The Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah

Six Unexpected Things Happened That First Sunday Morning!

Luke 24

April 9 2023

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (Luke 24:1)


A.   It was The First Day of the Week – Sunday (Luke 24:1)


1.    Luke 24:1  Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2.    Very early - before dawn

3.    After the Sabbath. Those are important words… Jewish Old Testament is finished (Romans 10:4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

4.    Galilee women come to the tomb…


a.     They had watched Jesus die

b.    They watched Jesus be wrapped and buried by Joseph and Nicodemus

c.     They watched Jesus sealed in a tomb

d.    They just wanted to come to the tomb and do it better


B.   They discovered six unexpected things that day! Things maybe you didn’t already know about, but if you want to be a Christian, you need to believe!


II.   Message


A.   An Empty Tomb was Unexpected (Luke 24:2,3)


1.    Stone rolled away (Luke 24:2)


a.     Luke 24:2  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

b.    Not to let Jesus out, but to show he was already GONE!

c.     They weren't expecting this (Mark 16:3, 4)


1)    Mark 16:3,4  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away [ALREADY]: for it was very great.


d.    No one expected anyone to roll that thing back

e.     A 2,000 pound stone was now rolled back! Impossible!

f.     The tomb should not be open like that!

g.    Yet here was the tomb was opened for all to see inside. So that nothing would be hidden and everyone could examine it


2.    No Body Inside! (Luke 24:3)


a.     Luke 24:3  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

b.    A Missing body

c.     The women frantically searched for the body of Jesus (John 20:11-13)


1)    John 20:11-13  But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.


d.    They thought the Pharisees or the Romans had taken the body of Jesus

e.     How cruel this would have been


1)    To take it and then hide it

2)    Or maybe to parade it through Jerusalem again and again in mockery


f.     No one could imagine what somebody would do with the body of Jesus


B.   “You are looking in the wrong place!” (Luke 24:4-8)


1.    Luke 24:4-7  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.


2.    Two angels appear. Surprise!


a.    “Jesus is not here!”

b.    “Jesus is risen… He is alive again!”

c.     Yes he was three days and three nights dead... But not anymore!


3.    This should be no surprise to you (Luke 24:6-8) remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee…


a.     Jesus told you about this several times (Luke 9:18-22)


1)    Luke 9:18-22  And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. [THE MESSIAH] And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.


b.    The women remembered (Luke 24:8) And they remembered his words,


4.    Poem - They Came To Empty Tomb


a.     They came to the quiet garden, In the early morning gloom,

b.    And there in the shadowed darkness They found an empty tomb.

c.     They brought their scented spices To anoint the hallowed dead,

d.    But found, to their amazement, The living Lord instead.

e.     Their hearts were heavy-laden - Bowed down with deep despair-

f.     But when they lifted tear-dimmed eyes, Lo, Jesus was standing there.


g.    They thought all hope had ended With Jesus’ dying breath,

h.    But they found a powerful Saviour, Triumphant over death!

i.      On that wonderful Easter morning, In a garden sweet with dew,

j.      He came from the grave - a world to save - To live and reign anew.

k.    So oft in the midst of sorrows When hope seems cold and dead,

l.      With lifted eyes, we too may see An empty tomb instead!


5.    And that's when they ran back to the upper room to where the disciples were


a.     They had to tell them that “Jesus is back! Jesus is alive again!”

b.    As unbelievable as it may be…


C.   No One Believed Their Testimony! (Luke 24:9-11)


1.    Here were five women who are eyewitnesses


a.     Of an empty tomb and a missing body.

b.    They saw the empty tomb with their own eyes

c.     They searched for the missing body (and women know how to do a thorough search)

d.    They all heard the words of angels

e.     And so these 5 women believed because of all those evidences!


2.    None of the disciples were expecting this, even though they should have been!


a.     Luke 24:9-11  And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.


3.    Their testimony at least provoked Peter and John to run and see for themselves! (Luke 24:12)


a.     Remember your testimony can help others see for themselves about Jesus

b.    Peter and John went to the tomb to verify the evidences


1)    Luke 24:12  Then arose Peter [AND JOHN], and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

2)    They saw the tombstone rolled back

3)    They found that the soldiers were gone

4)    They found the grave empty except for some grave clothes and a face napkin that was folded up! (see John 20:1-10)

5)    Why leave grave clothes and a face napkin?

6)    The body of Jesus would have been so bloodied and so mangled that anyone would have just left it in the grave clothes.


