He Is Not Here

March 31, 2024 | Brandon Cooper
Brandon Cooper preached on Jesus’ resurrection based on the account in Luke 24. He argued the empty tomb and eyewitnesses support that Jesus rose from the dead, validating His identity and sacrifice for sins. Though the disciples were initially skeptical, Jesus’ resurrection offers salvation to all who believe. Cooper encouraged listeners to seriously consider the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection and decide whether to accept the salvation He offers.


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning church. You’re gonna go ahead and grab your Bibles, you’re gonna open up to that passage, Luke 24, verses one to 12. If you are using our pew Bible that’s on page 858, page 858. If you don’t own a Bible, by the way, that pew Bible right there in front of you just consider that our gift to you. You can just take that home with you, we’d love for you to be in it anyway. But Luke 24, one to 12 is where we’ll be this morning. So as you’re turning there, some years ago, I think this was right before Karis made her appearance, when Amy and I lived in Bogota, Colombia, we were walking one day in the mall near our house, when all of a sudden I started to feel very dizzy, a little bit disoriented, off balance, like the like the room was shaking. And as I looked up, I noticed that the decorations hanging in the mall were swinging pretty wildly. And then I looked around, and I noticed that everybody else seemed to Dizzy also. And I started to put some things together, that we were in the middle of an earthquake at that point common in that area. So not a huge one, but an impressive one was about 6.2 on the Richter scale. But my train of thought moved very quickly in those moments, but was very definitely a train of thought when I was going, you know, like, what is happening? There were these stages of confusion, even amazement that I passed through amazement, because I’d always wanted to be in an earthquake. So this was pretty exciting for me. So quick process, but still, it was kind of a, you know, what is happening, like weird stuff is happening. So just observation, like sensory perception, something is different here. That was kind of stage one, stage two, I’m trying to make sense of it, trying to look for some explanation why this is all happening. And then third stage, at least for me, it was kind of enjoy the ride. But it was a response, there was still this sense of like, okay, I need to do something in light of what I just found out. And so we were on the third floor of a mall, which is not a great place to be in earthquakes, we kind of like hugged a pillar and hugged each other, and you know, all that stuff, we were fine. Obviously, that process is exactly what we see, in our story today, what Jenny just read for us, when Jesus’s followers experienced a spiritual earthquake, so to speak, just nothing like they had been expecting, because it’s about 36 hours after Jesus’s death. And some of his followers, women, in particular, discover that his tomb is empty. It’s the centerpiece of the story, the empty tomb, which is kind of funny when you think about it, because it is now in a relevant place. Nothing interesting is happening there any longer. And Luke, who’s writing this account of Luke is a careful historian. He tells us that in the opening for verses to his gospel, what he did to make sure that he got this account, right, he’s also a doctor. And so he’s got a doctor’s attention to detail, you know, looking at symptoms and all that stuff. And so he records the mental, emotional and spiritual responses of the characters in this story, which vary widely. But if I could sum them all up in just one word, it’s a word that shows up twice in our passage, it’s the word wonder, wonder. I like that word, because it captures the variety because wonder can mean confusion, and bewilderment. It can mean curiosity, amazement, maybe even all. And all of those are at work here. So we’re going to look at these three stages of wonder, in our story, the same three stages that every one of us must pass through. So what I encourage you even now to think about where am I in this process? You may be here this morning, really, just as a kindness to your family, you would rather be somewhere else but you know, Mom wants you here. And so you showed up, or you may be here, you know, really just checking this out? thought this would be a good day for it. Or maybe you’ve been coming for a long time you love it. Where are you? You know, and where are you in this process? And where would God have you go from here. So let’s look at these three stages one at a time. The first stage is facts, facts. So let’s look where we start again. So Luke 24, verse one, on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. So it’s early Sunday morning. It’s that stage when there’s light in the sky, but you can’t see the sun yet still gray. We have a group of women who are bringing spices for Jesus’s body. Because Jesus had been crucified on Friday and he died late in the afternoon, just before the Sabbath begins. And also just before Passover, this was not a good time to be unclean as a pious Jew. And so they kind of tossed the body in this tomb without really any preparation And the women are here just as early as they possibly can be to rectify that neglect and neglect that came with haste. That’s why they’re getting there so quickly. Then Luke tells us they find something and they don’t find something. So verse two, they find the stone rolled away. But verse three, when they enter, they do not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Those are the facts. Again, the observation, the sensory perception piece of it, the brute facts requiring explanation to the start of their spiritual earthquake, because they showed up at the tomb of fully expecting to find a body, and it’s not there. And that leads them to wonder it says in verse four, while they were wondering about this, the word that’s used there, it’s a very specific sort of wonder. It means to be confused, uncertain, at a loss. Actually, John uses the same word in his Gospel to describe what happened just the night before Jesus’s death during the Last Supper, and Jesus says, one of you is going to betray me. And all the disciples look around going what? Like, mouth open, just dumbstruck. What are you talking about? Uncertain at a loss. That’s how the women are feeling right now. And no doubt you’ve experienced this, at some point in your life, this same kind of what just happened? You