Perplexed, Predicted, and Personal (Luke 24:1-12)
Topic: Easter Passage: Luke 24:1–24:12
Perplexed, Predicted, and Personal
April 5th, 2015
I. The Resurrection is Like...
Like an asteroid that falls from the sky, the resurrection of Jesus should make an impact in our lives. Like a massive earthquake that moves the ground under our feet, the resurrection of Jesus should shake things up in terms of how we see the world. And like a loving parent holding their child tightly in a time of crisis, the resurrection of Jesus should reassure us that everything is going to be okay.
In light of those truths, this morning I want you to think about three words connected to the account of Jesus' resurrection that God has given us in the Gospel of Luke. The three words are right there in the title of this message: perplexed, predicted, and personal.
II. The Passage: “He is Not Here” (24:1-12)
If you have a Bible, let's look together at (or just listen to) that account in Luke 24:1-12. As I read, see if you can make the connections between those words and this passage. We read:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they [the women mentioned in 23:55 and coming up in verse 10] went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,  that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”  And they remembered his words,  and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,  but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.  But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
So I'm guessing you saw some of those connections. Let's take them one by one and see what God has for us here.
First, did you see the word PERPLEXED? It's right there in verse 4. The woman were perplexed because they couldn't figure out what was going on. We are told at the end of chapter 23 that the women had seen Jesus laid to rest on Friday evening. So when the arrived on Sunday morning, they couldn't figure out what was happening.
But the angels make it clear to them that they should have known. Even though it was still dark outside (according to John 20:1), they shouldn't have been in the dark. Why? Because, as verses 6 and 7 make clear, Jesus already told them what was going to happen.
I think if we're honest, we can relate to these ladies. God's word tells us that Christ is risen, but we often go through our day, facing challenges on the outside and the inside, but facing them perplexed...even when we do not need to be. Like these women, our confusion comes from the fact we have forgotten God's word; or we have been distracted from it by the things of this world. Brothers and sisters, remember God's word! Remember the answers, the promises, the power, the hope that is ours because Christ is risen!
What's our second word? Right, PREDICTED. While those who first heard Jesus did not think it was wonderful news, we should be encouraged by the stunning fact that Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened. But let's be clear, this was not the 'lucky guess' kind of prediction some might envision. This was the 'God's perfect plan' kind of prediction that we find throughout the Bible.
On a beautiful morning like this, we should be deeply encouraged that if Christ knew and fulfilled God's perfect plan, then He is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the kind of Redeemer we can trust to bring us through as well. On top of that, what a reminder of the fact that God truly is in control. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the loudest declarations in all of history that God is still on His throne. He has not given up on us. His rescue mission cannot fail!
Third, I think we see in verses 10-12 a connection to the final word, PERSONAL. Did Peter have reason to doubt these women. No. There is no indication these women were prone to concoct “idle tales”, especially to do so on such a depressing weekend. And like the women, Peter should not have been perplexed in light of what Jesus predicted. So he should have believed and rejoiced at the women's report.
But on the other hand, Peter remains a reminder to us that each of us has a personal appointment with the empty tomb. Notice that Peter did not simply laugh off these ladies and their tall tale. Even though part of him doubted, another part compelled his feet to run. He had to see for himself what exactly had happened. This morning, God wants to remind you to run and keep running to the tomb; to stoop and keep stooping; to look and keep looking in; to see that Jesus is not there. He is risen. Your Redeemer lives, and He stands now for you at the right hand of God.
III. What We Know
Here's what we know: life in a fallen world has a way of trying to distract us from the asteroid's impact, from the earth quaking, from the Father's reassuring words. Our Enemy wants to convince us those things are not happening right now. But we also know Jesus WAS raisd and IS still alive. We have no reason to be perplexed, because in light of what He predicted and fulfilled, we can personally know the risen Jesus and the power of His victory. Because of what Christ did, we can walk in new life now, and right on through death's door. Happy Easter! Christ is risen!
More in Easter Messages
March 27, 2016A Heart-to-Heart with the Risen Jesus (John 21:15-19)
April 5, 2015Easter and the End of the World (Revelation 1:17, 18)
April 20, 2014ReLife: Where It Comes From (Romans 6:1-7)