April 15, 2001
Proclaiming the Risen Lord
Luke 24:1-12; Acts 9:1-31
KEY VERSE: Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. --Luke 24:5,6
Some present-day scholars, overly impressed with their own brilliance, have had the audacity to tell us that Jesus actually spoke very few of the words attributed to him in the gospels. Their findings, in my judgment, are about as valuable as yesterdayís newspapers.
What is true is that on the morning of the resurrection of our Lord, the women who loved Jesus, and now deeply mourned his death, began to remember what he said as they listened to the angels tell them, "He is not here." The angels invited the women to remember what he had said about his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Then they "remembered his words."
As we celebrate the resurrection, we do well ourselves to remember all that Jesus said. We shall not be helped much by the skepticism of scholars. We may be helped a great deal by what our Lord said about life and death. His are words of life. His words are promises which constitute the firm foundation of our hope of eternal life.
When death has invaded our ranks and taken from us our dear ones, nothing can comfort us more than to remember and believe the words spoken by our Lord to his fearful disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. " (John 14:1-3)
Consider the ministry of the Apostle Paul. When he shared his testimony, he spoke of what Jesus said to him. This gave Paulís witness incredible power to persuade his hearers: his account of the words Jesus had spoken directly to him.
As we read the precious Word of God, the words of our Lord can have a profound impact upon our daily lives. We need not be afraid of death once we believe the Masterís words are true today and for all time and eternity: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." "Because I live, you will live also." Amen and Hallelujah!