The Story | Ch. 10 - His Resurrection

April 16, 2017 Speaker: Christopher Rich Series: THE STORY

Topic: Gospel

Christopher Rich – April 16, 2017
The Story
Chapter 10 - The Story of His Arrival | Luke 24

Introduction | Catch up with the story
Good Morning! Welcome to Damascus Road Church where we are Saved by Jesus Work. Changed by Jesus Grace. Living on Jesus Mission. Welcome! We are so glad you joined us today to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Today we continue our series, The Story looking at the narrative of the Bible.

What’s your Story? Each of us has a story, a way of explaining what the plot of our lives is and how we fit into the greater plot of what we see happening in the world around us both near and far. Who we believe we are in the story often determines how we interact with the other “characters” and how we act our “part”. We take our individual stores and make them the lens through which we see history and world events. The story is all about me. We get quickly frustrated as we recognize our individual stories are too “small” to explain everything. We search, or are served, bigger stories to be a part of, to give us meaning, identity, and purpose, so it’s race, or politics or gender or various religions and worldviews. In this case The Story is all about us. Their answers to our questions are too weak to sooth our worst pain, lead to our individual and collective flourishing, satisfy our deepest desires, or provide ultimate hope. In our pluralistic world, it is popular to assert that there are many stories and that each (our individual story or collective stories) is equally valid to understand our world. Some stories can have overlapping themes, characters, and occasionally intersect, but when every story has a different starting point and distinct plot it is impossible for every story to be equally true and conflicting worldviews are developed. Our answer to this conflict has been to pretend it doesn’t exist and for every individual to select their own story and own “truth” leaving us all more fractured and frustrated when our stories constantly don’t line up with others.
It is the deepest conviction and assertion of the Christian Gospel (Good News) that there are not many stories, but there is THE Story that is big and sufficient enough to adequately answer our questions, root our identity, explain suffering, cultivate flourishing, and provide real present and lasting hope. This is the story we just saw the video about. It has many chapters of God’s creation, our fall, and His redemption of His people through entering into The Story to see it is all about Jesus. Today we celebrate the great turning point, the seminal chapter of The Story where Jesus who died for us is resurrected so we can be risen for Him.

Part I | Jesus Rises | Luke 24:1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 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?6 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.” 8 And they remembered his words,9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

After a life of perfect obedience and a public ministry of calling people to turn from Sin of rejecting God and following God as their King, Jesus was tried and convicted of claiming to be God (which he is) by the religious and ordered to be executed by Romans because he claimed to be king above Caesar (He is ) Beaten, bloodied, and enduring a high profile public crucifixion to death and burial on Friday. An unsettled Sabbath day on Saturday. The sun rises on the first day of a new week. Back to work, back to “normal” life on in the story, a new news cycle, nothing changing. Faithful women, Joanna and a couple of Mary’s who had followed Jesus come to the tomb with spices to embalm the corpse of a king. A sad start.

They had prepared…. For a story of Jesus dead and buried. Life without Jesus alive. Life where death and evil win. Their expectation at this point in the story is “well that was a good run of teaching/preaching, it was pretty awesome to have some hope for a while that The Story of the world with wicked governments and self-righteous religions, disease, sin and death could all be overcome by the type of Kingdom Jesus described and the type of King Jesus embodied. Now it’s time to pay our last respects, go through old tired rituals and hope for something else to change the condition of the world before we die or kids generation expires.” Is that you? Do have expectations of a story where Jesus is dead and so are the promises of God? Does it matter?

When they arrive, they find Stone sealing the tomb is rolled away… This is suspect because of how big and heavy the stone would have been. This isn’t vandals or rebels because we know there were Roman soldiers present guarding the tomb. There is no body!! Roman soldiers guarding the tomb fall down in shock as Angels (the two guys in dazzling apparel). The women who had come in grief, fall in fear and reverence. The angels speak so the ladies can go from confusion to clarity. You’re looking for Jesus? You believe a story about Jesus, that’s good. You remember His death on the cross that’s good, but Good Friday isn’t a great story if it ends with the King of Heaven and Creator of the universe dead and buried and all hope for true redemption and restoration dead and buried with him. “Keep seeking Jesus” they say, “but know you have The Story wrong, you’re looking for dead and buried Jesus and you’re in the right place for that, but your wrong to think He’s still dead. He’s not among the dead, he has risen He is alive.
This is a key moment in The Story and it’s one that to many who hear it receive it like it’s unexpected. This wasn’t a plot twist or a supposed to be a surprise. It wasn’t some departure from the plot. The Angels keep speaking and remind the ladies of what Jesus had actually preached and taught. This is not a new story, this is the major turning point in The Story (already more than simply hinted at or foreshadowed by in the Old Testament chapters) one Jesus told them explicitly his death and resurrection would happen.

Luke 9:20-22 | 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 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.”

They didn’t believe it then, simply missed it, or didn’t think it mattered as much as the parts of The Story they found more compelling. They remember “Oh yeah that part of the story mattered…. It wasn’t just healings and casting out demons and miracles, feeding people and preaching. Jesus mission included all of that, but it was more than that. We get so distracted with the complexity of The Story we forget the simple truths of The Story…The ladies return from the tomb, and no one believes them. nice story!!!! But it seems like an idle tale…. Wishful thinking…They go tell the other disciples. A rumor too great to imagine, and too impossible to believe, begins to spread among Jesus followers. He was dead, but now He is alive! But Peter is all turbo to the tomb…. Peter was running to hope. Peter needed hope because he saw and felt partly responsible for the death of Jesus and carried guilt over his denials. If Jesus wasn’t dead but was in fact alive then there was hope for Peter that his life wouldn’t be defined by his denials of Jesus. He finds an empty tomb as well, the ladies are right about this key fact, the tomb is empty. So you’re telling me there is a chance!! Peter isn’t out long; after tumultuous week, fired up religious leaders, and a militarized city, he doesn’t want to be seen. He heads back to gather with a few other disciples to lay low and wait out this storm. Luke 24 goes on to say Road to Emmaus Jesus appears to some traveling disciples and those disciples return to Jerusalem to meet up with others to talk about what they’ve experienced.