know, perhaps you were at home and your spouse shows up at 10 in the morning on a Monday when they’re supposed to be at work still. And you go, that’s not good. Why are they here? Or it’s, you know, the week before your 30th birthday, and you’re out with friends at a restaurant, and you head to the back room. And it turns out, all of your friends are there. And the light bulb goes on really quickly in these moments, right? So in that case, you knew as a surprise party, maybe the other case, you’re going okay, is my spouse sick? Is that why they’re home from work? Or? No, I can tell if an expression on his face, there were layoffs at work. The light bulb goes on in those moments. So it is here, the light bulb goes on almost literally because we’ve got these two really bright guys standing there. They’re angels if we were unclear about that, and they are bringing light they’re bringing understanding to the situation when the women see them, they bow in humility. They bow because they realize that something is going on that’s a little bit beyond them. And so they’re almost asking like what exactly just happened and the angels tell them he is not here. Ambrose Bierce is a skeptic atheist wrote a little book called The Devil’s Dictionary, which kind of gave the definition of key religious terms from a skeptic or atheist perspective. And he says this, he says that faith is belief without evidence, and what is told by one who speaks without knowledge of things without parallel. And perhaps that’s how you feel about faith, you know, to to believe something like this, it requires a leap of faith, you got to check your mind at the door and all of that. So I understand the sentiment, I don’t understand where this is coming from, of course. But with apologies to bearson Perhaps you if this is how you think it’s utter nonsense. Because faith is very much based in evidence, as we see here. There are brute facts to be explained. You know, it’s like my moment in Bogota, the ground is shaking. The Earth has split open, even if you think earthquakes are fairy tales, like tectonic plates. Come on. It’s nonsense. And so you have to wonder, you have to wonder about these facts, there is enough evidence, at least to make us ask some questions. And most especially, it’s the empty tomb. It’s the empty tomb, he is not here is the burial story is true. If Jesus was actually laid in a tomb, then that tomb had to be empty. Because otherwise they would have just pointed to the body. Remember, they’re preaching Jesus’s resurrection within a few weeks, right there where he’d been killed and buried would have been so easy to go, no, no, he’s still dead. This is every year and my family. In fact, I did it yesterday. In honor of my father, we make the same joke. Cancel Easter, they found the body.
But that would be the point where if that’s true, if they find the body, Easter is canceled, but we have extremely early evidence for the burial within three years of Jesus’s death, it’s already been talked about, and they actually name names in the burial story, which is kind of important for you to look back up at Matthew or Luke 23, verse 50, it says, Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the council and it says in the next verse, He comes from era mithya. Now the council is the Sanhedrin. This is the ruling party in Jerusalem. So the equivalent today would be like saying there was a man named Chuck Schumer from New York, a member of the Senate. Now if I told a really unbelievable story, and called him as one of my witnesses, and you are an investigative journalist, what would you do next? Ask Chuck. And if Chuck was like, I’m sorry, who, which is what he would say, in my case, you would know this story was a hoax. But we’ve got the name. People could have asked him, and yet the story is still here, the incidental details in the story are accurate, for example, the type of tomb that was used, even though this was written decades later, and in a different place. Those are the kinds of details that are hard to get right in fiction. And the story reads like history, not like Legend, we’ve got lots of examples of Legends. Just give you one example is the fact that the first people to find the empty tomb are women, which maybe doesn’t strike us as odd but would have back then, because women weren’t considered reliable witnesses at that time. So if you’re gonna come up with propaganda, you do better than this. This is an earthquake. This is an earthquake. Remember, Christianity begins in Jerusalem within weeks of Christ’s death. And it’s being proclaimed by a group of people who right after he died, were cowering in fear in hiding. And then something happened to make them the greatest peacetime evangelistic force the world has ever seen. What could have happened? The tomb was empty, the tomb was empty. That is the brute, brute fact. Now the empty tomb by itself is, of course not proof of anything. Bertrand Russell made this point noted atheist of a few decades back, which explains some of the illustration here. He said, If you were to come to him and tell him that Queen Elizabeth had just died. And then a week later, he saw her walking in Kensington Gardens, he would not think that she had been raised from the dead. He would think you had been wrong. Maybe you’ve even had this happen. I remember one time, my brother told me a famous celebrity that we both like an actor that we both like had died. And then sure enough, he was like, in a movie a little bit later, I was like, oh, again, not resurrected. My brother was wrong often the case. I’ve got three brothers. So I can say that because now you don’t know which one. But there’s still, there’s still data to reckon with. That’s the important piece here, we should still be wondering why the tomb was empty, like what are the options? What are the possible explanations, and that is the second stage of our wonder, explanations, explanation. So we got the brute fact he is not here. We didn’t actually need the angels for that bit of information. But they do give us some explanation. Quite helpfully. Why do you look for the living among the dead, He is not here he has written, remember how he told you while he was still with you in Galilee, the Son of Man must be delivered over the hands of sinners be crucified, and on the third day be raised again. And they remembered his words. He has been raised, doesn’t actually say He is risen, says he has been raised. That’s important, because that’s a passive tense, and it is a divine passive, it is God who has raised him. And that’s