul?
IF NOT, RUN TO THE EMPTY TOMB!