************ Sermon on Luke 24:7 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on April 23, 2000
Luke 24:7; Romans 4:25
"Christ Must be Raised"
I The Whole Message of Salvation
A I've told you before a delightful story about the Battle of Waterloo that illustrates so powerfully the message of Easter -- I have to emphasize it appears to be a story and not actual fact.
Topic: ChristThe same thing happened when Jesus was laid in the tomb on the first Good Friday afternoon. Hope had died even in the hearts of Jesus' most loyal friends. After the frightful crucifixion, the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding had crept in on the friends of Jesus. They had "read" only part of the divine message. "Christ defeated" was all that they knew. But then on the third day – Easter Sunday – the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding lifted, and the world received the complete message: "Christ defeated death!" Defeat was turned into victory; death was turned to life! "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!" (POINT TO BANNER).
Subtopic: Suffered and Died
It was June 18, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo. The French under the command of Napoleon were fighting the Allies (British, Dutch, and Germans) under the command of Wellington. The people of England depended on a system of semaphore signals to find out how the battle was going. One of these signal stations was on the tower of Winchester Cathedral.
Late in the day it flashed the signal: "W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N---D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D--." Just at that moment one of those sudden English fog clouds made it impossible to read the message. The news of defeat quickly spread throughout the city. People throughout the land were sad and gloomy when they heard the news that their country had lost the war.
Suddenly the fog lifted, and it was discovered there was more to the message. The message had four words, not two. The complete message was: "W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N---D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D---T-H-E--E-N-E-M-Y!" It took only a few minutes for the good news to spread. Sorrow was turned into joy, defeat was turned into victory!
B At least 3 different times Jesus had told His followers and disciples what would happen to Him in Jerusalem. For instance, somewhere in the transjordan region, before they came to Jericho,
(Lk 18:31-33) Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. (32) He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. (33) On the third day he will rise again." (cf Lk 9:22; 9:44-45; 11:30)These words are so plain and easy to understand. Yet, Christ's followers were deaf and blind to what He said. They didn't understand. It was beyond their wildest imaginings that the Lord could and would and must suffer and die. And the resurrection – well, if you don't understand the message about the cross, you certainly won't understand the message about the grave either. Is it little wonder that the events of Good Friday left the disciples and followers of Christ shell-shocked and numb with grief and disappointment?
Right after relating to us Christ's last prediction of His death and resurrection, Luke tells us that Christ's followers did not understand Him because they could not understand Him:
(Lk 18:34) The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. Did you catch that? The disciples could not understand what Christ was saying to them because it "was hidden from them." There was a divine "veiling" of what was said and done so that the disciples could not possibly understand; no wonder they were so blind and so deaf.
C So the women, numb with grief and filled with bitter disappointment, went to the tomb on Sunday morning. They found the stone rolled away. They entered the tomb. They looked around for the body of Jesus and could not find it. Scripture tells us "they were wondering about this." They were confused and perplexed and had no idea of what happened, of what was going on.
Two angels appeared to them and told them that Christ has risen. The angels reminded the women of Christ's predictions about the cross and the grave, the crucifixion and the resurrection. "Remember?" they asked. "Then they remembered his words." Then they understood what Jesus had said to them: that He must die and must be raised. Then they believed that Jesus truly is alive.
What happened? It is obvious, isn't it? The heavenly veil was lifted from their eyes and minds. It's like a wedding. During the entire ceremony the bride is under a veil. The groom can see only a faint outline of her face. But towards the end of the ceremony, when the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the veil is lifted and the groom can see the bride in all her radiant beauty. On Easter Sunday, the veil is lifted, and finally people can see and believe the message of Christ, the message that:
(Lk 24:7) The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.This reminds us that unless the Lord lifts the veil, that unless the Lord gives it to us to believe, we can not and will not accept the news that Jesus is alive, that He has risen as He said.
"Remember how he told you," said the angels. Then the women remembered. Then the women understood the full message of salvation. Then the women believed. Then their sorrow was changed into joy.
Topic: ResurrectionThe message of Easter always turns sorrow into joy, thorns into roses, death into life, defeat into victory. For the disciples and followers of Christ, Easter was a wonderful, beautiful surprise. Surprise, death! Surprise, sin! Surprise, mourning disciples! Surprise, modern man! Surprise! He's alive! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!" (POINT TO BANNER).
