Focus on the Risen Lord
Luke 24:1-9, 36-40, 44-40
LifeWay's Explore the Book Lesson for April 20, 2003

One could go to the burial sights of the gods of this world and read an epitaph "here lies our god." On the door of the garden tomb Jesus used it is written, "He is not here; he has risen," We correctly say Christianity is not a religion as much as it is a relationship. Healthy Relationships must be with the living. We focus the Christian life upon our living Lord.

1. Focus from the . . Tomb. v 1-8
The ladies prepared spices as a kind of embalming or anointing for the Lord's body. They found the stone moved away, and the tomb empty. Jesus arose, and an angel moved the stone not for the Lord to get out but so people could see the empty tomb. Wonderment griped the ladies. When my wife and I visited Israel we stood inside the garden tomb and wondered how these ladies and the disciples felt. No doubt many thoughts crossed their minds.

Inside the tomb an angel startled, comforted, and then instructed them. The angel gave instruction from the words of Jesus. Some times all of us need to be reminded what Jesus said, right in the midst of a spiritual experience. We may learn our best lessons in those situations. I think these ladies remembered this lesson the rest of their lives.

I like the question "Why do you seek the living One among the dead?" Occasionally that question needs to be asked about some church activities. The empty tomb represents a great truth but we are to move out of the tomb. These ladies did not stay in the tomb, but they went forth to tell others.

2. Focus from the . . Testimony. v 36-40
What a joy to share a testimony about Jesus and see Him appear. Jesus said "peace be unto you," but the disciples experienced immediate fear. Then Jesus showed them, His hands and feet. Do you realize Christianity represents a come and see kind of faith? Christ does not hide but displays the truth about Himself. We must openly share what we know about Jesus. In the joy of the tomb we receive a message to share.

3. Focus from the . . Teaching. v 44-49
Repetition helps one learn. Jesus repeated the lessons He gave earlier. He based His teaching on the scriptures. He said: Moses, the Prophets, and Psalms spoke of Him. Some liberal theologians have problems with that verse, but Jesus proclaimed it. Not only did Jesus proclaim the scriptures but he opened their mind to what the scriptures taught. What a blessing to receive enlightened teaching. Jesus told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirt clothed them with power.

We know today this remains possible for all believers through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In this busy life we need to tarry for the leading and empowering of the Spirit. The Lord told these disciples to go and tell. The same command applies to us. The focus of the risen Lord causes us to desire to be witnesses of these things. Amen? Amen!