Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 3/23/2008

Yesterday’s message in the The Road to Jerusalem series was called Why Do You Look for the Living among the Dead?, taken from Luke 24:1-12.

Luke 24:1-12 – 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. 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? 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.'” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back 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. 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, wondering to himself what had happened. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that you will never find Jesus if you look for him among the dead. But 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. Here is the outline of the message:

I. Looking for Jesus among the dead (verses 1-3)

The women came looking for Jesus among the dead, but they did not find him. They found the stone rolled away, but they did not find his body. Many people today are still looking for Jesus among the dead, but they will not find him there. If you want to find Jesus, you must look for him among the living. Example: Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone?

II. The good news of Easter (verses 4-8)

Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and the grave. You will not find him among the dead, for he is among the living. And he offers new life to you. The Bible tells us that those who trust in Christ will share in his resurrection. The fear of death and judgment is taken away. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! That is the good news of Easter. Only one question remains. How will you respond?

III. How will you respond? (verses 9-12)

We see several responses highlighted in our passage this morning. First, there was the response of the women who believed and shared the good news with others. Next, there was the response of the apostles who thought that the women’s words were nonsense and therefore did nothing. And then there was Peter’s response. Peter ran to the tomb. He examined the evidence. He went looking for Jesus, and he found him: not lying dead in a tomb but resurrected and alive.

If you are not sure what to make of Jesus’ resurrection, you can do what Peter did. You can check it out for yourself. You may not be able to visit the actual tomb like Peter, but you can still examine the evidence. You could read Frank Morison’s book, Who Moved the Stone? or Josh McDowell’s book, More Than a Carpenter, or Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ, or more recently, Timothy Keller’s excellent book, The Reason for God. There are any number of good resources out there that will present to you the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.

CONCLUSION: The angels asked the women, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” If you are looking for Jesus among the dead, you will never find him because he is not there. But if you look for Jesus among the living, 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. Jesus Christ is alive. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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