The Christ Will Suffer and Rise

by LA UBF   03/31/2012     0 reads


The Christ Will Rise!

Luke 24:1-53

Key Verse 24:46

“This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise and from the dead (on the third day),”

I want to ask a question before I begin.  What is the significance of Jesus' resurrection?  About 55 million people die each year.  That’s the entire population of Los Angeles, New York and Seoul Korea.  Death is no joke.  But God solved the problem of sin and death through Jesus.  Today’s passage proclaims to everyone that Jesus rose from the dead.  It treats this event as a historical fact.  One that, even though amazing, we can confidently believe in.  A lot of people say that they need to see something like this, before they can believe it.  So, how can we know and believe that its true and what does it mean for us today?  Let’s look at the passage and find out.

-----------Part 1-He Has Risen!

This passage begins where a seemingly tragic event ends.  Jesus had reached the end of his 3 year long ministry.  He had preached the word of God, gathered a large following, and finally was betrayed only to be tortured and murdered. Many who faithfully followed him had given up everything, some, even their jobs.  But, now he was dead, and they these faithful followers were left with no leader, and no hope. (Or so they thought)

Look at verse 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."

Jesus had been dead for a few days.  His body was lying in a tomb, and some women, who had followed him during his ministry because they had experienced his healing, wanted to pay him honor.  So, they got together, bought some spices and headed for his tomb.  As they were heading there, they probably had no real expectation, except that there would be a stone covering the tomb, and a dead body inside.  This small act, though admirable, actually shows us their lack of faith.  They had seen him die, and they expected to find him dead.  They must have been really grieved because they had loved Jesus so much.  Here, we see, the full power death and the effects it has on people.  It causes pain, it causes suffering and no one is exempt from its effects.  

But when reaching tomb, their grief turned to wonder because something was wrong.  The stone, a huge man sized bolder, wasn’t covering the entrance anymore. In those times, a tomb's entrance was closed to keep vandals and animals from disturbing the body, but now it was gone.  What might have happened?  The women decided to go into the tomb to find out.  

Look at verse 3.  "But when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  

Jesus’ body was missing.  What could have happened?  He couldn’t just have, gotten up and walk out, could he?

Look Verse 4-6a.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  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?  He is not here: he has resin!

The women were first in wonder, but now were completely terrified.  Seeing angels might have put them in shock. How do you respond if you see angels?  The women bowed down, didn’t look up and stayed silent and still.  But the angel provided a really great message for these terrified women: “why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here: he has resin!”  

Living?  Risen?  What were these angels talking about?  I don’t what seems crazier, seeing angels, or hearing that dead man was now living.  But there was nothing wrong with the women.  These angels weren’t fake, and their message wasn’t false.  They were real and their message was true.  Something amazing had happened, something unbelievable, Jesus had resin!  

Just a few days ago, Jesus endured terrible sufferings.  He was tortured, beaten, laughed at by evil people.  He was flogged, had a crown of thorns placed on his head, and forced to carry a wooden beam upon his beaten body.  FInally, these evil men killed him by hanging him on a cross.  At the time, it seemed like it was all over.  Evil had conquered good.  Wicked men prevailed.  but most of all, death itself took another victim, showing its power once again.  

But when we read the angels words, we see who the true victor is. The true victor is Jesus because he had resin and showed that death had no power over him.  Instead he had absolute power and authority over death.  The angels words was not just an informative statement, but a proclamation of the victory of God very the problem of death (which was a result of man's sins) and a proclamation of the future hope all believers had in Jesus.

The angels' words were such good news.  But if we look back, this good news was already proclaimed long before it had happened, and the angels wanted the women to realize that.

Look at verse 6b (remember)-8, “Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”  Then they remembered his words.  

In the past, Jesus had told the women that he would be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified.  He also told them, “and on the third day be raised to life again.” He actually repeats this prediction over and over again.  We usually repeat things to people we want them to remember because we think it’s important.  Jesus knew his suffering and death would be unbearable to watch, but he had the hope, that when these events did occur, the women wouldn’t be alarmed or grieved.  Instead they would remember that he would not only be crucified but on third the day be raised again.

From verse 9-12, the women leave the tomb, excited, and changed and go and to tell some of Jesus’ disciples what had happened, Jesus had Resin!  Maybe they expected the disciples to believe and share in their joy.  But, no, that’s not what took place.  

Look at verse 11, “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like ‘nonsense’.”  

They refused to believe.  Why?  Because they thought the women’s words nonsense. Peter was the only one who decided to go the tomb to check things out, but still, we don’t even know if this was an act of faith or just curiosity.  What seemed like “nonsense” to the disciples should have made “perfect sense” because Jesus words were so precise, so exact.

