Today we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. We might call it “Easter” and some might focus on spring, bunnies and brightly colored eggs. But today is all about the the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, a guy from Nazareth who lived in Galilee and died two-thousand years ago on a hill called “the skull” who was betrayed by His disciples, crucified by the very people who He was trying to help didn’t stay dead. He rose again. He is not dead anymore. What does that mean for you and me?
IMPLICATION of Jesus Words: What He said was TRUE. He IS GOD!
Jesus went around saying He was God. He wouldn’t have been crucified by the religious leaders if He had been implying anything else by what He said. He was exclaiming something they considered to be blasphemous! He had to die! The law (He ironically wrote) all but demanded it! He either was insane-like a lunatic, He was outright lying or an evil demonic force claiming to be God, all of which would have been all the more reason to put Him to death or… He was telling the truth and they should have bowed down and worshiped Him as Lord and God. There was no room for any middle ground. He did not leave them room for any half-hearted beliefs about who He was. Why do you think He asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?”
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. (Mark 9:30-32)
…He strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:21-22)
He was constantly dropping hints that He was not only God but that He would be crucified. He often shared with His disciples about His death and resurrection. He wanted them to know what to expect. Even though they didn’t get it when it happened, His words finally sunk in. Even when they thought He was still dead and that all hope was lost there was good news. What He said was TRUE. It was just as He PREDICTED.
IMPLICATION of the Empty Tomb: He has RISEN! We have HOPE!
There is much talk about the empty tomb. It’s a great picture isn’t it? The tomb is empty. The disciples thought all hope was lost because they witnessed first hand their Lord get brutally beat, flogged, mocked and crucified. He was dead. There was no doubt. You cannot survive the kind of torture and brutal execution He underwent. So can you blame them when their automatic assumption is that someone stole His body?
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 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? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that 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… (Luke 24:4-8)
What a joy to discover angels proclaiming the good news of His resurrection! Much like angels had announced His birth, angels were here to announce the good news of Jesus’ resurrection! They ask such a simple question, “why do you seek the living among the dead?” Their exclamation that “He is not here” followed by “He is risen!” still sends chills through my spine. The founder of our beliefs isn’t buried in a tomb somewhere. His vision/mission isn’t the only thing still alive. He is alive! Therefore death doesn’t have to be the end for us either. This gives us hope. With hope we can have joy that even if things in this life are depressing, discouraging or look dismal. Therefore we set our hope on an empty tomb in Palestine to witness that one reversal where death turns into life. Where death is defeated by Jesus. Where He comes back to life when each of us are dying, deoxidizing slowly being pulled apart atom by atom. He is the reversal. Jesus reverses that trend of death and turns it into LIFE!
IMPLICATION of His Scars: His SCARS tell a STORY. We need Faith to Believe!
Jesus is resurrected. His body healed, complete, perfect in all ways except one. His scars remained. His scars remain to prove that He went through that awful ordeal on the cross. His scars remained to tell a story. His scars remained as proof, as evidence of who He was and the miracle to top all miracles for all time.
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29)
Thomas doesn’t believe. How often are you and I like that? Thomas heard the words of Jesus. I bet the disciples took him to see the empty tomb. Yet Thomas doesn’t believe. How often do we look only to what we can see? We only believe if we can touch it. Thomas refused to believe. He did not celebrate. He did not accept that Jesus had risen from the dead. How often do we seek what will make us happy, what will bring us joy in things that are dead. We seek for life amongst what is dead and decaying. We dig through the bones of this dying world trying to look for hope, seeking peace where there is only disease and discord. But hope is not found in this world. Life is not found where there is only death. We must remember Jesus’ words. We must look to an empty tomb where our Savior is no longer buried. We must stop doubting and look to His scars by faith and believe.