4.    Neither Peter nor John were convinced


a.     Illustration: an atheist was asked in a debate with a well-known Christian apologist, “would you believe the Bible if it could be proven to be true?” The atheist responded “No!”

b.    That proves that facts don't matter to most people

c.     But, FACTS do matter to some of us

d.    I can tell you, I am a Christian because of my own examining the facts


D.   The Resurrection is Fact (Luke 24:36-43)


1.    I believe in the resurrection in the same way that I believe 2 + 2 = 4.


a.     The impossibility of the resurrection IS A PROVEN FACT

b.    I believe in the resurrection like I believe in the law of gravity

c.     And like I believe in E = MC2

d.    Those are all proven facts!


2.    Watch how the facts of the resurrection continue to roll in...


3.    Jesus physically appeared amongst the 11 apostles in the upper room.


a.     Luke 24:36  And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.


b.    He did not appear above them or in their thoughts but physically in the middle of that small group.

c.     Everyone freaked out! They were terrified at what Jesus just did.


1)    Luke 24:37  But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

2)    Thought they saw a ghost – a vision - not the real, living, breathing Jesus!!!

3)    They did not expect this


4.    Jesus spoke to them! He said “it's me!” Test Me


a.     Luke 24:38-40  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

b.    Feel my flesh and bones. A spirit doesn't have flesh and bones as you see me have

c.     Verify the scars on my head on my hands in my side on my feet


5.    They still didn't believe!


a.     Luke 24:41-43  And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.


b.    Oh the joy they were missing


6.    So Jesus ate fish and a honeycomb… and maybe even burped (Men do that you know)

7.    And that's when these eleven men joined with those five women and became believers, and were eyewitnesses of Jesus being alive!


a.     And their lives were transformed

b.    All 16 of those men and women hugged Jesus and worshipped Him!

c.     And then they went from 16, to 120 believers in acts chapter 1

d.    To 500 people who were believers

e.     To 3,000 in acts chapter 2

f.     To 5,000 in acts chapter 4

g.    And to crowds that were impossible to number in Acts chapter 5

h.    These early Christians did not go into all the world preaching an ethical code, or a system of philosophy, or a utopian gospel of social improvement. Christianity was built upon the fact of the Resurrection, preaching that “Jesus is Lord”, not WAS!


8.    This could not be a lie – a conspiracy – it is real!


a.     Out of all of those people, if this were a lie, someone would have exposed the lie, but no one did!

b.    All of these people, over 15,000 people were believing that Jesus was alive without anyone forcing them, without a Pope, and without motivational speakers!

c.     As a matter of fact every one of these people put their lives at risk and were persecuted and martyred for believing this!

d.    None of them became rich by believing this, and none of them became powerful believing this

e.     The willing suffering of Christians is one of the greatest proofs of the resurrection outside of the empty tomb!

f.     But listen to the historical testimonies of people who refer to Jesus of Nazareth and his empty tomb...


1)    Josephus (AD 37–100) says no one found the body of Jesus after the Resurrection

2)    Pliny the Younger (AD 61–113) wrote about how the Christians all met early on Sunday mornings in memory of the resurrection of their Messiah named Jesus


E.    Belief Needs More Than Facts (Luke 24:44,45)


1.    Luke 24:44,45  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

2.    Belief needs clear scripture (Romans 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


a.     It needs clear undeniable prophecies about what Jesus was going to do.

b.    Faith comes only from knowing and understanding the word of God

c.     The moment Christians are ignorant of the Old Testament, and the moment that the world moves on from ever hearing the words of scripture especially in the Old Testament, is the moment that the world goes dark


3.    Belief needs spiritual opening of a person's understanding


a.     This is so important!

b.    You and I can try to convince people of the facts... I have tried to open people's eyes who believe in nothing, and showed them fact after fact after fact… but until the spirit of God opens their mind and their heart, the devil keeps it closed to the facts of the resurrection

c.     2Corinthians 4:3,4  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


4.    Belief needs a living, breathing, walking, talking Jesus!


a.     Not a memorial about him, but a real son of God, or else faith is empty

b.    My faith moves me to talk to Jesus, knowing that he is listening and that he loves me, and that he has a plan to work all things together for good!

c.     So, Here is Jesus speaking to his disciples! His words gave them faith!


F.    The Great Purpose of the Cross – to save sinners (Luke 24:46)


1.    Luke 24:46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

2.    The crucifixion is not about pretty rainbows, and loads of money for me, and success and prosperity…

3.    The cross was the fulfilment of a plan by God that has been worked out perfectly


a.     A plan where the Messiah had to suffer and die - not reign yet, but be rejected, and hated and tortured and crucified

b.    And then the same Messiah that was so brutally crucified would rise again three days later

c.     And God's plan made it possible so that there is nothing more to do than just believe it

d.    THAT is the Gospel folks

e.     There is nothing more to understand or know or believe than that



2)    To save anyone who would believe it to be enough!


