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The Resurrection: Authenticating the Messiah - Life of Christ Part 111

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2024 7:00 am

The Resurrection: Authenticating the Messiah - Life of Christ Part 111

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Now, as many of you know, I was born and raised Jewish, and you may not realize this, but there are many different kinds of Jewish people. There are Jewish people like me who believe that Jesus was and is the Messiah.

There's probably 60 to 70 thousand of us, as best we can count. But within the roughly 12 million Jews who don't believe that, there are all different categories of people. There are Orthodox Judaism, there's Conservative Judaism, there's Reform Judaism, there are New Age Jewish people, there are Jewish people who are secularized and don't even believe God exists. But possibly the strictest and most fanatical Jews of all are the Lubavitch sect. The Lubavichers are named after a small village near Poland where the movement began in the 18th century, and these are the folks that you often see perhaps in New York or in Israel that wear long black coats and black hats and they have black curls coming down their temples. You know who I'm talking about.

There's about 30,000 of them in New York City, about 100,000 worldwide. And for the last 40 plus years, the Lubavichers have been led by a man named Menachem Schneerson, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson. Now in 1990, as an elderly man, Rabbi Schneerson began to allow his disciples to proclaim him as the Messiah. He never actually said that he was, but he allowed them to begin saying that he was and he allowed them to build a Messianic expectation that at any minute he was going to declare himself to be the Messiah and he was going to take hold of the Messianic throne here on this earth.

Suddenly, however, in 1992, Rabbi Schneerson had a stroke. He had another very serious stroke in 1994 and even while he was in the hospital in 1994, his followers refused to believe that he could die because he's the Messiah. Ted Koppel did a Nightline special in those days on Rabbi Schneerson in which he interviewed many of the people in the movement who said, the man can't die.

You know, he's the Messiah. Well, he did die. He died in 1994 and he was buried in Queens, New York and once he was buried, his followers began flocking to his grave, some of them even sleeping on his grave, expectantly awaiting that at any moment he was going to rise from the dead and the reason they did this is because they knew that God had made a promise regarding the Messiah in the Old Testament. Psalm 16, verse 10, David said that God had promised that the Messiah would not be abandoned to the grave nor would God allow his Messiah to see decay and they knew that God had promised to raise the one and true Messiah from the dead so they were camping there waiting for it. Well, in 1996, to be honest with you, I don't know whether they're camping on the grave anymore or not. I haven't been up there, I haven't looked, they may still be, they may not still be but I can tell you this, for certain, Rabbi Schneerson is still in the grave. He has not come out.

More than that, I don't expect him out anytime soon. I think he's there for the duration because you see, somebody else has already risen from the dead. Somebody else has already met all the qualifications for being the Messiah and there's only room for one Messiah in the universe and it's not Rabbi Schneerson. I want to talk to you today about the single most defining event in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and that is not his birth or his teachings or his miracles or his healings or even his death on the cross, rather it is his physical, literal, bodily rise from the dead.

So let's look together. Verse 1, early on the first day of the week, which by the way in the Jewish calendar is Sunday, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. Remember I told you last week that in these tombs that were hewn into solid rock, there was a large stone that was rolled in front of the tomb to make sure that animals and robbers and nobody else got in. Well, it was rolled away and assuming the worst, she ran to Simon Peter, verse 2, and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, which by the way is John, who's writing this account, and she said, they have taken the Lord out of the tomb.

Now she didn't know that because she hadn't looked in but she just assumed the worst and we don't know where they have put him. Now how did that stone get rolled away? Well, if you go back and you look in Matthew's gospel, you don't need to turn there, but just listen, Matthew tells us, Matthew 28, verse 2, there was a violent earthquake for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and going to the tomb, he rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow and the guards, the Roman soldiers that were there, were so afraid of him that they shook and they became like dead men. The rabbis were so confident that they had, by putting the Roman soldiers there, by rolling this huge rock in front of the grave, that they had sealed this tomb up and that they had secured it against any and all people messing with it. But you know, they didn't figure on supernatural intervention here and this angel came down and you remember how Darth Vader froze Luke Skywalker?

I mean, this is what this guy did to these people. He just like, and there they were. He said, the angel didn't use a machine, he just did it. He rolled away the stone.