---------------Part 2-This is What is Written

Look at verses 13-16.  13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

While traveling to the city of Emmaus, two of Jesus’ followers were talking about everything that had happened.  It was at this time the resurrected Jesus paid them a surprise visit.  Now, this is the first time we actually see Jesus alive and talking after his resurrection.  In other words, we’re reading about the words and actions of a man who had been dead.  Think about that.

Instead of bluntly telling them it was him, Jesus decided to keep his identity a secret.  We don’t know how he did it, but we know that his disciples did not recognize him until much later.  Through this, Jesus could accomplish two things, 1) help them see where their faith in his resurrection was, and 2) plant faith in his words.  Jesus loved his disciples.  He wanted what was best for them, and though he could have showed his true form immediately, he didn’t.  What was best for them was not that they believed based on sight, but based on his words.  This is the kind of faith Jesus wanted from his disciples. (This is the kind of faith he wants from us)

So he searched their mind and heart by asking questions like, "what are you discussing together as you walk along, " and, "What things?"  So what was the condition of their faith?  Verses 21 says, "We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel." and verse 22 says, "some of our women amazed us."  

What was wrong with the men’s words?  They said they had hoped.  They didn’t say, they had hope, they said they hoped.  That means that their hope died when Jesus died.  This is another effect of the fear of death. It not only causes grief, but it produces in us hopelessness.  Jesus did not want their hope to die when he died; he wanted it to stay alive especially during his death.  That was the whole point in giving them the message of resurrection ahead of time-so that their hope would remain alive during the most difficult times.  It was clear by their defeated spirit, they did not believe that Jesus had resurrected.  They too were like the women who heard the prediction of Jesus over and over again, but who had no faith.  After hearing their hoped-lessness, Jesus then diagnosed them of their condition:

Look at verses 25-27.  "He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?  And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

***We usually imagine Jesus as a friendly guy, with friendly words, and a friendly spirit.  What if he came up to you and said, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and THEN enter his glory,” we would be a little startled.  We might even respond, “Hey Jesus, chill, you’re supposed to be a nice guy!”  But, again these are the word of a man who really loved the people he was talking to, and the words of a man who knew the value of scripture.  The word foolish shows how foolish it is to live base only on what we can see.  Scripture is more reliable than what we can see.  If we only live based on what we can see, we will end up being truly foolish.  

The prophets had spoken about Jesus, just had spoken about himself.  So, Jesus expected that if ANYONE would be quick to believe everything (that the prophets have spoken), certainly, it would be his followers.  But they were not, instead they were foolish.  So, what does that mean for us?  It means, in the eyes of God, those who are wise, are those who are quick to believe in the words of the prophet and scripture.  We too should be quick to believe all that the prophets have spoken and all that is written in scripture. If we do this, then in God’s eyes, we are truly wise, and truly blessed.  

In addition, Jesus had asked them, “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  The simple answer to Jesus question is, yes.  There is a penalty for sin, and Jesus paid it with his blood.  But then, he conquered the power of sin and death so that not only would he enter his glory and kingdom again, but so would everyone who put their faith in him.

In verses 20-34, Jesus gave them the impression he was going ahead, so that they would invite him to stay with them.  This was also a part of Jesus' plan to build up their faith.  While having dinner, he decides to show them his true form.  After breaking the bread, giving thanks and handing it to them “their eyes were opened and they recognized him."  At that moment, he disappeared from their sight.  After realizing what had happened, they got up and returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples in verse 34, "It is true!  The Lord has risen.”

The angel of God had built up the faith of women by helping them “remember” what Jesus had told them.  Jesus himself built up the faith of the men on the road by explaining to them what was said in “all scriptures concerning Him.”  We’re beginning to see a pattern.  And that pattern is that Jesus is always trying to build up their faith (in the resurrection) not with sight, but simply with his words.  This is how we can know and believe that the resurrection is true.


Now look at v 36-43.

Before Jesus had shown up, the disciples were in one terrifying situation.  Their master had been killed, they were trying to hide from the religious leaders, who were hunting them down, some of the women had told them that they had seen an angel, and some followers had told them they had seen Jesus.  There must have been a lot of fear, and confusion in the hearts of the disciples.  What did this all mean?  Why was this all happening?  Jesus, where are you?

Here we see how the power of death manifesting itself in their lives.  First it was the grieving women.  Then it was the hopeless men on the road.  And now it was the disciples of Jesus, hidden away in a house, with all the doors locked, doing whatever they could to avoid the religious leaders.   Is this how life is supposed to look?  Is this how life is supposed to be?  Controlled by anxieties and uncertainties, and insecurities all rooted in the fear of death?  No.  But would it surprise you that many people, even some Christians, make choices each and every day not out of faith in the resurrection, but out of fear.  

