April 13, 2020 Southside Baptist Church

Easter Exhortation from Luke 24:1-12

Easter Exhortation from Luke 24:1-12

For Southside Baptist Church, Decatur, AL

Easter Sunday | April 12, 2020

Reading from God’s Word

Luke 24:1–12 ESV

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Exhortation from God’s Word

Several words describe the reaction of Jesus’ followers at the the empty tomb. They were perplexed (Luke 24:4) meaning they were in doubt or uncertain. They were also frightened (Luke 24:5). 

We can identify with these feelings today. Many things happening in the world offer reasons to be fearful, be it the threat of severe storms, sickness, insecurity, uncertainty, loneliness, or even death. We are easily perplexed and frightened. 

But God’s word calls us to action! Not to be frightened, but to do something else. It is a command found in the word remember (Luke 24:6). 

This Easter we are exhorted (encouraged, comforted, emboldened) as the people of God to remember what God has spoken about who He is, who we are, and who is in control of all things. We are exhorted to remember the words of Christ who said “In the world you have affliction, but have courage! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33, LEB). 

And Jesus has conquered the world!

Easter is a day of remembering and celebrating the victorious Lord, who won victory over sin, death and the grave, the result of significant sacrifice and high cost.

Easter celebrates the day that sin lost its power. The day death was swallowed up in victory. The day that the grave lost its permanence!

Because Jesus suffered and died, in our place, for our sin — because he was buried, and was raised — this Easter is a day that moves us as a people of faith! 

We live, and move, and have our being because of the Risen Lord (see Acts 17:28, Colossians 1:17). Because Jesus lives, we live, and know the love of God that drives out fear (1 John 4:18). 

The routines and habits of life have changed for us in these recent weeks. Do you think that this is just bad timing at Easter? 

Or is it not God’s timing? A time in which God is speaking to us so that we will focus on His voice and hear

Instead of worshiping in all the comfortable ways we are accustomed to, this Easter we find ourselves uncomfortable, having to consider what it means to worship God when everything that we are used to has been taken away. 

We find ourselves having to remember what is most important about our faith, having little else to turn our eyes upon but Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

I do believe that the God of peace is preparing His Church for His imminent return. I believe God is using these last days to move this world into revival. I believe God is moving His Church this Easter, to see Jesus for who He is in a more focused way than ever before!

God is taking away the things that we have held on to, the things we have found comfort in, so that He might teach us to cling to what matters most — Himself!

This is your invitation this Easter. An invitation to embrace the grace of God for this season by letting go of those things that may be hindering us, so that we may run in these last days, unhindered, the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1). This is your invitation, not to hear an idle tale, but to believe and live by faith!  For Jesus is the Risen Lord