That's how it got rolled away. Verse 3, so Peter and the other disciples started for the tomb and both were running, but the other disciple, John, who's writing this, outran Peter and reached the tomb first. You know, it seems to me John gets a special thrill out of recording that he outran Peter. I'm not quite sure why he gets a thrill from that, but he did. And so he got there first but he didn't go in. Look. And it says here, but when he got there, John did, he bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there, but he didn't actually go in.

Why? Because he was scared. But Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went right into the tomb. Now is that typical for Peter?

I mean, is that totally in character? You know, Peter rushes in where angels fear to tread. Into the tomb he runs and he saw the strips of linen lying there as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself separate from the rest of the linen. Now folks, remember last week I told you that Jesus, when he was buried, was embalmed like a mummy. This is the way they did it in those days.

And that that was very important to remember for this week. Remember what they did is they took the body of Jesus and they put spices all over it and then they would wrap it with a layer of bandages, actually just cloths. They would put more spices on it, they would wrap it with another layer and they would wrap it tight. If you've ever seen an Egyptian mummy, you know exactly what the body of Jesus looked like, wrapped right to the skin. The only part of the body that they did not cover was the head, the face itself, and they would just lay a loose grave cloth, a loose piece of linen over the face. This is how the body of Jesus looked when they laid it in the tomb. Now what Peter and John saw when they got there was this. First of all, they saw the piece that had been over his face, the loose piece of cloth, folded up neatly and placed over in the corner. That's the first thing that made them understand that no robber had been in there and stolen the body of Jesus. Because what robber, what grave thief, what criminal do you know would have taken the time to neatly fold up this piece of cloth and set it in the corner?

I mean, I don't know about you, I'm not a criminal, I'm not a grave robber. I don't even make my bed. I don't fold towels.

Do you do that? I mean, a towel is a towel no matter what shape it's in. As long as it works, who cares? I don't care if it's balled up in a knot. You know, who cares? And I'm not even a grave robber or a criminal. What criminal is going to take the time to fold this thing up neatly and set it over in the corner?

Nobody. But that wasn't even the most convincing thing. What was most convincing is what it says here, that they saw the linen cloths lying right where Jesus' body had been put. Remember, by the time they got through wrapping this thing with all of the spices, it became like a cocoon.

The spices almost made it like a varnish or almost make it like shellac, if you can get the picture. So this was a very hard, rigid sort of structure that Jesus had been wrapped in. And what they saw was that the bandages that he had been wrapped in were exactly in the shape and in the form of Jesus' body. They were in the exact structure of Jesus' body. They had not been torn apart, ripped apart, cut apart, strewn all over the floor, thrown all over everywhere, but they were in the exact outline of the body of Jesus. The only difference was there was no body inside.

The body was missing, but the cocoon was perfect in its shape. Now that's physically impossible. It's like trying to take a hot dog and take the middle out of a hot dog without tearing the skin whatsoever. That is physically impossible.

If you don't believe me, try it sometime. You can't do it. How in the world are you going to get a body out from these bandages without disturbing them at all? And there they are like a cocoon, like a cast, hard and rigid, but there's no body inside. How could you do something like that?

Well, you can't apart from something supernatural happening. And do you remember when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, John chapter 11? It's very interesting that there the Bible reads that Lazarus came out of the tomb, listen, wrapped with strips of linen and with a cloth around his face. Jesus, when he raised Lazarus from the dead, did not have Lazarus go right through his bandages. Lazarus came out bandages like a mummy. And what did Jesus say to the people there?

He said, untie him, get all those bandages off of him and let him loose. People just don't mesmerize or osmose right through bandages. Normally, something supernatural had to happen here. And that's why verse 8 says that finally the other disciple who had reached the tomb first, you notice that, gotten there first, also went inside and he, John, saw and believed. You say, how could looking around an empty tomb make you believe? Well, if you look around an empty tomb and you see those bandages perfectly formed and the body just osmosed right through them and they're not in the slightest bit disturbed, you know something supernatural happened here. Now, the last verse, verse 9, says they still did not understand from the scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. They still didn't get it in all of its nuances. They still didn't have every little fact fit in yet, but they knew, Peter and John knew, man, whatever happened here, it was supernatural.

It was a miracle. Now, that's the end of our passage, but it leads us to ask the really important question and what's that question? So what?

