Kingdom: Witness (Luke 24)

MOTIVATE

µ     If you were in a coma or you died and after several days you were able to return, what would be your first actions? Where would you go? Who would you talk to?

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  • Your answers would reveal something about the priorities and values of your life.
  • After Jesus is resurrected we see in the Scriptures several key principles & priorities for us.

 

 

EXAMINE               LUKE 24  Kingdom: Witnesses (“Father, Fill Them”)

Jesus’ resurrection gives us an eternal hope (24:1-12)

After Jesus is betrayed, beaten and bruised and then buried in haste after His death, some of His disciples came to reflect and respect Jesus’ body with a proper burial. However, upon arrival they saw something that would change their life forever. The tomb stone was rolled away and angels appeared. The disciples were frightened but the angels were unflinching, saying “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen.” The angels further reminded them that Jesus promised His own death and resurrection and to have hope. These female disciples told the news to the other apostles but they did not believe it.

 

What is the significance for us today?

–          Jesus was resurrected on the first day of week (Sunday), which becomes a unique day of celebrating the resurrection life and hope. When believers gather in worship it is for this reason. Believers gather for gospel celebration and then scatter for gospel communication.

  • This is who we are; we gather for the purpose of scattering.
    • Vision to Gather:
      • Entering Sundays eager to worthip, sing, pray and encounter God
      • Entering Sundays eager for the Word of God
    • Vision to Scatter 2013: (Right now we are out of balance…)
      • 1st Month Wednesdays SPBC Cares;
      • Increased (monthly?) outreach opportunities;
      • International Missions: Nicaragua, Honduras?;
      • Invest & Invite

–          The stone was rolled way. Jesus wanted His resurrection to be known. The stone was not so Jesus could get out but that people could go in to see it was empty. Therefore, Jesus is alive! He is the only leader of a religious movement who died and resurrected. Every other religion may have some form of good morals or lofty ideas provided by some sort of prophet-teacher but only Christianity has shown its truth and explanatory power over man’s greatest problem of death; and that being the Resurrection.

–          There were female eyewitnesses. The fact that Luke includes this detail proves his investigative truthfulness (Luke 1:1-4) because a woman’s testimony was not considered credible. Luke is not only showing his trustworthiness as a Gospel writer but also how Christ and the message of Christianity gives every person a new and credible identity, regardless of gender, race, age or social status. In fact, it is interesting that the women remembered Jesus’ prophesied words (24:8) and believed but the men doubted the evidence as an idle tale.

  • [You see, women always remember so be careful what you say men! 🙂]

–          Jesus promised He would be resurrected and He followed through with it. This should remind us that all of God’s promises are true and that He is faithful. In fact specifically, He has promised one day to come again and take believers to be with Him forever (John 14:3). Jesus is trustworthy and is worthy of being the foundation of your life.

–          Jesus’ resurrection assures our resurrection. As believers, we are united to Him and He to us. Therefore, we can live with the very same confidence that Jesus had while He walked on earth.

Romans 6:5 “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

1Corinthians 15:19-20, 22 “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”


Jesus’ resurrection gives us biblical insight (24:13-32; 44-46).
Luke takes us on a journey after Jesus’ resurrection. Two villagers are talking about all the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion and death and they meet the resurrected Jesus, but they did not recognize Him. The conversation is almost humorous as they essentially tell the entire story of Jesus’ life to Jesus, without Him revealing His identity.

Jesus does teach these villagers and the disciples how the gospel events were prophesied in the Scriptures, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets… and in the Psalms (vv.25-27, 44-45). Wouldn’t you have wanted to be in that Bible Study? “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32) Essentially, the entire OT was prepatory and anticipatory of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. There are shadows in the OT pointing to greater lights and realities [Read book of Hebrews, ex: 9:18-28, 10:1-12] of the NT; to understand the NT you must often go back to the OT and vice versa, to have a fuller appreciation of all God has done for us in Christ.

 Adapted from song “He Is” (Aaron Jeoffrey)

In Genesis, Jesus is the breath of life and the promised blessing.

In Exodus, Jesus is the Passover Lamb to protect us from death.

In Leviticus, Jesus is our High Priest providing a full & final sacrifice.

In Numbers, Jesus is the fire leading us through the night.

In Deuteronomy, Jesus is the voice of command through Moses.

In Joshua, Jesus is our leader into the new Promised Land.

In Judges, Jesus is our law giver.

In Ruth, Jesus is our kinsmen-redeemer.

In 1&2 Samuel, Jesus is our trusted prophet.

In Kings & Chronicles, Jesus is our perfect and good King.

In Ezra, Jesus is the true and faithful scribe.

