The Resurrection of the King

Hos 6:1-3; Luke 24:1-12

SS Lesson for 04/20/2014


Devotional Scripture:  1 Cor 15:1-8


Overview and Approach to Lesson

The lesson teaches about The Resurrection of the King. The study's aim is to examine the reasons for believing in Christ's resurrection and the significance of such belief. The study's application is to have hope while we await our own resurrections because we know Jesus lives.


Key Verse: Luke 24:6-7

6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "


Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

The first people to learn of the resurrection of Jesus were the women who had been faithful in following Him. They found out about the Resurrection first because of their devotion to Him. For after His death they brought more spices for His burial on the first day of the week (cf. 23:55-56). They did not find the body they were looking for. Instead they saw two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning, an obvious reference to angelic beings. These men reminded them of the words Jesus had spoken about His crucifixion and resurrection (9:31; 18:31-34). The women went to report to the apostles and others what they had seen (24:9). The apostles did not believe the report the women brought them because their words seemed... like nonsense. This was because they had seen Jesus’ death and had seen His body placed in the grave. But Peter ran to the tomb and found what the women had described. Still he did not understand what had happened.


Approach to the Major Outlines in Lesson

The major outline of the lesson came from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary and from the points revealed by the study of the Scriptural text.             





Hos 6:2

After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.

Revived on the Third Day

Luke 24:6

He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

Arisen on the Third Day

Luke 24:12

But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened

Marvel of the Third Day


Lesson Introduction and Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

What happens after we die? There are three primary answers that are proposed for this question, and all three were taught by various groups in Jesus' day. First, some thought that death was the absolute end—when all aspects of our being ceased to exist. This was the view of the Sadducees, the party of the high priest (see Acts 22:30-23:9). This view, sometimes called nihilism ("nothingness"), is shared by atheists and secularists today. Second, some thought that the dead person's soul was recycled into a new body to begin a new life after death. This view was taught by famous Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato; the view may have had some adherents among the first-century Jews. This view is widely known today as reincarnation; it is a feature of Eastern religions such as Hinduism. The third option is resurrection. This was the view of the Pharisees (Acts 23:8) and most of the Jewish people in Jesus' day. This view sees an existence beyond death in which one's soul will be brought back to life with a new, immortal body (see 1 Corinthians 15:52). In Christian thought, resurrection is followed by a judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There are other viewpoints, of course, but those seem to be "the big three." As we reflect on these, we should keep in mind that (1) the resurrection of Jesus was a victory over death, for he will never die again (Romans 6:9), and (2) Jesus' resurrection opens the door to eternal life for all (Philippians 3:21). These are not abstract ideas of philosophy, but truths that are based on historical events in the life of Jesus and foreseen by Old Testament prophets like Hosea.


The prophet Hosea had a ministry of several decades in the latter half of the eighth century BC. His career overlapped about the first third of the prophet Isaiah's. Hosea's ministry, however, was to the kings and people of the northern kingdom of Israel, whereas Isaiah spoke to the people of the southern kingdom of Judah. The name Hosea means "salvation" and is the same as the original name of Joshua, which was Hoshea (Numbers 13:16). Hosea's book begins with the account of his marriage to a prostitute and the birth of children (chapters 1-3). The marriage itself illustrates the Lord's relationship with Israel (the faithful husband with the unfaithful wife). The rest of the book (chapters 4-14) sets forth various oracles that point out the sins of the people and call them to repentance. Today's lesson, from chapter 6, is part of one of those calls to repentance. The New Testament portion of our lesson takes us to part of Luke's account of Jesus' resurrection. The common thread between our Old and New Testament texts is that they both deal with the third day.


Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Revived on the Third Day (Hosea 6:1-3)


1 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.

3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.


Revived to return to God (1)

Return by examining our ways (Lam 3:40)

40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

Don't wait until we are in distress to return to the Lord (Deut 4:30)

30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him.

Return by focusing on love, justice and waiting on God (Hos 12:6)

6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Return by repenting (Acts 26:20)

20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

Return so we can find grace and mercy (Heb 4:16)

16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Revived to live for God (2)

Live for God by praying for authorities so we may live godly lives (1 Tim 2:1-3)

2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

Live for God by obedience to the truth that leads to godliness (Titus 1:1-2)

1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Live for God by being godly through the power of the grace of God (Titus 2:11-13)

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Live for God by living holy lives (2 Peter 3:11)

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

Live for God by exercising and training in godliness (1 Tim 4:8)

8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.


Revived to know God (3)

Know God through His Word showing that Jesus died and rose from the dead (Acts 17:2-3)

2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said.