That's right. I want to show you something. I had to go to my safe deposit box to get this and you probably may not be able to see it very clearly in the back, but I'll hold it up anyway. It's a coin. It's a $20 gold piece that I have and this was given to me by my grandfather when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It's one of the very few things that I own that my grandfather ever gave me or that he ever owned and I never forget the details of him giving it to me. I won't bore you with them, but this is one of the few things I have from my grandfather. Now, it's dated 1877 and it's really not worth that much money. It's worth, I don't know, a couple hundred dollars, but the real value, of course, to me is that my grandfather gave it to me. However, if this same coin were dated 10 years later, 1887, it would be worth over $50,000 because in 1887, they didn't make but 121 of these things. Now, I don't know why my grandfather didn't give me one dated 1887. You say, he didn't, did he?

No, he didn't. If I had one of these dated 1887, I'd be driving my little red sports car. So trust me, I do not have one of these dated 1887. But you say, well, Lon, has anybody ever offered for you to buy one dated 1887?

No, they haven't, and if they did, I couldn't afford it anyway. But let me tell you what would happen if somebody came up to me and said, hey, I'll offer you one of these dated 1887. You can have it for the measly sum of 50 grand.

You know what I would do? If I was interested in buying it, the first thing I would do is take the coin and send it off, registered mail, to a professional grading service certified by the United States government, where they would take the coin and they would assay the coin and study the coin and would send me back the coin with a piece of paper saying one of two things. Either this is a fraud, it's a fake, it's a counterfeit, don't waste your money, or they would send the coin back to me with a certificate of authenticity saying, hey, this is the real McCoy. If you want to buy it, you're not getting a fraud. You can trust us. Anybody in their right mind who was going to make that kind of major investment would want to make sure they were getting the real deal, right?

I would, you would. So what about when you're investing your eternal destiny? I mean, you're not going to make a bigger investment than where you spend eternity. You know, the God of the universe is not about to ask you or me to entrust our eternal destiny to anyone or anything without giving us a certificate of authenticity, without giving us and certifying to us that we are getting the real McCoy. How did God do that for us?

Well, listen to what the Bible says, Romans chapter one, verse four. It says that Jesus Christ was declared with power. He was certified to be authentic with power. He was certified to be the Son of God, listen, by his resurrection from the dead. Remember what we said earlier that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great defining event of the Christian faith?

That's true. When we look through the book of Acts and we look through the first few sermons preached by people like Peter and John and the Apostle Paul, what we find there is that the fulcrum of every single one of those sermons in the book of Acts was not Jesus's miracles or his healings or his teachings or his lifestyle or his moral values, but the fulcrum, the apex of every single one of those messages was the empty tomb, was the Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Let me show you a couple. Let's look at them together. Let's turn to Acts chapter two.

I just want to show you a couple of these. Acts chapter two, look at verse 23. Peter speaking, he said, this man, Jesus was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to a cross. Verse 24, but God, here's the fulcrum of this message, but God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. And then he tells about David in Psalm 16, predicting this exactly what the Lubitishes knew about Rabbi Schneerson's death. And then he says, verse 29, brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried and his tomb is here to this day. In other words, David was not talking about himself when he predicted the resurrection.

He's dead. But he says, because David was a prophet and he knew that God had promised an oath, that he would place one of David's descendants on the throne, seeing what was ahead because he was a prophet. He spoke of the resurrection of Christ, of the Messiah, that he would not be abandoned to the grave, nor would his body see decay. Verse 32, God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of that fact. Finally, verse 36, since God has given us this certificate of authenticity, Peter says, therefore, let all Israel be assured of this fact, that God has made this Jesus, not some other Jesus, this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Flip over to chapter four. Again, Peter, this time, the Sanhedrin, the high council called him in to give an account of a healing that he and John had just performed.

And here's what he said. Chapter four, verse 10, then know this, you and all the people of Israel, Peter says, it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, watch, but whom God raised from the dead. There's the fulcrum, that this man stands before you healed. He, Jesus, was the stone that you builders rejected, but God has made him the chief cornerstone. Now, in light of the fact that he rose from the dead and has been authenticated to be the chief cornerstone, look at verse 12, as a result, salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. And the way we know that is because there's no other man that rose from the dead.

