Bible Study for April 1: The empty tomb, God is faithful

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Luke 24
Daryel O’Barr, pastor/evangelist

The Rolling Stone are noted for songs like “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” As a teenage boy of 17, neither could I until I met Jesus Christ as my personal savior.

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day is a life-altering, heart-inspiring, Church-empowering truth.

In Luke 24, we find the story of one of Christ’s appearances to His disciples after His resurrection. When He showed up in their meeting, they were shocked and scared. The living Lord asked them, “Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”

The word ‘‘troubled’’ is translated from a word that means ‘‘stirred up’’ was used to describe the agitating or troubling of water. When the Lord saw the troubled and anxious and disappointed disciples, He used the truth of His resurrection to ease their disappointment.

Jesus rolls away the stone of disappointment.

The disciples said, “We had hoped He was the one” (Luke 24:21.) Anytime we speak of in the past tense we are in trouble. They were a discouraged group. Mary and the other women were at Jesus’ tomb. They were devastated, heartbroken. They had put their faith in Jesus. But then He died.

But when Mary and the others saw their risen Savior, it changed everything! The Bible says, “The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20).

Can you identify with these disciples? Have you ever had your hopes crushed right in front of you?

Jesus rolls away the stone of fear.

They had become paralyzed with fear when Jesus was arrested, believing they were next. And after Jesus was crucified, they had become even more terrified.

Fear is a prison of our own making and keeps us from accomplishing what God wants us to do. Fear of rejection keeps us from sharing our faith. As they cowered behind closed doors, Jesus appeared to them. The Bible says,” Then Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19).

What made the difference? May be it was the promise Jesus gave to them, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt.28:19). God said to Joshua “Do not be afraid or discouraged wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Whatever challenges we meet, whatever obstacles we face, we don’t have to be afraid because we are not alone. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, car crashes, teenage pregnancy, crime, natural disasters – Jesus is a risen Lord. He’s alive today. He’s by your side. He will never leave you or forsake you..

Jesus rolls away the stone of death.

Paul said, “Tthe last enemy shall be destroyed.” Since the Garden of Eden, death has been the archenemy of humanity and death always wins. Death is inescapable. It comes to every living thing; that is, until Jesus. Jesus conquered death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

He offers the same to you and me. At conception we receive as part of our human inheritance the gift of death. At conversion we receive Christ’s gift of eternal life. Our eternal destiny is a matter of life and death. What will you choose?

Have you ever wondered why God rolled the stone away from Jesus tomb? Jesus in His resurrected body could have left the tomb without moving the stone. The stone was not rolled away to let Jesus out, but to let us see in – to see and be convinced that Jesus arisen from the dead and is alive evermore.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you and me today. Jesus still moves stones for us. Whatever challenges you face, whatever stones block your path – disappointment, fear, depression, drunkenness, failure, or even death – He stands ready to move yours if you’ll surrender to Him. In Jesus you can, and will, find satisfaction as the stones are rolled away.

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