God can be found throughout all of Scripture (Luke 24:25-27)

25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"  27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Know God through diligently studying His Word (John 5:39)

39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,

Know God through obeying His Word (1 John 2:3)

3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

Know God through wisdom (Eph 1:17-18)

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Arisen on the Third Day (Luke 24:1-8)


1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?

6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

7 saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "

8 And they remembered His words.


Seeking to see the arisen Jesus (1-3)

Seeking to see Jesus with our own eyes (Job 19:27)

27 I myself will see him with my own eyes- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Seeking to see His face and have His Name on our forehead (Rev 22:4)

4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Seeking to love Him without being able to see Him (1 Peter 1:8)

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Seeking to see Jesus and therefore seeing the Father (John 14:9)

9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

Seeking to see Jesus who is the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3)

3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


Angels help us in our seeking of the arisen Jesus (4)

Angels help by gathering God's people from everywhere (Matt 24:31)

31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Angels help by protecting those who are representing Him (Dan 6:22)

22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king."

Angels help because God speaks through them (Heb 2:2-3)

2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.

Angels help because they are stronger and more powerful (2 Peter 2:11)

11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.

Angels help because they minister to Jesus (Heb 1:6-7)

6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."  7 In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire."

Angels help because they are to be part of Jesus' powerful army (2 Thess 1:6-7)

6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.


Seeking the arisen Jesus should not include fear (5)

No fear because through the Holy Spirit we have been freed from slavery of fear (Rom 8:15)

15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

No fear because God is our helper (Heb 13:6)

6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

No fear because God is our refuge and strength (Ps 46:1-3)

46 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

No fear because our trust is in God (Heb 2:13-16)

13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."  14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.


Jesus has risen (6)

Jesus has risen because He appeared to the eleven disciples  (Mark 16:14)

14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Jesus has risen because He appeared to Simon  (Luke 24:34)

34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."

Jesus has risen because it was prophesied  (Acts 2:29-32)

29 "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

Jesus has risen because He is the living hope (1 Peter 1:3)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Jesus has risen through the power of God  (2 Cor 13:4)

4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you.


Jesus was crucified (7)

Jesus was crucified at the third hour (Mark 15:25)

25 It was the third hour when they crucified him.

We can be assured that Jesus was crucified (Acts 2:36)

36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

Jesus was crucified because His own countrymen wanted Him crucified (1 Thess 2:14-15)

You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men

Because the chief priests and rulers handed Jesus over to be sentenced to death (Luke 24:20)

20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;

Because the Roman soldiers verified it (John 19:31-35)

32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.


We will see Jesus again (7-8)

We will see Jesus again because He will come back the way He left (Acts 1:11)

11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

We will see Jesus again in Heaven (Mark 14:25)

25 "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." 

We will see Jesus again and rejoice (John 16:22)

22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

We will see Jesus again coming down from Heaven (1 Thess 4:16-17)

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

We will see Jesus again because all will see Him (Rev 1:7)

7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.


Marvel of the Third Day (Luke 24:9-12)


9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.

11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.

12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.


A marvel that should motive us to tell others about Jesus' resurrection (9-10)

Witnessing to others started with the scattering of the disciples  (Acts 11:19-21)

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Witness to others because Jesus commanded it (Matt 28:18-20)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Witness to others through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 

Witness to others through teaching (2 Tim 2:2)

2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.


A marvel that sometimes is doubted (11)

Doubt because of a lack of faith (Matt 14:31)

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

Doubt because of a lack of understanding (John 10:24)

24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."

Doubt causes one to be unstable (James 1:6-8)

6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Doubt causes one to be troubled in his heart (Luke 24:38)

38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?


A marvel that causes joy (12)

Joy because of sharing in the fellowship of Jesus (Phil 3:9-11)

10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Joy because of salvation through the resurrection of Jesus (1 Peter 3:20-21)

God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Joy because of the revealing of Jesus' glory (1 Peter 4:13)

13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Joy because of the hope provided through Jesus' resurrection  (Rom 15:13)

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Joy because Jesus joyfully died and rose for us (Heb 12:2)

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Joy because Jesus is praised and honored for His resurrection (1 Peter 1:6-7)

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Concluding Thoughts From Steven Cole