One more, chapter 13. Here, Paul is speaking in Antioch. And here's what he says, chapter 13, look at verse 27. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him, they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.

And though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and they laid him in a tomb. Verse 30, but God raised him from the dead. And for many days, he was seen by those who traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, they are now witnesses to our own Jewish people.

Verse 32. So we tell you good news, that what God promised our fathers, he's fulfilled for us their children by raising up Jesus, verse 38, having this certificate of authenticity, therefore my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins that Jesus proclaimed to you through him, everyone who believes is justified, is pronounced not guilty, is acquitted from everything you could not be acquitted from by your own human effort under the law of Moses. Folks, if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, he's just one of the many religious philosophers that have lived and died and he's no more than that. But if Jesus rose from the dead the way the Bible says he did, then as Peter said in Acts chapter two, this is proof to us that God has made him Lord, God has made him Messiah, and that as the risen living Lord of glory, he's the only way to eternal life and forgiveness of sin. The central issue friends is how do you explain the empty tomb? Now, not everybody will explain it by saying Jesus rose from the dead. Many of you have read or heard of the novel that was written a few years ago called the Passover Plot, and in this novel the author says that the reason the tomb was empty is because the disciples came and stole the body away.

Actually, you know, that was not a new idea. I hate to tell him this, but actually that's in the Bible. Matthew chapter 28 says that after the tomb was found empty, you can check it out later for yourself, the rabbis went to these Roman soldiers and said, look man, we're going to give you all money, and you say you fell asleep, and then while you were asleep the disciples came and stole the body away, and if Pilate hears about it and you get in trouble, because remember as a Roman soldier you lose your prisoner, they cut your head off, we'll stand up for you and we'll take care of you and we'll protect you. And so it says in Matthew 28 that even to this day the rumor is common among Jewish people that that's what happened to the body. Is that what happened to the body? I say that's ridiculous.

It's preposterous. First of all, there wasn't just one Roman soldier here to fall asleep, there was a whole squad of soldiers and Roman soldiers did not fall asleep guarding a body. These are the Marines gang. Marines don't fall asleep when they're on duty.

It doesn't happen. And even if it did, the disciples had run like a bunch of scared jackrabbits. They were in no frame of mind to come try to steal somebody. You say, well maybe they got some money together and bribed the guards. Where do you think they're going to get any money? These people didn't have any money and the guards wouldn't have taken it anyway.

Remember their life is on the line if they lose this body. You say, well maybe the rabbis gave them a bribe and the rabbis took the body. You know, actually that's possible. That could have actually happened.

That's a real possibility. The only problem with that explanation is if the rabbis squirreled the body of Jesus away somewhere, once the gospel got going, once it began to spread in Jerusalem, the Bible records all these other things that they did to try to stop the gospel from spreading. They didn't have to do all these other things. They didn't have to beat up Peter and John.

They didn't have to kill Stephen. Folks, just go get the body of Jesus and produce it in town square. That's all you have to do and Christianity is over.

It's over. Why didn't the rabbis go get the body of Jesus and produce it? I think the answer is pretty simple. They didn't have it. They didn't have it. You know, I told you about the Jesus seminar. Those are the folks that vote with the little colored marbles about, you know, what in the Bible is true and what isn't. Their opinion is that the body of Jesus was eaten by wild dogs. Don't ask me where they get that from. But even if wild dogs ate the body, wild dogs don't eat the bones, produce the skeleton.

Friends, here's the point. There is no reasonable logical way to explain the empty tomb except for the explanation the Bible gives which is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. That's the only way to explain the failure of the rabbis to produce a body and stop the spread of the gospel that they so badly wanted to stop. It's the only way to explain the boldness and the bravery and the heroism of the disciples after this. It's the only way to explain the fact that the disciples were willing to die and they all did die rather than deny that Jesus had risen from the dead.

And the reason they were willing to die for it is because in their minds, they were not following some dead religious philosopher. They had seen the risen Lord. They had touched the risen Lord. They had eaten with the risen Lord. They had spoken to the risen Lord and there's no way they were going to stand up and say it didn't happen. Kill me if you want, but I saw him and I talked to him and I touched him and I know this is true. Now, if Jesus really rose from the dead the way the Bible says, if that's the correct explanation for the empty tomb, I think the implications of that are staggering.

