Pondering The Empty Tomb!

What Happens When People Really Consider the Fact of an Empty Tomb?

Luke 24:1-12


I.      Introduction - Luke 23:12


A.    Peter here has just been told that the tomb where Jesus had been buried was empty! That the stone had been rolled away, and that the guards were all fainted around the grave site. He runs to the sepulcher, and looks in, and finds it truly empty!

B.    When Peter turns to head back into town, he is in a daze. A thousand questions ring in his ears. A week’s worth of hard memories began to flood his heart:


1.     The failure to pray in the Garden

2.     The mob taking Jesus away

3.     The unfair trials and beatings by the priests

4.     The cursings and denying of Peter ever knowing Jesus!

5.     The running and hiding these last three days

6.     And now this! The tomb turns up empty! “Great! And everybody is going to blame us!”


C.    Either somebody has gone and done something really terrible, or, could it be possible? Could Jesus really be ALIVE? Rev 1:17,18. On this Resurrection morning, we would do well to ponder with Peter!


II.    Message - Pondering the Empty Tomb! (Luke 24:1-12


A.      Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Correction (24:1-8) - Stops people from following a dead Saviour!


1.        Corrects Abandonment (24:1,2). Everyone had given up on Jesus. Up to this point, it was easy to follow Him - He was alive, visible, and touchable. But something happened when Jesus was crucified!


a.     The disciples had fled (Mt 26:31,56)

b.     Peter had denied even knowing Him

c.     Joseph had gone and buried the body

d.     The only people at the tomb were soldiers guarding it from robbers, and the various women had concerned themselves with anointing the body with oils and spices.

e.     But, all in all, no one had simply believed Jesus, and trusted that He would rise again! They had ALL watched Him die that horrible death, and could not bring themselves to believe that He would really return from His grave!

f.      But now there was an empty tomb! Everything has changed!


2.        Corrects our Confusion (perplexity, 24:3,4) The facts available at that moment were not meant to confuse them - the facts were meant to comfort them:


a.     It has been now a full three days (Matt 12:40)

b.     The massive stone has been rolled away

c.     The guards have fainted on the job - they have not been knocked unconscious!

d.     Angels are announcing Jesus is alive

e.     The body is gone


3.        Corrects our Fear (24:5)


a.     By knowing what we are really seeking for - a living Saviour

b.     By answering all our questions:


1)        Is there really life after death?

2)        Has anyone ever come back to prove it?

3)        Can all our sins really be paid for, completely?

4)        Does God really care?

5)        Can we trust EVERYTHING that Jesus said?


4.        Corrects All Religion (24:5-8)


a.     Religion seeks a body - venerates relics - needs something visible to worship

b.     Religion distrusts God’s word

c.     Religion counts only in good things happening to good people

d.     Religion ends in uncertainty - hovering around a tomb

e.     But here, “religion” has been dealt a deadly blow! There is no dead body to worship and venerate; the crucifixion was of God; and the tomb is now empty!


B.      Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Conflict (24:9-11)


1.     It is now the “fanatics” verses the “realists” (24:8,9) The Bible believers (24:8) verses the humanists, the “educated” (24:11)

2.     All these women were doing was repeating what the Lord said, what they saw, and experienced and what the angels said! They were just messengers! The same is true of ANY Bible-believer!

3.     The ones mocking these women were the very ones who had spent the last 3 1/2 years following and learning and living with Jesus Christ! DID YOU GET THAT!? They thought the resurrection was SILLY NONSENSE! “How could Jesus be risen?”

4.        Bible believers, who have believed God’s word, and met Jesus Christ, heart to heart, just will not get along with those who “claim” Christianity, and yet don’t believe it!


C.       Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Curiosity (24:12)


1.        Finally, at least someone gets up and checks out the situation! In John 20:3-10, we find out that both Peter and John RACE to the tomb! “Could it be!?” “This I’ve got to see!” Oh that people would become curious enough to check god out! Everything that a Bible-believing Christian believes MAKES SENSE, and can be tested against common sense! We do not follow “blind faith”

2.        Peter begins to go over the facts:


a.     Stone rolled away - the women could not have done that

b.     Guards still out cold, and yet not hurt

c.     Empty shell of grave clothes

d.     EMPTY TOMB!


3.     If ever there was something that ought to be pondered, it is an empty tomb! Compare Mohammed, Confucius, Stalin, Marx


D.      Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Conversion - Sinners to Repent


1.        Based upon God’s word (24:8,44). Don’t trust me, or your religion! Find out what Jesus said! You can trust, and believe that!

2.        Backed up by FACTS (24:12). I got saved because I examined the facts and saw myself as God said I really was - a sinner in need of a Saviour! And that God sent that Saviour to be my substitute, and left an empty tomb to prove that EVERYTHING was paid for!

3.        Enabled by Christ Himself (24:46) - He paid for our sins, so that we as sinners could be forgiven!

4.        Since that time, it is proclaimed throughout the world (24:47,48)


a.     Repent of your sins!

b.     Trust only in the risen Saviour!

c.     And your sins will be removed from your account!

d.     After the resurrection, the disciples went crazy! They went all out telling people that Jesus really is alive, and that He really can save ANY and ALL sinners who come to him by faith!


III.   Conclusion -


A.       Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Correction


1.        Corrects our tendency to give up on God!

2.        Corrects our Confusion

3.        Corrects our Fear

4.        Corrects all Religion


B.       Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Conflict

C.       Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Curiosity

D.       Pondering the Empty Tomb Causes Conversion - Sinners to Repent


Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church Blarney

29 Westcourt Heights

Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland