GOOD NEWS FROM A GRAVEYARD
*Luke 24:1-9 *
*INTRODUCTION:* We all love good news!
It might be that someone we love is coming to visit.
It might be that something we thought was forever lost is now found.
It might be that a prayer has been answered for the sick.
It might be that a loved one has come to know Jesus Christ.
We all love good news.
The Proverb says, /"Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones."
/We are also told that, /"Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land."
*Proverbs 25:25*/.The disciples needed their tear dimmed eyes brightened.
They needed cold water for their weary souls.
We know the account.
With Him seemed to perish the disciples’ hopes, dreams, plans, and confidence.
They went into hiding for fear of the Jews.
But then, having gone to the tomb, the women were greeted with the headline of the centuries/: "He is not here, but He has risen."
Now, we're talking Good News!
Good News from a graveyard!
But what story goes with the headline?
What is the essence of this Good News?
I. THE GOOD NEWS IS: DEATH HAS MET ITS MATCH!
!! A. Jesus was dead.
The disciples understood that.
!!! 2. Experts checked that.
!!! 3. The Roman executioners knew when a body was lifeless.
!!! 4. He was placed in a tomb, the tomb was sealed and a guard set.
!!! 5. It seemed that death had stolen the victory!
!! B. But Satan's schemes and man's devices could not hold Him in the grave.
The devil could not defeat Him.
!!! 2. Death could not hold Him.
!!! 3. The Tomb could not contain Him.
!!! 4. Death met its match!
!! C. Listen to the commentary on this great truth:
!!! 1. /"And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."
*Acts 2:24* /
!!! 2. /"And as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: 'I WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY and SURE blessings OF DAVID."
!! D. Let me illustrate: I never think about the resurrection without likening it to a wrestling match between a greatly superior and an unquestionably inferior strength.
!!! 1. Example of letting someone smaller win at wresteling for a while
!!! 2. Just so, Jesus willingly acquiesced to His enemies, allowing them to do their utmost - for a period of 3 days and nights!
Then shrugging death off like a dirty shirt, He arose.
!! E. The good news from the graveyard is that death has been denied its deadliness!
THE GOOD NEWS IS: FEAR HAS BEEN VANQUISHED!
!! A. When Jesus died, the disciples became a frightened, disoriented lot.
!!! 1. /"And the angel answered and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.
He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
Come, see the place where He was lying.'"
!!! 2. /"And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission.
He came therefore, and took away His body."
!!! 3. /"When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'" *John 20:19*.
!! B. The disciples were filled with fear!
But Jesus stood in their midst.
He knew where they were hiding out and sought them.
!!! 2. He knew what they needed to hear and spoke peace.
!! C. What do you fear?
Oh, you're one of the macho, fearless ones who could grab a bone out of a pit bull's mouth?
Well, just between you and yourself, what do you fear?
Is it death?
He's conquered it/.
"Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."
!!! 2. Is it the unknown?
The "What-if's?" God has the answer: /"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
!!! 3. Is it standing before Almighty God in judgment?
He has taken our judgment and offers us justification: /"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
A small child went with his father to see Grandma, who lived about three miles from their home.
They stayed longer than they planned and night overtook them.
Between home and grandmother's was a swamp and that night the frogs croaking and crickets chirping, together with the darkness and shadows of the trees, frightened the boy.
He asked his father "Will something catch us?" Father assured him that there was no danger.
Soon the boy asked the same question again and received the same answer.
But his father saw he was frightened and he took him by the hand and said: "1 will not allow anything to harm you."
And all his fears passed away and he was ready to face the world; for his father had him by the hand.
How like our Lord Jesus who takes us by the hand when we are fearful.
We can say with David, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."
The poet also says: "There are days so dark that I seek in vain For the face of my Friend Divine.
Tho' the darkness hide, He is there to guide By the touch of His hand on mine."
!! D. The good news from the graveyard is: "Fear not!
Jesus Who lives has stripped fear of its fearfulness!"
THE GOOD NEWS IS: HOPE HAS BEEN REBORN!
!! A. Despair, gloom, misery were the order of the day - until they realized that Jesus was alive and then hope blossomed eternal!
!! B. The Resurrection gives hope because:
It answers the timeless question posed by Job/, "If a man dies, will he live again?"
Job answered his own query/, "And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and not another."
!!! 2. It calms those who, standing by the grave of a loved one, question, "Will we meet again?"