We've already seen what they are. Acts chapter two, Peter said, if that really happened, Acts chapter two, then that certifies that Jesus and Jesus alone is Lord and Messiah of the universe. Acts chapter four, we already saw it. If that's really true, this certifies, Peter said, that salvation can be found in no other person, no other place and no other thing anywhere in the universe. No matter how impressive some religious leader may have been, their tomb is not empty. Jesus' tomb is empty. And as I've told you many times, you follow a dead savior and you'll end up just like him.

This is not a good deal. And it means third and finally, as we see right here in Acts 13, look at verse 38, that if Jesus really rose from the dead, that God has authenticated to us that forgiveness of sins is proclaimed through him and only through him in the sight of a holy God can we be acquitted for the things that we've done that there's no other way in the world to be acquitted for. If you're here this morning and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way, let me say to you, you are trusting something for your eternal destiny. I promise you, you're trusting something, whether it's some other religious system or whether it's your own good works or whatever it is, you're trusting something to take care of you once you leave this life. But if you don't have another explanation for the empty tomb other than the one the Bible gives, if you don't have a good explanation for the empty tomb, then in my opinion the empty tomb is certification to you that whatever you're trusting is a dead end street.

It's not going to work. The empty tomb is there like a big neon sign saying, this is the way, this is the way, this is the way, this is what works. And I love what Peter said in 2 Peter 1, he said, we have not followed some cleverly devised fable. This is not a bunch of hocus pocus, but we were eyewitnesses to his majesty. We ate with him, we touched him, we saw him, we talked to him. You can cut my head off if you want, but this is not a hoax.

And if you haven't trusted Christ as your personal savior, I would urge you, unless you can come up with a better answer for the empty tomb than I can, I'd switch if I were you. I did a funeral not too long ago and a friend of mine who goes to church named Gordy Langley works for the Energy Department and the man that I did the funeral for worked for a consulting firm that did some work with the Energy Department. So a bunch of people that worked with Gordy came to the funeral. Well, when they got back from the funeral, Gordy said, how did it go, you know? And they said, that guy Solomon who preached at that, I know him, he's a friend. He said, you know, that guy Solomon managed to offend every Muslim and every Jewish person in the entire audience. And my friend was like, ooh, that's not good. So we were having dinner with Gordy and Sue, Brenda and I were not too long after that, and Gordy told us about this.

And Brenda reacted and went, good grief, Lon, what did you say? What did you go in there and do? Did you tell racist jokes? I mean, what did you do? Now, see, you got to understand, to make the story make sense, you have to understand that my wife, Brenda, believes that offending people is one of my spiritual gifts.

Now, it's not actually listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift, but nonetheless, she actually believes this is one of my spiritual gifts. And so she was like, what did you do? What did you say?

Well, I said, you know, I don't know. I mean, all I went into there and said was that Jesus Christ is the only way that you can get to heaven. He's the only way you can get eternal life. He's the only way that you can get forgiveness of sin, that you can't get forgiveness of sin by way of Mohammed or Buddha or Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy or Rabbi Schneerson or anybody else. That's all I said.

Well, you say, Lon, in this politically correct, pluralistic, diversity-driven world of ours, how can you justify such a position? It's very simple to me. Buddha's tomb isn't empty. Mohammed's tomb isn't empty. Joseph Smith's tomb isn't empty. And as we've already seen, Rabbi Schneerson's tomb isn't empty.

But the tomb of Jesus Christ is. And I think that's the good news that we have to proclaim to a world. Folks, as long as the tomb of Jesus Christ is empty, we never have to worry. We never have to worry that we're going to share it and it's going to let us down. We can proclaim this message with confidence. What's more than that is I don't think that we just can, but I think we must.

We must. This is not just a privilege. I think it's a solemn obligation we have to people in our office and people in our neighborhood and people in our school and people in our family because everybody in our office, everybody in our neighborhood, everybody in our school and everybody in our family, for every one of those people, the empty tomb is the only hope they've got. And it's the only source of assurance anywhere in the world. I don't think there's a greater joy anywhere than walking with somebody up to the empty tomb, inviting them to look in and having them believe and having God go to work changing their life.

