He is not here! He has risen from the dead! Luke 24:1-12

‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! (Luke 24:5-6)
Is there life after death? Can we really go to heaven? Only somebody who has died and returned to life can answer those questions. And here is the glorious message of Easter! The wonderful good news that after dying on the cross on Good Friday, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Day! Jesus Christ is alive. And because He has died and is now alive again JESUS can show us the way to heaven.
On that first Good Friday, Jesus was crucified. He was dead and he was buried. Sealed in a tomb by a great seven ton boulder! But then on the Sunday when a group of women went to the tomb, strange things were happening.
24 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.
The stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty! Dead men don’t walk! But Jesus wasn’t there! The tomb was empty! And then there were the two angelic messengers.
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, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
The women had come to a graveyard. They were expecting to find the dead body of Jesus to pay their respects and to anoint the body. Instead there is this incredible message.
“Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive?” What a wonderful, amazing statement! That Jesus who had died was alive again!
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
The New Living Translation puts it this way.
“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”
That had been God’s plan from the beginning. Jesus had told his disciples he would return to life again. But they hadn’t understood him. The truth was too wonderful to believe! But now, just as he had promised, the angels announced that God had raised Jesus from the dead! It was a story too fantastic to believe! Even the disciples did not believe the women at first – it seemed like foolish nonsense. But Peter went to the tomb and found that everything was as the women had said. The stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty. Jesus’s body had gone. The grave clothes were left behind folded tidily.
The body of Jesus had disappeared. The disciples didn’t take it – they were as surprised as anybody that the tomb was empty. The Roman authorities didn’t steal the body. The Jewish leaders didn’t steal the body. If they had they would have just produced the body again and stories about Jesus rising from the dead would have ended before they started. Jesus’s body had gone! But then we have more than the account of a few women about the message from the angels to assure us that Jesus was alive again. During that day Jesus himself appeared to Mary Magdalene, and to the apostle Peter. He appeared to two of His disciples as they walked along the road to Emmaus. And that evening He would appear to all of the apostles.
Luke 24 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples many times. They didn’t make up those accounts. Most of them died horrible deaths for proclaiming that Jesus was alive and that they had seen him. We can believe their testimonies.
Jesus had died. But then Jesus was alive again. And that means we don’t have to be afraid of death. Because Jesus’s resurrection opens the door of heaven for us! Listen to these wonderful promises Jesus made to His disciples.
John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. …. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
So now we know that there is life after death. We know what happens after we die! Jesus has prepared a place in heaven for everybody who believes in Him, so that we can be with Him in glory forever. We KNOW there is life after death – and we know the way to heaven. It is in Jesus who is the way and the truth and the life. Jesus is the way to God.
However evil we are – however much we have hurt God and rejected God, however many of His laws we have broken, we can be forgiven. NO-ONE is too wicked. Our sins may be very great – but God’s mercy is greater! If a thief dying on a cross next to Jesus can be forgiven, so can we!
What amazing love of God! Even a prisoner on death row, or lifelong sinners on their death beds, can cry out to God and find forgiveness and assurance of all the blessings of heaven. The door of heaven is open to everybody who admits that they need saving and asks God to save them!
Jesus Christ is alive – He is risen from the dead. And because he lives, we will live also. That is the good news of Easter. “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive?”
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!

This entry was posted in Easter.

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