Sermon Topic: HE HAS RISEN!
Text: Luke 24: 1 - 13
Date Preached: April 11, 2004 (Sunrise Service)
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, three women came to the tomb where Jesus
was buried. Their purpose was to put spices and perfumes on the body of
Jesus. Approaching the tomb they remembered that the tomb would be closed with a
large stone. Usually the entrance of the tomb was dug down in furrow and place with a
large stone. Biblical scholars estimate that the stone was so heavy that you would need
more than 20 adult men to remove it from the entrance.
So these women began to say to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the
entrance of the tomb?” But when they arrive at the tomb, they found out that the stone
was already rolled away from its original place.
They entered the tomb and were shocked to find that the body of Jesus had
disappeared. They were really bewildered and did not know what to do. And then, there
were two men in dazzling clothes standing by their sides. They were terrified by the
sudden appearance of the two men out of the blue. The two men said to the women,
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?”
He is not here, but He has risen.”
In the first place, the women were challenged by the angelic men that they should not
seek Jesus in the tomb. A tomb is the place where only the dead belong and a tomb is a
metaphor of hatred, strife and struggling. It is also a symbol of the ultimate
finality. They killed Jesus out of hatred and selfish motivation. They thought that they
would terminate Jesus’ movement by killing and confining His body in the tomb. Still
further, many people even in modern days, consider the tomb as a mark of failure and
hopelessness. They thought that by being killed and buried, Jesus had failed in whatever
He attempted to do. But today, as we meditate on the story of that first Easter morning,
we are encouraged to see the fact that death and the burial ground are placed in a new
perspective. The angels said to the women, “Why do you seek the One among the
dead?” The empty tomb of Jesus proved that the tomb did not need to be the final destiny
of His life. It should not need to be the symbol of hatred and strife. Rather the tomb was
the door to glory and victory. It was the undeniable sign of hope and love.
The empty tomb of Jesus proved that the life and history of Jesus would be continued
instead of being finalized and that Jesus won the victory over death and that physical
death should not need to be the finality of one’s life. So, what the angelic men were
saying to the women was that they should not consider death and the tomb as the final
place where every human being would go.
In the second place they received big news about the resurrection of Jesus, “He is not
here, but He has risen.” Vs. 6. In the Gospel of John, we read that Mary Magdalene,
one of the women who came to see the tomb, wept looking into the empty tomb. As long
as she was looking into the tomb, she could not see anything but a vacant space where the
body was laid. She was so discouraged and depressed that she could not help but to cry
and cry in despair. But when she turned around there she saw a man whom she could not
recognize at first. It was Jesus the Risen Lord, calling her by name. “Why are you
weeping, Mary?” Jesus had risen from the dead. In order to see Him, in order to
experience His risen and living presence, we need to turn around from where we used to
How many times have we looked in the wrong direction? How long have we searched for
what we needed in the wrong place? The angelic men told the women, “He is not here,
but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in
Galilee. “Remember how He spoke to you…………” To remember what the word of
God was telling us is the key to finding what we need to find. Vs. 8, 9 “And they
remembered His words and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the
eleven and all the rest.” Yes, they remembered what Jesus told them, and spread the news
of His resurrection.
The word of God tells us many things about how to have peace and joy in our lives and
how to enjoy a healthy and sound living as long as we live here on earth. Especially, the
Bible makes it crystal clear that Jesus suffered and died for our well being and for the
healing of our sick lives.
On this Easter morning, let us remember them, instead of dwelling on the conflicts and
struggle that surround us. Let us turn around and see the risen Lord.
Ruth Margaret Gibbs prayed beautifully in a poetic form
If I Forget
If I forget the heartache and the pain,
The grief and sorrow Thou hast borne for me,
Teach me to climb Golgotha’s hill again,
To find the cross of Calvary.
If I should lose the blessing of Thy smile
Because my eyes were blinded by the light –
Then may I touch Thy pierced hand awhile,
Until I have regained my sight.
If I forget the pathway trod for me –
I forget Thine agonizing prayer –
Guide Thou my feet to dark Gethsemane,
That I may find Thee waiting there.
And if I ever falter with the load,
Or groan beneath the crosses I have borne,
May I remember Thou did walk a road,
Wearing Thy mocking crown of thorns.
If I forget it is not death to die –
If I forget the promise of the spring –
Lead me unto Thine tomb, that I
May find my risen Saviour, My King, [out side there.] Amen!
(Out of My Treasure, vol. I, p. 241, 2)