Sermon Notes & Slides
They Did Not Find the Body
Easter 2019 + From the Series in Luke: THAT YOU MAY HAVE CERTAINTY
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: The conclusion to Luke’s Gospel can be described as a surprise ending, though it should not have been a surprise at all. All of the followers of Jesus are convinced that Jesus is dead but they discover, at various times and places, that Jesus has risen from the dead. Women are the first witnesses to the resurrection, encountering the empty tomb early on Sunday morning and remembering the words of Jesus as given by heavenly angels. Peter, the leader of the disciples, is informed about the resurrection by the women and he investigates further by going to the empty tomb. Two lesser-known disciples, reflecting on their diminished hopes as they walk with a stranger, later realize that Jesus himself has accompanied them and explained to them how his life, death, and resurrection is summed up in the Scriptures. Finally, Jesus appears to his followers, directs their attention to the Scriptures, and instructs them to bear witness to the gospel until He returns.
01. Despite the variety of backgrounds represented in this chapter, the unanimous conclusion is that Jesus has risen from the dead, never to die again. Their eyewitness testimony is corroborated in Scripture which foretells and forthtells the saving work of Jesus Christ.
02. Despite the previous assumptions of each person mentioned in this chapter, the reality of the resurrection came upon them unexpectedly and it changed their lives permanently. God may have the same moment in mind for you right now.
03. Despite the distance of nearly two thousand years since these events occurred, the weekly gathering of God’s family bears witness to the ongoing power of the gospel. Genuine Christian growth takes place in the context of a church community.
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. When Luke states “they did not find the body,” he refers to the “Lord Jesus” (verse 3). What does this title indicate regarding Luke’s own conclusion about the resurrection?
2. Why was it difficult for the women and the eleven to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead (verse 9-11)? What does their initial hesitancy to believe suggest about those who state that they would have believed in the resurrection if they had lived in the first century and seen Jesus alive again? See John 20:24-29 for further insight.
3. Note how this chapter focuses on Scripture as the means by which we should believe that Jesus rose from the dead (verses 6-7, 25-27, 32, 44-45). How does a steady practice of reading the Bible assist our faith in the face of doubts? Are you a regular reader of the Bible?
4. The reference to the “first day of the week” (verse 1) sets forth a precedent in the New Testament of Christians meeting together on Sunday instead of gathering on the Jewish Sabbath (see also Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:2). Do you view each Sunday as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus? How should this truth inform our corporate worship?
5. Jesus dismisses the notion that He has risen as a spirit being, encouraging the disciples to touch his body for further proof (verses 38-42). What conclusions can we draw from the bodily resurrection of Jesus that apply to the resurrection of the dead? See 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 for further insight.
For Further Reading: John Stott, The Cross of Christ (InterVarsity Press, 1986).