PART II | Jesus Proves | Luke 24:36-42
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

Its evening now and the disciples are held up behind locked door likely hiding from religious leaders wondering if they’re next. All of the sudden Jesus is there “Peace to you!” Again there is fear, did I mention the locked door? Disbelief confusion, is this a ghost? That’s easier to believe than believing Jesus is alive.
Troubled with Doubt. Doubt in the nature of The Story. They already had a story of Jesus as dead and a life without Jesus. The Story doesn’t hinge on a rumor, but on the truth of the Resurrection. Without a miracle an empty tomb is explainable, the physical presence of Jesus in the flesh is not. After the Emmaus Road Jesus again appears to his disciple to display His presence and eats some meals, and later even appears to a crowd of hundreds. For all their doubts, Jesus response to our doubt is not rebuke and rejection but pursuing and persuading. Jesus answers doubts with certainty. He comes with a greeting of “peace”. Not BEHOLD YOUR GOD!! Or FEAR ME, but “Peace” (shalom, restoration of relationship with God after the separation of sin) Jesus wants them to see Him and touch Him and be sure. He points them to the nail scars on His hand and His feet. In the joy of a resurrected Jesus is the scars of the cross. A reminder of how peace was paid for. A reminder of the purpose of the resurrection was life for purchased people.

Life with Jesus is trusting in His Resurrection… Jesus is not an idea. He isn’t just alive in the hearts of His people. “He’s alive as along as we remember him.” Jesus isn’t just a way of being or a worldview though he radically transforms both of those things for His people. Jesus is a person. Jesus is a man. A man who is God. A man who died. For His people. A man who was buried. A man rose again. A man who is God who is alive. A man who is present with His people. This isn’t just spiritual life but real physical life with Jesus.

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead. -Tim Keller

There is still some disbelief and there is some joy. Their feelings are a mix feelings of marveling and meditating “is this real?” (Luke and the Gospels are realistic about the nature of the Gospel.) Regardless of their emotions there is are reality that cannot be denied Jesus is alive and with them. He eats with them.
PART III |Jesus Teaches | Luke 24:44-49
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus Teaches After a late “fourth meal” “Let’s do a little Bible Study and sermon recap. I just did this lesson with the guys on Emmaus Road about how the whole Bible, all of the OT is really pointing to me.
Life with Jesus is life with His word God’s word is sufficient to show Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the promised savoir. He tells them why all what they have seen had to happen for God to save His people, and how all of the scriptures are not about a people but a person, Jesus. Jesus keeps it really simple.

What is the Death and Resurrection Jesus, the Savior King of God’s people would suffer and die for them on the Cross. It would be a dark chapter but not the last chapter of The Story. He has risen and is alive.

Why: The purpose is repentance that people would be able to turn from sin and trusting their own story where they are the hero and pledging allegiance to the God and author of The Story. Forgiveness of sin the penalty of our sin is death and Jesus paid that penalty so a good God could forgive and still be just.

How: This good news (Gospel) of repentance and forgiveness is exclusive and is to be proclaimed in clear terms point specifically to faith, hope, and trust in His name. This is The ONLY Story, and He is the only hero that can save anyone from the eternal fate of sin due everyone. Acts 4:12 | And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Who: is to all the nations. Who is that? Is that me? Are you in a nation? YES! Then yes You, me, all who trust in Jesus alone for salvation. WHEN? TODAY! Don’t wait to repent and be forgiven! Live a new life with Jesus today! Jesus Sends Empowered with the Holy Spirit life with Jesus is a life sent on His mission to point other people to the Risen Saving Jesus. Disciples are to tell the world the Good News of The Story, there is one Savior King who has conquered death, and calls all people to repent of sin, be forgiven by God, and live a new life following Jesus, not adding Him to our story but finding ourselves in His.

PART IV | Jesus Ascends | Luke 24:50-53
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Jesus Blesses and ascends. Jesus is ruling on the throne of heaven and promises His return where there will be no more suffering, no more sin, and no more tears. He’s commissioned His people, His disciples to go and make disciples. How did the disciples respond? Worship! So we sing and give. Return to their home and community with Great Joy that is contagious to others who need hope in Jesus. Continued to gather with God’s people continually, as part of the Gospel Community. This is your time to respond to the story of His Resurrection. We know The Story radically changes the life stories of individuals. We must respond either by receiving it as true and glorious or rejecting it favor of a lesser story. The Story is true. Trust Jesus.

“The gospel is not just a series of facts to which we yield our assent but a dramatic narrative that re-plots our identity.” – Michael Horton What Story are you trusting.

“… the Christian gospel . . . tells how for the world’s redemption God entered into history, the eternal came into time, the kingdom of heaven invaded the realm of earth, in the great events of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. ” FF Bruce

“He is not here, but has risen.”
His interactions with His people serve to ease doubts, illuminate the purpose of His death and resurrection (always pointing them back to The Story), and propel His people onward with the mission. The death of Jesus is not good news without the resurrection of Jesus. Because Jesus is alive we do not have to fear death because He is greater.