I need to get a major that makes a lot of money.  I need to go to a good school that secures my future.  I need to devote my time and energy to school and work, at the expense of going to church and serving.  A degree and work aren’t' wrong in and of themselves, but sometimes the motive we have in trying to get them is wrong, and the act of cutting ministry out of our life is wrong, because its rooted in the fear of not having security in this world, which we think may lead to poverty (for ourselves or the people we love, kids?), and in the end death.  


For the last few months, if not year, I have been doing just that.  Making choices, not out of faith in the knowledge of Jesus' resurrection and what that means for me, but making choices out of fear.  First, it was because I heard about a peer, who, in his 30's, had mountainous debt.  Then I heard stories of families struggling financially with 2-3-4 kids.  Then, about a month ago, my mom said, "Daniel, I'm getting old and I get sick a lot."  At that time, she was really sick and looked like she was going to fall over.  At that moment, my heart sank, I said, "mom, I am going to help pay for your mortgage, please work less."  

All these things worried me.  So, I said to myself, that’s not going to be me. I'm not going to have mountainous debt, let those close to me suffer, and I'm not going to work at my old age.   I'm going to get a degree right now, so that I would make a lot of money and secure my future and the future of people I love.  So I, ironically, I would usually go into a room in the basement, lock myself away, and spent countless hours studying.  I also I cut a lot of things relating to church from my schedule, especially Sunday activities or fellowship, and I missed a few CSULB group fishing and group Bible studies so I could so I could study.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with getting a good degree, but the motive matters so much in God's eyes, and mine was definitely wrong.  

After realizing what I had done and why I had done it, I remember the key verse of today's passage, "“This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise and from the dead (on the third day),” and decided to first place my complete trust in the word of God, the resurrection of Jesus, and my eternal spiritual security.  And second, to not pursue the MBA, unless God really me too.  This takes a lot, but the Bible calls us to live by faith, and not simply by sight, though what I see may be very discouraging.  If its God’s will, God will lead me back.   Until then, I'll continue to serve Downey, and csulb ministry group Bible study and group fishing.  Through this I can have peace knowing that Jesus, who resurrected from the dead, not only frees me from the power of death, but the fear of death as well.  


When the disciples were suffering from such inner chaos and turmoil, Jesus appeared with words of comfort to them, “peace be with you.”  He knew at that moment, what they needed more than anything was peace, so he said, "peace be with you." But did they feel peace after Jesus spoke to them?  Nope, they actually felt worse.  V 37 says, “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.”  So much for peace being with them huh?  Anyways...

What did Jesus asked his troubled and frightened disciples?  “Why are you troubled and why do you doubts arise in your minds.”  He might have said this a little disappointed, after all, these were the twelve disciples minus Judas.  He had lived with them, taught them, mentored them, and protected them, fed them, and here they were, utterly petrified at sight of their master.   

But, with more words of comfort, Jesus reached out to them. “Look at my hands, and my feet, it is I myself.”  Though they weren’t quick to believe, their fear turned into joy and amazement as Jesus showed them his hands and feet.   It was at this point, that Jesus felt ready to say what he really wanted to say,

Look 44-46.  He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the prophet, and the Psalms.  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead---on the third day,”

In other words, the disciples should have already felt peace because these are things he had told them already.  Look at verse 46 again, “this is what is written:” Think about that for a second as you look at the Bible in your hand.  Everything they saw had been written down ahead of time.  Everything they experience had been foretold.  Everything was made clear to them before it actually happened, especially the resurrection.

***You ever had someone say, I told you so?  Usually it’s our parents.  They warn you, and bug you about something and say it’s going to happen, but you, in your brilliance, don't listen, and that bad thing happens.  This event is probably the biggest, I told you so, ever.  You resurrected? What do you mean I resurrected, I told you so!

 Jesus wanted his disciples to feel peace which is why he gave them the word of God.  The source of our peace should not come from the outside conditions and circumstances, they come from inside, from faith in the Bible.  This was Jesus' attitude toward God's words, which is how he could endure the cross, suffering and shame.  If we share in Jesus’ attitude toward the word of God, we can believe in something as impossible as his resurrection and live like he did. 

 And we can also enjoy the spiritual blessings that come with it.  What blessings exactly?  What does a resurrected life look like? 

Finally, look at verses 50-53.  "When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  52 Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  54 And they stayed continuously at the temple, praising God."  

Real peace and real confidence at last!

What a strong contrast in the disciples we see! No longer hiding, no longer locked away, no longer afraid of death. The temple area was the most populated place. They could easily be recognized and arrested and killed as followers of Jesus. But they went anyways. Their praising God shows their faith in Jesus who rose from the dead and was victorious over death. And their praising means they testified to the resurrection of Jesus.

This is how a resurrected life looks like.  This is how a resurrected life should be.  From this point on, the disciples would no longer be defeated, but powerful and joyful witnesses of God, witnessing to the people in their time, and even to you today through the Bible.  

One Word: The Christ Will Rise!