Hope Beyond the Grave – Luke 24 (24/24)

Read Luke Chapter 24

On Luke 24…

Death hangs over us all whether we like it or not: It’s the one thing we cannot escape or have any control over. The question of what happens when we die has plagued humans, since humans existed. We have come up with many ideas about this over the millennia but almost all of them have had a universalist aspect to them; ie we all make it in the end to something better. There is a popular view that everything is God, therefore when we die we join some sort of cosmic oneness, as Luke Skywalker says, “We are never really gone”. Another thing we tell ourselves and our children is that we become angels or stars and that they are looking down on us. I guess, somehow we must have a way of making sense of it all and to cope with the thought of death. Jesus death was hanging over the disciples as He lay in the tomb, all their illusions shattered at the Cross. But it wasn’t over yet.

Luke 24:1 “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

The Resurrection is the most important event in human history bar none. If the resurrection of Jesus was false, as some people claim (Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19), then Christianity is false and we are without hope. Why would all the martyred disciples have been willing to die for a lie? In academic circles, there is no real dispute over this, the proofs are overwhelming in favour and those who disagree, disagree on the grounds that miracles can’t logically happen (Debate). If God is God, then anything is possible and Jesus is alive and this gives us hope in life and beyond the grave.

Luke 24:5 “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Imagine how all this must have felt to the disciples – the hope which must have arisen in them after their initial disbelief. After appearing to Mary (John 20:11-18) and possibly Peter (24:34), Jesus joined the two heartbroken disciples that were heading back to Emmaus. He explained everything to them and as they walked together, beginning with Moses (part of the Old Testament Scriptures) and their hearts burned within them as He talked (Before His ascension, Jesus also opened the minds of the other disciples to understand Scripture too (24:45)). Jesus appears to the remaining disciples (24:36-49; John 20:19-23): re-appears to doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29); serves fish to them (John 21:1-14), talks to Peter (John 21:15-23); appears within a crowd of 500 gathered people, to James and to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). How encouraged they must have been.

Luke 24:45 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”

All that is left of Jesus’ earthly mission is to commission His ‘fishers of men’ to be witnesses (to take the Gospel to the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)) and then ascend to heaven to sit at the Fathers right hand. What follows, after waiting for power from heaven at the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church at Pentecost, is the most incredible adventure for the followers of Jesus Christ as recorded, again by Luke in the book of Acts (Acts 1:1-5). The same adventure is true for any who have found their hope and their salvation in Him.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

Video Message: Proof of Resurrection

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