From the series: Luke


In this message, our text provides the necessary foundation that will dissipate our doubts and enable us to stand firm in our faith. Luke’s account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us that …We must trust in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of the Christian faith. The Christian faith is unique to all of the world’s major religions in that it is founded on the living person of Jesus Christ, who was raised bodily from the dead. It is not primarily a system of moral or doctrinal beliefs, although it has definite moral standards and doctrinal truths. Christianity is founded on the living Lord Jesus Christ, crucified for our sins, risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, and returning soon in power and glory. If Jesus Christ is not risen from the dead, then He Himself was a liar, since He predicted His own death and resurrection on numerous occasions. Why believe in and follow a liar? If Christ is not risen from the dead, then His death on the cross did not secure the forgiveness of our sins. The resurrection was God’s seal of approval on the sacrifice that Christ offered for His people, so that Paul could rightly say, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). The resurrection declared Jesus to be “the Son of God with power” (Rom. 1:4). It substantiated that Jesus is the son of David, the Messiah, of whom David prophesied when he wrote, “You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay” (Acts 2:27; cf. Ps. 16:10). The resurrection guarantees us that Jesus conquered sin, death, and hell, and that He will make good on His promise to come again and take us to be with Him eternally in heaven. A dead man could not do that, but the risen Savior can! A dead Savior is no Savior at all. So everything in Christianity rests on the historical fact that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Darrell Bock writes, “Without resurrection, Christianity is just another human approach to reach God; it is emptied of transforming power and hope; it is a mere shell, not worth the energy one devotes to it.… To believe in Christ is to believe not merely in his example, but in the power of his resurrection to grant new life” (Luke [Baker], 2:1881). Thus we must affirm that …

1. Our faith rests on the historical event of Jesus’ bodily resurrection, not in subjective experience or feelings.

What evidence is there for Jesus’ resurrection? If we included the entire chapter, we could add more. But in these 12 verses, we find a number of evidences for the resurrection.

(1). The day of the resurrection.

The gospels emphasize that the resurrection occurred on the first day of the week, namely, Sunday. The fact that the early church changed the day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday can only be explained by the fact that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning. The apostles were all steeped in Judaism with its strict observance of Saturday as the day of rest and worship. Why would they change the sacred day from Saturday to Sunday? Clearly, it was not a strategic planning decision that was made to distinguish Christianity from Judaism! Rather, they did it to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Sunday became “the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10), when the church gathered for worship and instruction (Acts 20:7). While I realize that in Jewish, Muslim and Hindu cultures, Sunday is a normal workday that makes it difficult for Christians to gather, I do believe that we must attach a special significance to gathering on Sunday, to worship Him. Many progressive American churches offer Friday or Saturday night worship services as an alternative to Sundays. While you can perhaps justify Saturday night, since the Jewish day began at sundown, I am not ready to jettison the concept of worshiping on the first day of the week. It is a testimony to the fact that our Lord arose on that day. And, while it is permissible (although there is no biblical precedent for it) to celebrate one Sunday a year as resurrection (or Easter) Sunday, every Sunday ought to be resurrection Sunday with the Lord’s people. We worship on Sunday to celebrate and proclaim that our Savior is risen from the dead!

(2). The moved stone.

Mark 16:3 records the women discussing on the way to the tomb, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Luke merely records the fact that when they arrived, they found the stone rolled away. This would have been a large, round stone placed in a groove in front of the tomb. It would have taken several strong men to roll that stone out of the groove. The Roman soldiers guarding the tomb would not have moved the stone nor allowed anyone else to do so. Matthew 28:2 states that an angel of the Lord moved the stone. He did not do this so that Jesus could get out, but so that the witnesses to the resurrection could get in to verify that the tomb was empty! Years ago, an attorney named Frank Morison set out to refute the evidence for the resurrection. While he appreciated the life of Jesus, he thought that early followers had attached the myth of the resurrection onto the story of Jesus. But as he examined the facts with his legal background and training, he eventually wrote a best-selling book, Who Moved the Stone? in which he set forth the evidence for Christ’s resurrection (in Josh McDowell, More Than a Carpenter [Living Books], pp. 97-98).

(3). The empty tomb.

While critics have pointed out a number of harmonistic problems between the various gospel accounts of the resurrection, none can deny the fact that the tomb was empty. If the tomb had not been empty, when the apostles began preaching the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the Jewish leaders would have marched to the tomb, produced the body, and the disciples would have been laughed out of town. Those who deny the fact of the resurrection have several ways to explain the empty tomb, but none of them are plausible.

Jesus’ enemies could have stolen the body. But they had no motive for doing so, and they would have produced it to quench the disciples’ preaching. Besides, the tomb was guarded to prevent any theft of the body.

The Roman guards stole the body. But they had no motive to do so. They didn’t care about this Jewish religious trial. If they had stolen the body, they could have sold it to the Jewish leaders for a lot of money, but that did not happen.