G.   There is a Work for Christians Now (Luke 24:47-49)


1.    We ALL have something to do after salvation. For all of us, not just a few


a.     Luke 24:47,48  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.


b.    This was unexpected too!

c.     None of those disciples realised that all their training was to turn the world upside down, and to go and win souls, and start churches, and save nations!

d.    Preach the Gospel here and now


1)    Jesus commands us to preach! All of us

2)    Yes we are supposed to love one another, and serve one another…

3)    But we are supposed to declare publicly the wages of sin, in the coming judgment of God, and what Jesus did to pay it all off

4)    Preaching means evangelizing, Soul winning, Getting people to come hear the gospel at church

5)    If we have repented and believed the Gospel, we can tell someone that Jesus really is alive and can save anyone!

6)    What are we supposed to preach?


a)    Repentance! It is our job to tell the world it is wicked and that they must repent

b)    And the remission of sins!


c)    The greatest need of all mankind is to know how much trouble they are in with their Creator! And that they forgiveness that can only come from God

d)    By-the-ay, Remission means no longer living in sin

e)    No one has to live in sin now that Christ has died and been buried in rose again! That victory has been won


e.     Secondly, Go somewhere with it – into every corner of the world


1)    Starting here – our own Jerusalem

2)    And be willing to go to France, Bulgaria, Holland, Moracco, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Syria, Israel, India, China, Japan, Mongolia…

3)    Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.


f.     And Live it


1)    Don’t just preach it – Prove to people that Jesus is alive by your changed life, and joy and freedom from sinful habits!

2)    Live the gospel so people see that it works


g.    These are our responsibilities!


1)    And if you are NOT burdened for lost people, preaching, soul winning, evangelizing, handing out tracts…

2)    Then you are living in disobedience to God, and you are sinning dear Christian! Our church used to be on fire about soul winning, and it is not now

3)    I haven't changed my burden, I haven't stopped soulwinning, but so many of you have!

4)    Our world is getting darker and darker, and we're part of the blame! Because we are stubborn and proud and arrogant thinking it is not out job

5)    Well, according to Jesus, IT IS!


h.    And don’t worry – Jesus gave us His holy Spirit to enable us to do anything He asks of us!


1)    Luke 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

2)    This is the best part!!!

3)    Oh that I could spend a month of Sundays on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit of God in each and every believer’s life

4)    If we would just yield to Him, instead of grieving Him!

5)    What impact would the Gospel cause once again!


H.   One Final Thing That was Unexpected - the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)


1.    Jesus walks his disciples just two miles outside of Jerusalem


a.     To a little village called Bethany on the other side of the mount of olives

b.    This little town had become very special because of the resurrection of Lazarus there and the healing of Simon the leper and the healing of Mary Magdalene

c.     Jesus blessed his disciples - that means he prayed for them, and hugged them, and encouraged them

d.    Luke 24:50  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.


2.    And in the middle of all of that... He went up!


a.     Luke 24:51  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

b.    They were not expecting that!


3.    But these men and women were different now!

4.    They were Fearless!


a.     Luke 24:52,53  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

b.    They ran right back into Jerusalem no longer afraid, but full of great joy

c.     Surrounded by Pharisees and Sadducees and Roman soldiers, they were continually in the temple worshipping God and praising God and blessing God

d.    Why?


1)    Because Jesus was not dead – he was very much alive!

2)    Jesus defeated death, and broke sin’s grip on every man & woman's life!

3)    And they were expecting now his soon return! (Acts 1:8-11)

4)    Just as we should be!

5)    Jesus left, so we need to EXPECT that He is coming back, very soon!

6)    We all had better live like he could come back TODAY!


III.         Conclusion


A.   Now you know why we worship Jesus on Sunday – the first day of the week, and not the Sabbath like the Jews, or Friday like the Muslims

B.   Because THIS is the day that Jesus rose from the grave, and lives forevermore

C.   Six unexpected things happened after the crucifixion of Jesus…


1.    An Empty Tomb – no one expected anyone to roll that thing back

2.    A Missing body

3.    Jesus Alive and Well

4.    A Great Purpose for the Cross – to save sinners

5.    We ALL have something to do after salvation


a.     Preach the Gospel here and now

b.    Go somewhere with it – anywhere and everywhere

c.     Live it - as a living proof that Jesus is alive – don’t just believe it!


6.    Jesus left, but is coming back, very soon! Be ready!


D.   It is all good news… If you believe it! Otherwise it is no good to you!


1.    So, Don’t neglect one simple reaction to all these facts…

2.    Believe it all!