Subtopic: Promises Concerning
Title: Thorns Become Roses
There is an old legend of a priest who found a branch of a thorn tree twisted around so that it resembled a crown of thorns. Thinking it a symbol of the crucifixion, he placed it in on the altar in his chapel on Good Friday. Early on Easter morning he remembered what he had done. Feeling it was not appropriate for Easter Sunday, he hurried into the church to clear it away before the congregation came. But when he went into the church, he found the thorn branches blossoming with beautiful roses.
II A Full Savior
A In predicting the cross and the grave, His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus used the word "must":
(Lk 24:7) The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.Jesus says He must be crucified and He must be raised again. That word "must" expresses a divine imperative, something that must happen according to the plan of God.
Children and teenagers are well-acquainted with parental imperatives. If dad says, "You must start your homework at 4 p.m.," that does not mean that on the hour his son can go and play basket-ball or watch TV or turn on the Nintendo game. It's a must. There is no room for disagreement. Or, if mom says, "You must be home by 11 p.m.," this does not mean the teenager can come home at midnight or at 1. The "must" leaves room for no ifs, buts, and maybes.
The divine imperative says Jesus must be crucified and on the third day must be raised. This is something that simply has to happen. It's in the plan. It's predestined according to God's set purpose and foreknowledge. About the crucifixion and resurrection, God does not say "maybe, perhaps, possibly." God says must. It must happen. It must come to pass.
Our text from Romans 4:25 tells us why the cross and the grave is a divine must for Christ. Paul says,
(Rom 4:25) He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Let's take a closer look at this.
B Christ "was delivered over to death for our sins," says the Spirit-inspired apostle. That phrase "delivered over," calls to mind a number of events. Scripture uses it for the betrayal by Judas who delivered Jesus over to the chief priests and elders of the people (Lk 22:6,22); Jesus is delivered over to Pilate by the Sanhedrin (Mt 27:2); Pilate delivered Jesus over to the will of the people (Lk 23:25); and, Jesus was delivered over to the soldiers to be crucified (Mt 27:26).
Jesus "was delivered over to death." This is a divine must. Now why? Why did Jesus have to die upon the cross? Paul tells us in our text: "he was delivered over to death for our sins." Says Isaiah, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities" (Is 53:5). You see, our sin – both the sin we are born with as well as the sin we actually commit – must be paid for. God does not tolerate sin. He will not overlook it, or wink at it, or pretend it makes no difference. The Scriptures tell us over and over again that sin is an offense to and act of disobedience against God. So, we most desperately need the forgiveness of sin.
Now do you understand why Christ must be crucified, why He must be delivered over to death? It is a must so we who believe can have forgiveness of sin. And sin that is forgiven is sin that is no longer counted against us. Sin that is forgiven is sin that is regarded as over, gone, done, removed.
C The Son of Man must not only be delivered into the hands of sinful men to be crucified but He must also be raised again. Why must He also be raised again? How come the cross on Golgotha Hill was not enough? How come more was needed than the suffering, the darkness, the torments of hell, and the forsakenness? Paul tells us:
(Rom 4:25) He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
If we had Good Friday without Easter Sunday we would have but half a Savior and half a salvation. But Christ is all that we need and the salvation He gives us is a full salvation. You see, for us sinners to be acceptable in God's sight, it is not enough to have our sins forgiven or covered or removed. All that forgiveness does is remove our debt of sin but it still leaves us with no credit or standing with which we can come before God and stand and live in His presence. Something more is needed.
Think of yourself as a milk truck. Sin has filled your tank with diesel fuel or oven-cleaner – representing guilt. Forgiveness has emptied and cleaned the tank, it has poured the guilt away, but notice – your tank is empty. To be any good, to do any good, your tank must be filled with milk – representing holiness and purity (cf Eph 5:27; Col 1:22). But you have no righteousness of your own; there is no way that you can fill up the tank with what God wants and desires.
According to the will of God, Jesus was and must be raised to life for our justification. Christ was raised so that our empty tank can be filled with His righteousness and His life.
What is this righteousness of Jesus? In mind here is His undivided love for the Father, His perfect obedience to the will and Law of God, His seeking first of the Kingdom, His concern for and care of those who were in need.
Because of His resurrection from the dead all this righteousness of Jesus is mysteriously transferred to us so that our empty tank is now full with the righteousness, holiness, purity, and love of Christ. It is not our righteousness, it belongs to Christ, it is earned by Christ, but it is credited to our account.
(Lk 24:7) The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.
(Rom 4:25) He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Praise God, congregation, for the full message of salvation. Praise God that we know and believe this full message. Praise God that ours is not half a Savior nor half a salvation. Praise God that Christ has risen, He has risen indeed. "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!" (POINT TO BANNER).
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