The disciples stole the body. The Jewish leaders tried to promote this theory (Matt. 27:63-66; 28:11-15). But, the Roman guards would have prevented this. They would not have risked their lives (the penalty for not properly standing their watch) for a bribe. The disciples could not have moved the heavy stone and stolen the body without the guards’ knowledge or permission. Besides, the disciples were too depressed, confused, and fearful to pull off a daring grave robbery. And if they had done so, it is inconceivable that they would have boldly preached the resurrection in the face of persecution. The initial thought of the women was that someone had stolen Jesus’ body. If that had been confirmed, the apostles would not have preached the resurrection as they later did.

(4). The angelic witness.

Luke records that the women encountered two men in dazzling apparel who gently rebuked them for seeking the living One among the dead. They then said, “He is not here, but He has risen” and went on to remind them of Jesus’ prediction that He would be crucified by sinful men and rise again on the third day (24:5-7). If there is any doubt as to the identity of these “men,” verse 23 affirms that they were angels. While Matthew and Mark only mention one angel, they are not in contradiction with Luke and John, who mention two, since they do not affirm that there was only one angel. Rather, they simply refer to the angel who spoke to the women. While critics may doubt the existence of angels, they do so because of a naturalistic bias. But they must deny the testimony of several credible witnesses to the event.

(5). The predictions by Jesus.

On several occasions, Jesus predicted that He would be crucified and that He would rise from the dead (9:22, 43-45; 17:25; 18:31-33; 22:22). The disciples’ minds were closed and could not comprehend what He was saying (18:34) until after the fact. But, Jesus would have been a liar or greatly mistaken if He had repeatedly predicted this, but it had not come true.

(6). The witness of the women.

Under Jewish law, women were not considered qualified as witnesses (William Lane, Commentary on the Gospel of Mark [Eerdmans], p. 589). Thus, it is significant that the gospels uniformly agree that the women who followed Jesus were the first to see the risen Savior. They were obviously not expecting to find an empty tomb and risen Lord, or they would not have brought the spices to anoint His body. The early church never would have invented this story if it were not true. The apostles did not at first believe the women, but thought that they were speaking nonsense (the Greek word was used to refer to the delirious stories told by the very sick or to tales told by those who fail to perceive reality (Darrell Bock, Luke [IVP], p. 381). That leads to the next evidence:

(7). The doubting of the apostles.

This is a powerful evidence, the fact that the men who should have believed were at first skeptics of these women who testified of Jesus’ resurrection! If someone had invented this story, they would not have made the apostles to look so skeptical and unbelieving. If the apostles had been hoping for the resurrection, perhaps they could be accused of being gullible and ready to believe anything. But they ridiculed these women as being out of touch with reality! Peter wanted to check it out for himself, so he ran to the tomb and saw the linen wrappings. But at this point, he marveled but did not yet fully believe. What could have changed these men into bold witnesses, willing to suffer persecution and even death, if not the fact that they saw the risen Lord Jesus?

(8). The linen wrappings.

Peter and John (John 20:1-10) saw the linen wrappings lying there, but Jesus’ body was not inside of them! If someone had stolen Jesus’ body, they would not have waited to unwrap the linen and leave it there. Jesus’ body passed through the grave clothes and left them lying there intact. Jesus’ resurrection body could be felt, He could eat and drink, and yet He also could pass through closed doors and instantly appear or vanish from sight (John 20:19-29; Luke 24:31, 36-43). But the fact that both Peter and John, who were not expecting a resurrection, saw these linen wrappings in the tomb is an evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Our text does not mention what the rest of the chapter and the Book of Acts proclaim as further evidence, namely, the numerous appearances of the risen Savior to the apostles and their dramatically changed lives. There is no way to explain how they were transformed from fearful, depressed, confused men into bold witnesses ready to die for their message, except for the fact of the resurrection. The evidence piles up to a powerful mountain that cannot be ignored. Jesus was bodily raised from the dead! The British New Testament scholar, B. F. Westcott, said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it” (in McDowell, pp. 96-97). Thus the Christian faith is not based on subjective feelings or a personal experience. It is rooted in the objective, historically verifiable fact of Jesus’ bodily resurrection. While most of the well-known hymn, “He Lives,” is good, I have often cringed at the final line: “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.” I believe that the risen Lord Jesus does live spiritually within my heart. But that is not the bottom line for how I know that He lives, because that is subjective. What if I don’t feel that Jesus lives in my heart? Does that mean that He is not risen? What if an immoral person or someone on drugs says that Jesus lives in his heart? Is it true just because he feels it’s true? No, it’s true that Jesus lives because there is solid evidence for it. It’s true whether people believe it or disbelieve it. It’s true because it happened in history and it is verified by numerous lines of solid evidence. You may be thinking, “If the evidence is so convincing, why don’t more people believe it?” The answer is, people refuse to believe in the resurrection because it has moral implications that they do not want to face. If Jesus is risen, then He is the rightful Lord of all. It means that He is the coming judge of all the earth. It means that I must turn from my sin and live under His lordship. Because people do not want to turn from their sin, they refuse to believe in Jesus in spite of the evidence. But Scripture is clear:

