Luke 24
On the Third Day

On the Third Day

Why the resurrection of Jesus is so important:

1 Corinthians 15:4 (NLT), He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day… 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.

• No resurrection. No faith. • There are 300 verses in the NT about the resurrection event, meaning, and application.

Can we have any certainty Jesus rose from the dead and it’s meaning?

Luke 1:3 (NLT), Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

• Many people today reject any notion of certainty, but don’t believe them. • The one who says, “You can’t be certain of anything,” is certain they are right! • The one who says, “There is no truth,” thinks that is the truth! • Certainty is a natural human longing. Uncertainty is a natural human worry.

There are five things we can be certain of because of the resurrection of Jesus:

  1. The Certainty of the Empty Tomb

Luke 24:1 (NLT), But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 3 So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. 5 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

• The Roman soldiers knew the tomb was empty and told the Jewish leaders. • Matthew 28:11 (NLT) ... the elders… decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ • It is a significant fact, that the Jewish leaders knew the tomb was empty and invented a conspiracy theory to explain it. • Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist from the 2nd century, wrote that the Jews were still sending people from city to city spreading the rumor that the disciple’s stole the body.

  1. The Certainty of Christ’s Appearances

Jesus appears five times on Resurrection Day: • To Mary Magdalene (John 20) • To the other Mary, Salome, Joanna, others (Mt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24) • To Simon Peter (Luke 24; I Cor. 15) • To Cleopas and companion on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) • To the disciples without Thomas (Luke 24; John 20) • NOTE: Jesus appeared 12 times over 40 days.

  1. The Certainty of the Bodily Resurrection

Luke 24:36 (NLT), And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! 38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

• Jesus makes it clear to them that He was NOT a ghost, or a disembodied spirit. • Jesus made certain that the disciples understood He was raised physically. • Resurrection means – the body Jesus died in on the cross was the body he was raised in. • The resurrected “flesh and bone” body of Jesus was amazing. It was miraculous. It was strong physically and spiritually. It was glorious and immortal – never to die again. • Believers can be certain, that we will also be raised in a strong, glorious, and immortal body when He comes again.

  1. The Certainty of the Word of God.

Luke 24:44 (NLT), Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.”

• Jesus, in His resurrected body, could have done some cool tricks, but instead, He wowed the disciples with a Bible Study – until their hearts burned within them.
• The Resurrection event in itself, was not enough to sustain the early church. The interpretation of the event was key. Because they would not always have Jesus, but they would have His Word and His Spirit with them.
• We can be certain that the Word of God, from Moses, to the Prophets, to the Psalms, are all about Jesus. • We can be certain, that the Word of God is true, because the Son of God rose from the dead to tell us so. • There is a pattern in the OT, of God doing big things on the third day.

  1. The Certainty of Forgiveness of Sin

Luke 24:47 (NLT), It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: “There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.” 48 You are witnesses of all these things.

• The miracle of the death/resurrection of Jesus gives us certainty of the message of Jesus. • This message for everyone, everywhere, and for all times. • The message: There is forgiveness for all who repent. • We can be certain today, that through Christ, we can have forgiveness and a new life, eternal life.

PRAY: Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that you are God and King, and that you have the right to rule over my life. Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge my sinful, selfish, and stubborn ways fall far short of a life which honors you and pleases you. Jesus, I thank you that you came to die on the cross as a sacrifice for my sin, and that you rose again to provide me the gift of eternal life. Please cleanse me from my sin as I turn to you, now, as my Lord and my God.

The Benediction

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NLT), But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.