Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19990512.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part LXXX: Certifying Christianity Via TANGIBLE Evidences Of Christ's RESURRECTION From The Dead
Lesson: The tangible evidence of the moved gravestone and message of the angels for the women, and the evidence of the way the graveclothes minus the body lay all COUNTERED the presuppositions that Jesus was DEAD in those first Christian witnesses of the empty tomb. Thus, Luke records hard, tangible evidence of the resurrection that did NOT arise from the wishful thinking of Jesus' followers.
- To ask someone to believe in the resurrection of Christ from the dead to be saved as 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says is to ask someone to believe in a miracle that just does not happen today! That is a tall order!
- Thus, it becomes imperative for Luke, the author of a Gospel that intends to convey the validity of the Christian faith, to provide tangible evidences that go beyond wishful thinking of Jesus' supporters that He indeed rose from the dead. In this way he proves the resurrection miracle in Luke 24:1-12 as follows:
- Certifying Christianity Via TANGIBLE Evidence Of Christ's RESURRECTION From The Dead
- Luke's Gospel was written to give Theophilus insight on the credibility of the Christian faith, Luke 1:3-4.
- To show that Jesus rose from the dead, after establishing that Jesus had truly died, Luke recorded tangible evidences that went beyond Christ's supporters wishful thinking that He had indeed risen, Luke 24:1-12:
- In stark contrast to the expectations of the women who came to Christ's tomb to anoint His dead body, these women left the tomb reporting that He had risen from the dead, Luke 24:1, 7-10.
- The women who had followed Jesus returned to His tomb bringing spices to anoint the body and complete their former hasty preparations, Lk. 24:1 with 23:55-56. Their acquiring expensive burial spices and returning to the tomb showed they certainly did not expect Jesus to have risen at the time!
- However, while arriving at the tomb, they allegedly found the stone rolled away, and upon entering the tomb did not find the body of Christ. This left them perplexed, 24:2-4a.
- Then they had their thoughts turn to understand the significance of sensible memories of Jesus' past predictions of His resurrection, and that by an alleged encounter with angels, Luke 24:4b-8.
- Accordingly, they returned from the tomb, reporting these observations to the disciples, Lk. 24:9-10.
- In stark contrast to the initial expectations of Christ's disciples, and contrary to his CONTINUING doubts to the contrary, Peter nevertheless saw tangible evidence that Jesus had risen from the grave:
- The report of the women who visited the tomb seemed to be idle tales to the disciples who were convinced that these women were full of errant, wishful thinking in their grief, Luke 24:11.
- However, to check their report, Peter ran to Christ's tomb to view the evidence for himself, 24:12a.
- What happened then supplies hard, tangible evidence that Jesus had risen that goes beyond the wishful thinking of Peter: (1) Luke reported that Peter arrived at the tomb and stooped d own to look into its open doorway, Luke 24:12b. (2) What Peter saw in his stooping over were the grave clothes in which Jesus' body had been wrapped, and they were seen as "by themselves," v. 12b: (3) The word for the KJV's "by themselves " [same terms as in the NIV] is mona, meaning "alone" and in the context it means the grave clothes without the body, UBS Grk. N.T., p. 314; Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Engl. Lex., p. 529. (4) Now, according to John 19:40, Jesus was buried according to Jewish custom with linen and spices. Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense, p. 225-226 describes this custom as follows: the body was wound from the feet up to the neck in strips of linen while being coated with sticky myrrh. Then, a separate winding was made of the head down to the neck. (5) Thus, what Peter saw were the grave clothes for the body and for the head lying where they should be were a body still in them, only without the body! Christ's body had either gone through or had been removed from the grave clothes without disturbing their being wrapped up with the myrrh adhesive!
- Yet, Peter only wondered at what he saw while then viewing these things, not yet concluding Christ had risen, 23:12. Clearly this evidence of the resurrection went beyond his wishful thinking!
Application: There was untainted eyewitness evidence for Christ's bodily resurrection from the dead. Thus, our faith rests not on wishful thinking, but factual eyewitness reports of the resurrection.