2. We must put our trust in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

After writing of the miracles that Jesus performed, as well as the events of the resurrection, John concluded, “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). It is through faith that our sins are forgiven and we enter into a personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. There are several things to note about such saving faith:

(1). While faith is based on the historical fact of the resurrection, it is not strictly intellectual.

As I mentioned, it is always moral. We all have sinned against the holy God. Our sins put Christ on the cross. Thus faith in Christ is not just a matter of weighing evidence and making a calm intellectual decision. Saving faith always involves being convicted of our sin and of our need for the Savior. The evidence corroborates that Jesus is God’s anointed Savior. His death was not an accident, but rather in the sovereign purpose of God (“must,” Luke 23:7), and yet those who did it were sinfully responsible (“sinful men,” 23:7; see Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). Thus while faith rests on the facts of history, it also must include repentance for our sins.

(2). Since you can never completely resolve all your questions, you must take a step of faith.

I did not say, “Take a leap of faith,” but rather, a step of faith. There are some questions that will not be fully resolved until we are in heaven. But God has given us sufficient evidence to trust in Christ. As John says, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater,” and God’s witness centers on His Son (1 John 5:9). We all believe and act on the witness of men every day. You didn’t run a chemical analysis on your breakfast food to prove that it wasn’t poisoned. You didn’t do structural calculations on this building to make sure that it wouldn’t collapse on your head if you walked inside. On your way to church, you trusted other drivers to stay on their side of the road and observe traffic laws. Thus believing the uncertain and fickle ways of men, we have no excuse for not believing the God who cannot lie. Jesus Himself said that if you believe in Him, you will have eternal life, but if you do not, you will perish (John 3:16, 36).

(3). Our faith grows through various stages.

These women and the disciples had all believed in Jesus, but they were at various stages. The women obviously loved Jesus, but they did not yet believe His word that He would rise from the dead or they would not have brought the spices to anoint Him. Yet when the angel rebuked them and reminded them of Jesus’ prediction, they seemed to believe, even though the apostles ridiculed them. The apostles had given up everything to follow Jesus, and yet at the moment, their faith was pretty shaky. They openly scoffed at the testimony of these women. Peter, though, seemed to be willing to check it out for himself, but he was at this point marveling, though not yet fully believing. In the next incident, we see the men on the Emmaus Road who believed and yet were “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken” (24:25). The point is, they were all at various stages in their faith. Thankfully this story shows us that our merciful Lord is gracious to save us with just a little mustard seed of faith and He is patient not to cast us off when our faith wavers. Yet we are responsible to grow in our faith, learning to believe in all that the Bible affirms.


But always remember that our faith must be in the living Lord Jesus Christ, not just in doctrines or moral standards. Christianity certainly requires believing in sound doctrine and living according to God’s moral standards, but it is also much more. It is a personal relationship with the living Savior. As Paul said, his goal was “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). If your faith is shaky, first check and see if you are clinging to some sin that you don’t want to give up. You must repent of it or you will never have strong faith in Jesus. Next, study for yourself the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Go back to that evidence as the certain foundation, even if you can’t resolve some issue that is causing you to doubt. Finally, cultivate close personal fellowship with the living Lord Jesus, who gave Himself for your sins. Again to quote Paul, “The life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). The risen Savior is the foundation of the Christian faith. Make sure that your faith is in Him!


From URL:


Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

1.      God's enduring promises of renewal are as timeless as He is (Hos. 6:1-3)

2.      Jesus is not to be found among the dead figures of history; He is alive (Luke 24:1-3)

3.      God provides answers and guidance when we lack both (vs. 4)

4.      We are most aware of God's constant presence when we sense Him working in our lives (vss. 5-8)

5.      Sometimes we serve God best not in special circumstances but in our regular routine (vss. 9-10)

6.      When we realize that God has helped us in an unforeseen way, it not only strengthens but also encourages our faith (vss. 11-12)