I don't think it gets any better than that. But that's not just a privilege. I see it as a solemn duty that when God opens the door, I step in and I share. You say, are you ever scared? Sure. You ever nervous? Yeah.

Do your arm pits get wet? Of course. But that doesn't matter. We've got a person whose eternal destiny is on the line. You know, I can always change shirts. But this is a person whose eternal destiny is on the line. And the same is true for you. And my heart is to motivate us as a church community and as a church family wherever we go Monday to Saturday, that we go there as ambassadors for Jesus Christ with a message. And when God opens the door for us to gently step in and lovingly step in, it's not just a privilege.

It's a solemn obligation. I was flying back from San Francisco last night and I was on a 757. I don't know how much y'all fly, but I hate that airplane. That is the worst airplane ever made.

Do you ever fly much? I despise that airplane. I go out of my way to arrange my flight schedule not to fly that airplane because if you were in coach, that is a miserable piece of equipment. Well anyway, I couldn't arrange around this and so I was in coach in this miserable piece of equipment.

Now that didn't have a thing to do with anything but it just makes me feel better to say that. So anyway, I'm in this miserable piece of equipment flying back and we hit this real bumpy air. I mean real bumpy air. We're coming down and we were just getting tossed all over everywhere just kind of like a ride on an amusement park. And the stewardess comes on the loudspeaker, I lie not, and she goes, please, please, please put on your seatbelt now and buckle it tight. And she said, and if you are holding a baby in your lap, she said, just hold it. I said to the person next to me, well what are you going to do? Put it completely under the seat in front of you?

I mean, what else are you going to do with a baby? Man, we were all over everywhere in this airplane, you know, just everywhere. And I was having a good time kind of watching people's faces around me. Because you can tell the ones who didn't want to go up there in the first place just by looking at their face up there. And I got to thinking, you know, if we go down, because that's how I want to go. 25, 30 seconds, boom, out of here. No morphine, no code blue, you know, no organ donor stuff, just gone. That's the way to go and you're going to go, folks. Yeah, I know you think that's morbid, but hey, everybody's entitled to go the way they want to.

This is why my wife won't fly with me, by the way. But anyway, I thought, hey, you know, if we go down, if we do a value jet deal here, I'm going to go out into eternity, and you know what I'm holding on to for my assurance in eternity? I'm holding on to an empty tomb and I'm ready. I'm ready. This is okay. And you know what? I don't think I'm going to be sorry going to eternity holding on to an empty tomb. I'll take my chances. But as I looked around the airplane, I thought, gosh, I wonder how many other people on this airplane have that to hold on to.

It didn't seem to me a whole lot of them did by the looks on their faces. Now, it's not that I'm looking to die, but I'm ready. And I know that I'm following the way that's going to take me to heaven and to eternal life, no questions asked. It's settled because I've got a certificate of authenticity that this is the right way called the empty tomb. And my hope for you is that you've got the empty tomb as your hope. Because I think the empty tomb is the only hope there is. And none of us will ever be sorry if that's the hope we have for eternity.

Let's pray together. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you haven't called us to show faith that's right. You haven't called us to make a leap of faith into thin air.

You haven't called us to believe something that has absolutely no empirical basis in fact. But rather you have certified to us that the way that the Bible tells us to come to God and have our sins forgiven and to be reconciled with God is the right, true, only way. Jesus said it, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

Nobody comes to the Father unless they come by me. And God, you've certified to us that this is true, not only by Jesus's life and his birth and his miracles, but most importantly by his resurrection from the dead. And I pray for people here who don't know you personally, who've never trusted you as their personal Savior, that you would use what we've talked about today here to challenge their thinking, that unless they can find a better answer for the empty tomb than the one the Bible gives, they need to trade in whatever they're trusting for the empty tomb. And for those of us who know you and we know that Christ has forgiven our sins and the empty tomb is our hope for eternity, Lord, motivate us, I pray, to step into those opportunities you give us even though we might be a little nervous and scared and to fulfill not only the privilege but the solemn obligation to tell people that we come in contact with about the empty tomb because their lives matter and you love them and you care about these people. So take us out into this community, I pray, God, as a force for you and give us the courage we need, just like the disciples, to say you can do whatever you want to me but the empty tomb is true. And I'll take my stand there. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-02 08:20:48 / 2024-03-02 08:35:13 / 14

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