20220417 The Lord is Risen
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. (Lk 24:30-35)
He is risen
He is the single most important individual in history, he is whom history is all about. It began with him, it will end with him and the heavens of heavens cannot contain him (1 Kg 8:27)
We live our lives far too often in neglect of him yet he is our life (Deut 30:20).
He is the beginning and the ending, the alpha and the omega of all things.
Nothing in this world is more important than him, if he were not then we would be not.
If Christ did not rise from the dead then no man will. Death would not be defeated, you and I would yet be in our sins and without hope in the world.
It’s not possible to give life any consideration apart from him because he is the beginning and the beginner of it all. He is the very author of our lives and without him life itself would have no meaning, no reason, no purpose.
Life would be an empty vacuum through which we travel without hope. And that is exactly how the world perceives itself today as it tries to live apart from him.
Jesus is everything. There is nothing in this world that would exist without him, for he is before all things and by him all things consist (Col 1:17).
Our very breath is held in his hands (Dan 5:23) and yet the world uses that very breath to curse him and blaspheme his name.
Nevertheless, The Lord is risen. The reality of those words does not change by perception, they do not change by preference, the reality of the Risen Christ remains the single most immovable fact of history.
There are implications in those words, those four words;
- Hope is found within those words.
- So too is purpose
- As well as love, mercy and grace.
- Eternity is found in those words
It might not seem like it, perhaps you look at those four words that were spoken by those two disciples and can’t see the implication, but I can tell you for absolute certainty that THEY KNEW its implication and it changed their lives and eternity.
Every single person who heard those words understood their implication and the lives of them all were transformed.
That is by far the greatest witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to us to this very day. There is no historical fact more attested to in all the world than the resurrection of Christ testified by the impact it made first on his disciples and then on all the world.
No argument that has been made historically against it has been able to stand, all arguments to the contrary have been answered and all have fallen.
In 1794 a volume published by the English Clergyman William Paley titled “A View Of the Evidences of Christianity” was a work so successful in answering the revived denials of the resurrection of Christ, that it became compulsory reading for any applicant to Cambridge University right up to the twentieth Century.
One of the greatest sets of arguments defending the historical reality of the Resurrection of Christ was the witnessed transformation of the disciples. In this alone all the arguments logically fell flat, and to this was added the testimony of both the historical fathers of Christianity and even pagan witnesses confirming the transformation and witness of those who preached the miracle of the resurrection of Christ within less than 50 years of his death and that miraculous resurrection.
The Roman Historical Tacitus, writing within 30 years of Christ, testifies to their cruel persecution by Emperor Nero as they were smeared with pitch and used as human torches to illuminate the night while he rode about Rome dressed in the costume of a charioteer.
The testimonies of the Roman authors Seutonius and Juvenal confirm that within thirty-one years after Jesus’ death, Christians were dying for their faith. From the writings of Pliny the Younger, Martial, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, Philo and Josephus, it is clear that the believers voluntarily submitted to torture and death rather than renounce their faith.
Christians were suffering for their faith just as Jesus had spoken of.
The early Christian writers, Clement, Hermas, Polycarp, and Ignatius mention the sufferings that the Christians were undergoing. They also bear witness that the Christian believers had adopted a new way of life.
William Lane Craig in his book titled “The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus”, writes;
The early letters of Barnabas and Clement refer to Jesus’ miracles and resurrection. Polycarp mentions the resurrection of Jesus, and Irenaeus writes that as a young man he had heard Polycarp tell of Jesus’ miracles. Ignatius mentions the resurrection. Quadratus reports that people were still living who had been healed by Jesus. Justin Martyr refers to the miracles of Jesus. No trace of a nonmiraculous story exists. That an original nonmiraculous story should be completely lost and another miraculous story replace it goes beyond any known example of corruption of even oral tradition, not to speak of written historical transmission. The gospels themselves indicate that the story they were telling was not their own invention, but that it was already widely known and told.
The Early Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea in his apologetic defence of the Resurection of Christ in answer to the claim that it was all a concocted conspiracy by the apostels, wrote in his Demonstratio Evangelica (314-318AD) a satirical speech which he imagines to have been delivered when the disciples first got together to compose the conspiracy;
“Let us band together,” the speaker proclaims, “to invent all the miracles and resurrection appearances which we never saw and let us carry the sham even to death! Why not die for nothing? Why dislike torture and whipping inflicted for no good reason? Let us go out to all nations and overthrow their institutions and denounce their gods! And even if we don’t convince anybody, at least we’ll have the satisfaction of drawing down on ourselves the punishment for our own deceit.”
The Lord is Risen
Four words containing within them the single greatest implication for the entire world. Yet four words so rarely given their due consideration today…even among professing Christians.
As I look to bring about just a few of the implications of these four words, I want to first bring about a reason as to why so few people spend time thinking about the implications of things today. Those four words, as I mentioned, and as I maintain, are the single most important words of history for all that they represent.
But today our minds have been slowly chewed away in a manner I will refer to as “Mind Bites”.
