Easter 2013 He Is Risen! (audio file)
Christ is Risen! What an amazing truth it is that our Savior lives!
Leading up to Easter we have been looking at what Jesus has been doing up to his death and resurrection. We have been focussing on his interactions with those closest to Him. We looked at the disciples and how he reset their understanding of the Christ, that He must go to Jerusalem and be killed and on the third day raised from the dead. I cant say enough how important it is for us to see that truth in our own day. Christ did not die to purchase for us a politically Christian Nation. He came to bring in the Kingdom of God. The phrase I have been repeating through this all is that we think we need saving from outward oppression and suffering, but Jesus came to save us from our sin.
What better reminder that our world is broken than death? Think about it for a minute. Death is no respecter of persons. Young, old, sick, well; death is inevitable for us all, and no one is immune, true? We are all going to die. Some sooner than others. There is nothing you can do about it. Have you ever been to a funeral? There is no denying it at a funeral, there is a casket in the room that is the proof that our world is broken, and you know what broke it? Sin! Back in the Garden of Eden, our relationship with God was broken by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The result, they were kicked out of the Garden, no longer able to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, destined to Die. What are the wages of sin?
So, we just heard the story of the resurrection read from Luke’s Gospel. What we are going to look at today is the next thing Luke records in his account of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus meets up with some people walking to a town called Emmaus, and has what I think is an incredible interaction with them, we are going to look at what he said to them as they walked along. Lets read the passage shall we? You will find it in Luke 24, we are reading verses 13-27.
Prelims… 7 miles… Jesus conceals His identity…They don’t seem to get it…
There is certainly a lot going on in this passage, but today I want to focus on the statement Jesus Made in verse 25, in 2 parts. It was necessary to suffer and necessary to enter into His Glory. And we are going to do mostly what Jesus did to explain this to them. Luke said that Jesus started with Moses, and the prophets and interpreted to them in all the scriptures that things concerning himself. While we are not going to go through the entire Old Testament, we will look at a few verses and stories that explain a bit of why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer and to Rise.
- Necessary to suffer:
- The Garden– the wages of sin is death. when Adam and Eve sinned, they broke their relationship with God. That perfect union, being able to walk and talk with God was broken because they were sinful and He is Holy, and sinfulness and Holiness cannot coexist. Furthermore their being kicked out of the garden was not their judgement, God promised them right then and there that there would be a savior. back in Genesis 3 we read the words of God saying to them that there will be one of her offspring that will crush the head of the serpent. Jesus was the offspring. His suffering was the punishment that would pay for the sin of Adam and Eve, and all those that came after them.
- The Passover– in the book of Exodus we read about the plagues on Egypt, and depending on your Generation it was either Charlton Heston, or some cartoon character, or the guy with the really white teeth in the History Channel’s The Bible. But at any rate we see there the final plague sent to Egypt was that of death. The death of the first born son, which meant the death of the line in many cases, the death of the future of your family. How did the Hebrew people escape the death that was befalling the rest of Egypt? They sacrificed a spotless Lamb, and wiped it’s blood on the doorpost of their home. This blood represented their identification with God’s people, and showed that there had been a sacrifice made for their sin. Jesus was the ultimate passover lamb. The spotless lamb, slain so that we might benefit from this blood atoning for our sins.
Those are just two of many many other ways Jesus fulfills the promises, and the regulations of the Old Testament. Helping us to see why it was necessary for him to suffer the gruesome death that he did.
2. Necessary for him to enter into His glory, to Rise from the dead?
- To be our high priest.- In the Old Testament, there was an office set up called the high Priest. These men were from the tribe of Levi. They were seta apart by God to be the ones to be intermediaries between God and Man. once a year they would enter into the holy of Holies, behind the veil of the temple and offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people as well as their sins. These were not perfect people, so they had to wear a bell and a rope around their waste and if the bell stopped ringing they knew he had messed up and they needed to pull him out. These were the only ones able to enter the presence of God. The book of Hebrews tells us that we no longer need that human intermediary. Jesus is the one who went behind the veil and made atonement by offering himself, and now he is seated as a high priest forever who lives to intercede for us. We can each one of us go to Him, and speak with Him, and relate to Him, and commune with Him, because he is our high priest, and he lives to intercede for us.
- To prove that his atonement was sufficient, by rising from the dead. If The wages of sin is death, and the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, then how can that be proved, unless he actually was able to overcome the grave, and show us that He is in fact over death, and that we can trust Him for eternal life, because He defeated the one thing in this world we cannot, death itself. For this, I will look to the New Testament’s explanation. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: 12-26
You see, Christ’s resurrection is more than a story we tell to our kids. It is the hinge that all of our faith turns. If you call yourself a Christian and do not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, Paul says you are a pitiable creature…