想起耶稣的话 Remember His WordsSermon passage: (Luke 24:1-12) Spoken on: April 4, 2021
More sermons from this speaker 更多该讲员的讲道: Rev. Wong Siow Hwee For more of this sermon series 更多关于此讲道系列: Luke
Title: Remembering his words
Preacher: Rev. Wong Siow Hwee
Date: 4th Apr 2021
Happy Easter Sunday to all of you. Today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The significance of the resurrection is that Jesus’ identity as Lord and Messiah is confirmed. As Peter spelled this out clearly in Acts 2: 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. It was God who raised Jesus from the dead. The resurrection was God’s way of confirming him as both Lord and Messiah. Do you remember the angel’s words to the shepherds at Christmas? Luke 2: 10 “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Therefore, what begun at Christmas was completed at Easter. Jesus is indeed the Messiah and the Lord.
When I put these two passages together like this, you can see the link from Christmas to Easter very clearly. But do you know how I was able to make the connection in the first place? It’s because I remembered the words of the bible from the beginning of Luke to the beginning of Acts. And this act of remembrance is indeed one of the key concepts in the Easter story in Luke. The connection allows us to grasp the full meaning of Easter. The Easter story isn’t just a strange supernatural phenomenon for us to be amazed, like watching a magic show. We need to remember Jesus’ words and capture its meaning in time to come. In our passage today, the angels reminded the women who visited the empty tomb: 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
What did they remember? What should they remember? As we read through the Gospel of Luke, we should identify the three times that Jesus predicted his death. The first two times were in Luke 9:21-22 and Luke 9:44. Luke also tells us in Luke 9: 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. The third time Jesus told them again was in Luke 18: 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” 34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
It is clear why they did not understand Jesus even though Jesus repeated his prediction three times. It was unimaginable that the one they privately considered as the Messiah would ever suffer and die. So how could they possibly understand his resurrection? At that time, the only resurrection they knew of, was the one mentioned in Daniel 12: 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. This would be the resurrection of everyone on the final judgment day.
This was why, on the third day, the women brought spices to place on Jesus’ corpse, to remove the smell of decay. They had to wait three days for the Sabbath to be over to complete this process for burial. Typically, such a body would then be left to rot till only the bones were left, and eventually the bones would be placed in a case to be stored for good. However, when the women arrived, all they saw was the empty grave. But the angels were there to remind them that the resurrection happened just as Jesus had predicted. The three predictions of Jesus were meant for this moment of remembrance. They could not understand it then, but now it would become clearer and clearer. Eventually, they would connect the dots, and realize the significance of the resurrection. Jesus had conquered death as the Savior of all mankind, and he is indeed the Lord and Messiah.
Since the women remembered the words of Jesus, they might have also remembered other things Jesus said about his death and resurrection. This would be the key point I want to make today. Jesus predicted his death and resurrection in Luke 9 and 18, let’s now look at what else he said in these two passages:
Luke 9: 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
This was what he said after his first prediction and before his second prediction.
Luke 18: 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
When I look at these two passages, there are two common themes:
1. There will be sacrifices involved in following Jesus. In the first century where Christians were persecuted for their religions, such sacrifices could even involve giving up their lives. This is why I find some of the arguments against Jesus’ resurrection to be ridiculous. Some had argued that Jesus’ body was stolen by his disciples, or that he didn’t actually die and he just fainted, or that the disciples fabricated a lie about his resurrection. But that would be akin to saying that they made up a lie to sacrifice themselves. It doesn’t make sense. It is more logical to conclude that they actually witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, and so they willingly sacrificed themselves to preserve the truth. The gospel had to be true to make their sacrifices worthwhile.
2. The second theme is what Jesus promised in Luke 9 and 18: their sacrifices would not be in vain. They would be rewarded in this life and in the life to come when Jesus comes again in his glory.
Both of these themes, sacrifice and reward, are closely linked to Jesus’ identity as the Lord and Messiah. It is precisely because he is the Lord, so he can ask for our sacrifice. It is precisely because he is the Messiah, so he can promise our reward. It might seem very transactional to speak about sacrifices and rewards as if we are only doing what we do for the returns. It is not like that. The foundation of the sacrifice and reward is Jesus’ own death and resurrection. Since this is the way of Jesus, his followers must follow the same path. It will be a life of sacrifice, but it will also be a rewarding life.
As our Lord and Messiah, it is not just Jesus who conquers death, but all his followers as well. I asked myself what a person who is victorious over death would be like. I think we can see glimpses of these from those who were given a new life, either because they recovered miraculously from a sickness, or they were given a chance to turn over a new leaf. I’m sure you have heard testimonies of people who said how they looked at life differently when they escaped death and were given a chance to live again. Many such people were unafraid to do what was right and they spent time on what really mattered in life. Imagine if you didn’t just escape death, but actually conquered death. We are the disciples of Jesus, victorious over death. We should live life even more fully than such people, shouldn’t we?
Such a life would be meaningful, but it might not be easy, since it might involve fighting against evil and the sins of the world. And this is where we should remember the words of Jesus. He spoke of his death and resurrection. And then he spoke of sacrifices and rewards. As our Lord and Messiah, he will honor his words to us if we honor our relationship with him. As we remember these words, we feel comforted and assured, and continue to persevere in following Jesus and his ways.
I do not know the cross that you have to bear. For some of you, it might be fighting for justice and protecting the weak around you. For some others, it might be loving your enemies and continuing to pray for them and evangelize to them, whether through your actions or your words. For the rest of you, it might involve sacrifices in time and effort in church or in the mission fields. But I will end with this timely reminder. In Jesus Christ we are already victorious over death. The empty grave is there to prove our savior lives. And so shall we.
Luke 24:1–12 (Listen)
24:1 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.