Small snippets of information, or amusements that spend only enough time in the mind to generated small doses of addictive dopamine in the brain. No time is spent thinking of what you are receiving, only enough time to get the fix.
Today we live in a world of “sound bites”, “sight bites”, “Text bites”. Small bites of information that come into our field of view and no sooner has it appeared that it is gone.
Think of your own use of the “Smart” Phone. Your favorite social media platform, or video platform, or news platform; you scroll your thumb through headlines and images and short video clips, and you do so in the hope that you will find something in the very next image that will satisfy a fixation within you, a short “hit” of adrenalin that brings some strange satisfaction. This short hit is what I refer to as a “mind bite”, why?
Because through mind bites you begin to lose the long term benefits of thoughtful considered implication of information, replaced by short, sharp dopamine hits.
Strangely, the more time you invest in thumbing through your phone, the more you are hoping that you will find something that will give a return of that time investment and you then remain fixated further on tiny bits of information, that seem to have less and less value to you by way of implication, because there is simply no context.
In other words, “Mind bites” is the reason why the “Law of diminishing returns” exist.
This morning, my desire is to give to you the opposite of a “Mind bite”, my desire is to so fill your mind and heart with an understanding of the implication of one BIBLICAL PHRASE containing only four words, that you might be eternally changed!
“The Lord is Risen”
It is these four words that have been the subject of the greatest news in the history of the World, and it is these four words that have also been the object of the greatest enmity.
There are no words in the languages of all the world, seen in the context of the Bible, that have been the cause of both the greatest joy and the greatest controversy.
These words change everything;
- They change the fundamental philosophy of life.
- Its meaning
- Its purpose
- Its predicament
- Its anticipation.
Having those words as the underpinning of reality alters EVERYTHING we would otherwise see before us.
In fact, right now, today, we are seeing before us the consequence of the very antithesis of these words.
The world at large has turned away from the truth of the Bible and that of Christ, and we witness before us a looming misery and darkness for many.
While we who have come to believe the Gospel that “The Lord is Risen”, the world do not even acknowledge the Lord exists.
And as such, to the world, the philosophy of life has changed at its very core;
- No meaning
- No purpose
- No solution
- No future
Nevertheless, the truth remains that “The Lord is Risen”.
Those four words in the Bible shine a light on the lie of a purposeless world, and does so by declaring the most breathtaking truth of history;
- Hope is found within those words.
- So too is purpose
- And so too judegment.
- Eternity is found in those words
- As well as love, mercy and grace.
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
For Christ to have risen he must first have died.
And when we talk about implication, this idea takes the cake and yet forms only part of the ingredient of “The Lord has Risen”.
Just the idea that the creator of heaven and earth, the one by whom all things consist, both lived among us and died brings to us one of the most profound considerations.
For Christ to have died means that he first walked among us, In other words God lived as a man, and this is just how it is presented;
“… God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Tim 3:16)
Turn to 1 John 1.
The apostle john wrote;
1 John 1:1–4
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us😉 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
The thought that God himself, as manifest in the Son, was born of a woman and dwelt among us is the most astounding consideration of all to me, and no doubt to many.
In ancient days people could not even handle the concept of God as one being, but in order to comprehend him at all, man diluted him into his attributes. from the earliest of history many turned God into many gods because any attempt at comprehending God as one with all that he must be, was, well incomprehensible;
So we had;
- The God of the air
- The God of water
- Lakes and
- The God of earth
- The God of animals and each of those broken down between each of the members of the animal kingdom.
- The God of healing
- Of money
- Of ships
- Of harvest
- Of love
- Of war etc
It was the reason why Moses had asked the Lord when he beheld the bush unconsumed by fire;
“…Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” (Exo 3:13)
Why did he do so? Moses grew up in Egypt, and the children of Israel had dwelt among the people of a pagan polytheist nation for four hundred years. Moses knew the nature of the gods of Egypt were identified by their names, so he aksed God how he should be known.
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
In John 8:58, Jesus testified to the people of the nation that he is the “I Am” of the burning bush. Their desire to stone him testified to their understanding of the claim he was making.
But this is the question; why would Christ have to have suffered and die?
Our text tells us in verse 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Lets go to one of the prophets that we might see why Christ “ought to have suffered”
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Christ was made an offering for you and for me.
We had sinned, not him.
God made man in his own image and man rebelled against God, man turned away from his creator with no way back without a substitute.
The Bible says we were all dead in trespasses and sin. Many still are. Many who are right now listening tho this message remain dead in sin. The very fact that Christ had to die tells us by implication that his death was vicarious, in other words, it was NOT for himself, but for others.
In other words, if Christ had to die for you and I, then you and I were dead in the most real sense of the word.
I am not making this up beloved, for this alone is the implication. Turn to;
2 Corinthians 5:14–15
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us [Motivates us]; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
What did one of the prophets say?
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
1 Corinthians 15:1–4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
In Law, and most particularly in the Building industry, there is what is known as “Deemed to Satisfy” provisions.
There are specific construction practices that are to be followed, but there are times in certain applications when it cannot be perfectly followed as it is designed.