In Nehemiah, Jesus is the rebuilder of broken walls and lives.

In Esther, Jesus is our courage.

In Job, Jesus is our faithful friend.

In Psalms, Jesus is our song.

In Proverbs, Jesus is the cry of wisdom.

In Ecclesiastes, Jesus is the summation of every season of life.

In Song of Solomon, Jesus is the love of our life.

In Isaiah, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

In Jeremiah, Jesus is the weeping prophet.

In Lamentations, Jesus is the cry for Israel.

In Ezekiel, Jesus is the watchman warning of sin.

In Daniel, Jesus is our friend in the fire and in the lions den.

In Hosea, Jesus is our forever faithful.

In Joel, Jesus is the pourer of God’s Spirit.

In Amos, Jesus replants our vineyards.

In Obadiah, Jesus is the only Savior.

In Jonah, Jesus is the unfailing missionary.

In Micah, Jesus is our pardon for iniquity.

In Nahum, Jesus is our avenger.

In Habakkuk & Zephaniah, Jesus pleads for our revival.

In Haggai, Jesus restores our lost heritage.

In Zechariah, Jesus is Him whom they have pierced.

In Malachi, Jesus is the sun of righteousness with healing in His wings.

 

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Jesus is the Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us).

In Acts, Jesus is the fire and Spirit of the Church.

In Romans, Jesus is the grace of God.

In Corinthians, Jesus is love.

In Galatians, Jesus is the freedom from the curse of sin.

In Ephesians, Jesus is our armor in battle against spiritual forces.

In Philippians, Jesus is our humble servant.

In Colossians, Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

In Thessalonians, Jesus is our coming king.

In Timothy & Titus, Jesus is our faithful pastor.

In Philemon, Jesus is our mediator from slavery.

In Hebrews, Jesus is the High Priest of a better covenant.

In James, Jesus is our faith and our work.

In Peter, Jesus is our Chief Shepherd.

In John’s Epistles, Jesus is our advocate before the Father.

In Jude, Jesus keeps us from stumbling

In Revelation, Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  

And we His people say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”.

 

 

ð     Read the Scriptures humbly: God’s commands can never be met by us but are already met in Jesus. So this leads us to growing in Spirit-powered, gospel-driven, faith-fueled effort[1]. Our actions and works are a result of gratitude for grace rather than guilt for depravity.

ð     Read the Scriptures hungry: God’s word is food for the soul that you cannot live and grow without.

  • Ps 19:10 “[Your word is] sweeter also than honey and drippings from the honeycomb”
  • Ps 119:103, 131 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth… I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.”
  • Mat 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Jesus’ resurrection gives us a dangerous mission (24:33-53)
As news traveled that Jesus was alive, the disciples gather together in marvel and mystery of what would happen next. Even when Jesus appears to them they are “startled and frightened”. However, Jesus gives them assurance speaking peace and answering their doubts. He shows his hands and feet that were pierced as a willing substitutionary sacrifice for their sin. He invites them to touch and see the physical reality of His resurrected body. To further ease their emotional anxiety, he fellowshipped with them over a meal of broiled fish. Then he taught them the Scriptures and told them they were witnesses of the Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. His promised Spirit would be sent to empower their new purpose. They worshiped Jesus with great joy.

The disciples emboldened by Jesus’ presence, both in His resurrection appearances and through the filling of His Spirit. Yet, they would also have a dangerous mission. Their mission was clear – be a witness, tell others what they saw, heard, touched (1John 1:1-2) in the Person of Jesus Christ. They would face the same persecution and peril that Jesus faced; every apostle except one would die a martyr’s death.

But suffering and dying a martyr’s death was not the dangerous element of the mission. The dangerous element of the mission would have been keeping silent. It would be risky to sit back and soak in all the benefits of the gospel but not be sent out as Jesus commanded.

vision

APPLY/THINK

ð     Jesus’ resurrection means everything.

Do you understand why? Think about it – can you imagine seeing a man who had the power over nature to still storms, calm waves, strength to endure suffering of being crucified and only to rise and face His accusers & murderers 3 days later? And then seeing that man, looking in His eyes only to walk away saying, “Eh, that’s nice but I don’t feel like being a witness because it makes me uncomfortable.” Seriously!?! Do you understand that you will look Jesus in His eyes, blazing with fire, to give an account? Not being a witness is more dangerous than being a witness who experiences human difficulty or death.

Remember Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5)

Jesus did not die for our safety but to send us out in daring and dangerous missions. God’s will for the believer is to hold nothing back, going all in, risking it all for the cause of Christ and the mission of God’s kingdom.

Missionary C.T. Studd said, “Some want to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”

 

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