Called to Proclaim the Risen Lord

Key Verse: “As they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
—Luke 24:5

Selected Scriptures:
Luke 24:1-10;
Acts 9:19-20, 26-28, 31

IN THE EARLY MORNING of the third day after the death of Jesus, the first day of the week, some of the women who had been Jesus’ disciples came to the sepulchre where his body had been laid. They brought spices and ointments, planning to pay tribute to their loving Master. When they arrived at the tomb to their amazement, they “found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:3) They were perplexed, perhaps even thinking that thieves had come and stolen the body. In the midst of their confusion, “Behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.” (vs. 4) These were angels sent from God to comfort and explain to them what had transpired. The message of the two angels was quite astounding. They said, “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.”—Luke 24:5-7

The angels reminded the women that it had been necessary for Jesus to die. Without his death as a corresponding price for father Adam, taking his place in death, all would still be considered ‘dead’ in Adam and without any hope of release from condemnation. Jesus himself had foretold this very thing, when he said, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom.” (Matt. 20:28) Even Jesus, however, could not bring about the restoration of mankind if confined to the condition of death. “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (I Cor. 15:17) The more important message of the angels was that Jesus had been raised indeed from the dead. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, … For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”—I Cor. 15:20-22

By his resurrection from the dead, with the value (or merit) of his perfect human life in his possession, Jesus began the process by which that ransom value would be applied as a payment into the hands of God’s justice, first on behalf of his church, and later on behalf of all mankind. This payment will bring about the eventual release of all from condemnation, and an opportunity for all to be fully restored to life and favor with God. This will be accomplished, as it was with Jesus, through the raising of all mankind from the sleep of death. We echo the words of Paul, “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15)

What a joyous message the angels brought to the women at the sepulchre! They remembered now that Jesus had taught them these things, and they rejoiced that their Master was risen. They “returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.” (Luke 24:9) At first the apostles and disciples did not believe the message brought by the women. Peter ran to the empty tomb and confirmed what the women had seen. Later Jesus showed himself to them causing them to say in their hearts, Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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