But if there was a manner of following the law by substitution, it can be “Deemed to Satisfy” the law.
For example: Standard timber construction of homes have a certain strength provision that needs to withstand loadbearing, shear strength and integrity during a fire.
If the timber was substituted with steel, the metal would need to be constructed in a way that would be ‘Deemed to satisfy’ all those same elements in construction.
The Death of Jesus Christ for our sins was “Deemed to Satisfy” the justice of the law.
The Laws of God would not be followed as designed due to the fall, but by SUNBSTITUTION, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures ‘Deemed to satisfy the law’.
Jesus Said “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matt 5:17)
Romans 10:4 says “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”
Galatians 4:4-5 says “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons
Man had broken Gods eternal law, but Jesus Christ satisfied the provisions made under the law though his death on the cross. His Death was ‘Deemed to Satisfy’.
His Death is therefore The Greatest Witness of Mercy for all who believe.
There is within us all levels of guilt for sins we recall or hide. It’s impossible to name them all and I am reluctant to name even a few, for if I were even to name one in the hope of hitting some of you, I will no doubt makes others feel as if they are off the hook.
But in case your memories have been seared as with a hot iron and you are reluctant to see any sin in you, the Bible speaks of the purpose of the law given to Moses as that which reveals our sin.
Paul wrote “..for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20)
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any grave image
- Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honour thy father and thy mother
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery
- Thou shalt not steal
- Thou shalt not bear false witness
- Thou shalt not covet
Now I don’t know how you feel about any of those commandments, but let me make it clear to you that the breaking of them is sinful.
Let me also let you know that in the breaking of them your guilt is confirmed by the law of God and testifies as to where you stand before a holy God.
Let me also affirm to you that;
Ignoring the law is NOT A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION!
Searing your conscience is NOT A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION!
Taking drugs to deal with the guilt, drinking yourself to sleep, entertaining yourself to death, running away, hiding in your house not a single one of these ARE A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION.
Attempting to make up for your sin is NOT A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION.
Following an ethical religious system is NOT A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION.
Going to church is NOT A DEEMED TO SATSIFY PROVISION
listening to Christian music is NOT A DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISION.
Saying sorry for your sins, feeling guilty for your sins, promising you will sin no more, NONE OF THESE ARE DEEMED TO SATISFY. NONE!
The Bible makes it plain, that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]” (Heb 9:22).
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The book of Acts has an account not long after the resurrection of Christ that the transformation of the apostles of Christ began to preach with boldness, whereas before they all coward in a room on the first day for “fear of the Jews” (Jn 20:19).
In Acts 4 they give a testimony to the leaders of the Jews who had taken and imprisoned them and interrogated them concerning Christ and the healing of a man;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus and Jesus alone is deemed to satisfy the fulfillment of the law by his life, his death, his burial and the testimony as to the satisfaction of the law witnessed by nothing other than his resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ has its implication in its satisfaction of all that was required under the law.
Turn to Romans 3:21-26
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The Risen Lord testified to the world Gods mercy.
Christ accomplished for the world what the world simply cannot do.
Christ accomplished for you, what you simply can never do.
Will you believe it?
Friedrich Nietzsche. “The Gay Science”
The Parable of the Madman
Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: “I am looking for God! I am looking for God!”
As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.
“Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? …. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?
Some of you may have recognized The Parable of the Madman by Friedrich Nietzche,
It is contained in his book Titled The Gay Science, also called Joyful Wisdom.
He wrote several books before this one, Beyond Good and Evil and Thus Spake Zarathustra where he relates of a man becoming the Übermensch, (Superman). These notably inspired the God is Dead Hypothesis.
After this book he went on to write Antichrist and The Will To Power, from which it was understood Adolf Hitler found inspiration.
IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUANCES
It is not difficult to see this world struggling with its own sanity as it attempts to live without God.
Such notions inspired Richard Dawkins to write of a universe that has “at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”
We can see that ideas have consequences and those consequences play themselves out.
BUT HISTORY AND REALITY TELL ANOTHER ACCOUNT.
THE LORD IS RISEN.
This tells us that Christ has defeated Death, it tells us there is hope beyond the grave, it tells us that there is forgiveness with God who is ANYTHING BUT DEAD.
As a matter of interest;
Before that year was ended in 1887, after the publishing of The Parable of the Madman in his book The Gay Science in 1887, Friedrich Nietzsche himself went mad and in 1888 was pronounced “Hopelessly Insane”.
THE LORD IS RISEN
This reality has implications in our lives, it tells us that there is more to live for than ourselves. It tells us that there is a hope and joy to tell the world of. It tells us that we have an account that is true and sure.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Cor 15 as I conclude the message this morning.
This entire chapter speaks to the resurrection of Christ and the conclusion that our own resurrection is therefore certain. The first 50 verses give a total and clear explanation of the truth of it and my desire is to simply read to you the conclusion from verse 51.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Cor 15:51-58
 Craig, W.L. (2000) The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, p. 30.
 Craig, W.L. (2000) The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, p. 24.