important, because if God raised Jesus from the dead, and that is a vindication of Jesus’s message, God is saying, Yep, he was right. He was not a liar, when he said all of this, so what was Jesus’s message, if nothing else, what he was saying about himself, when he claimed to be the Messiah, and the Son of God, and in fact, claimed quite clearly to be God Himself. What’s more, all of this has happened, just as Jesus Himself said, The angels are gonna remember what he said earlier. But it had been too unbelievable to accept prior to the miracle. And yet, Jesus’s words are still key to overcoming our confusion. And that’s important means maybe our most important first step as we seek explanations is actually to read the Bible for ourselves. Probably starting with the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is interesting though, in verses seven, the quote from Jesus, we get again, three passives, the Son of Man, that’s how Jesus often referred to himself, the Son of Man will be delivered, be crucified, and then be raised. This all happens with different people. He’s going to be delivered handed over betrayed by one of his disciples, and then by the Jews, to the Romans, and he’ll be crucified by the Romans and then raised by God, as we saw. What’s interesting about that, to me is that means that two out of the three things that are happening, it looks like God isn’t in control anymore. It looks like somebody else is pulling the strings now it’s Judas or kya fists or Pilate. But no, he’d predicted all of this, which means everything was unfolding exactly according to His plan. He had predicted all of this, which they then remembered that he had said this. And even that buttresses the truth claims, of course, mean that would be another one of those brute facts we need to explain at some point would be all of the prophecies about Christ. You look at Isaiah writing 700 years before Christ, or David in Psalm 22, writing 1000 years before Christ predicting with shocking detail exactly how all this would happen. How do you explain that? And yet, this doesn’t by itself, eliminate wonder not even in our story, the perplexity the curiosity that the people are feeling. And so we get these varied responses. The women seem to be processing all of this quite well, in light of the new information, they had the angelic explanation. So verse nine, and following, they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the 11. Here’s what just happened. Here’s the explanation, guys, the man in this story, not doing as well. Okay, not doing as well. To be fair to them. They didn’t get some of the same benefits that the women had gotten. They hadn’t seen the angel or the empty tomb just yet. But their response to the women is, I mean, probably a little bit sexist. If we could just be honest here. They think that women are talking nonsense. The word that’s used there is diluted. So what the men think at this point is that the women are so overwhelmed by grief that they’re seeing things. I mean, this would be what psychologists would refer to as denial. The truth is so unpleasant that the mind literally rejects it as a coping mechanisms so they are untethered from reality at this point. This is interesting, too, because it means that the disciples the apostles rejected the message of the resurrection out of hand. They were not expecting this. They weren’t planning for Jesus to come back. They had no hope of a sudden reversal of their fortunes, probably because they had seen or at least heard of other messiahs being crucified by Rome. There’s some examples in Scripture, some others that I could point to. You haven’t heard of any of these guys, though, of course, because guess what happens to messiahs who get killed by Rome? Nothing, nothing happens. Their movement dies out and their disciples usually die out with them. And so it’s best to hide in an upper room like our apostles are doing here. So they got no hope of a resurrection. You don’t even really seem to be wondering much. They’re just rejecting the women except for impetuous Peter, Peter is always on his own, and he runs to the tomb at least he’s going to check it out for himself, admirably. I might add, I think that’s a good perspective for us a good approach. Interestingly, it says that he sees the grave clothes, that the linen strips they would have been wrapped and kind of like a mummy if you can picture that. Which means something it means that Jesus had been there. Because his great clothes are there also means that his body had not been stolen. Because if you’re going to steal about a grave robbery was of course a thing back then if you’re gonna steal a body, you don’t take the time to unwrap it first. Like if you’re doing a smash and grab at a jewelry store, you don’t break the glass, grab all the diamonds, then go get the broom and dustpan and sweep up the glass because you don’t want anyone to cut their feet later. You’re just gonna get out of there. So of course, you wouldn’t have grave clothes if the body was stolen. So we’ve got the empty tomb for sure. We still have these facts that need explanations, the ground is still shaking, and we still got to ask why. How did the tomb get empty? There are not many options available to us. Who would have taken the body if the body has been taken? Again, not robbers, we already established that the grave clothes plus there’s a Roman guard out front, not a great store to rob, not the disciples, if for no other reason than all of them were tortured and killed for their faith with the exception of John, he was only exiled for his face. So that’s much easier. Conspiracies break really quickly. When people start to suffer, no one’s willing to die for what they know is a lie. So it can’t be that plus, did you notice how dumb the disciples look in this story?
That’s important, actually. Because if you’re writing theological propaganda, you would not make yourself look like an idiot. Go back and read like stories about Stalin or something. See if he’s not the Hero of the Soviet stories, he never looks like an idiot. That’s what we would have here. Maybe then the body wasn’t stolen. Jesus just wasn’t really dead. So is a bold explanation Not gonna lie. There’s still the guards there, which you’d have to like sneak past or maybe he’s knocking on the tune door or something. Also that Rome was just really good at killing people. Like they excelled at this, Jesus died on that cross. It’s actually a little bit interesting that Jesus didn’t die before the cross. Because he’d been whipped so badly. The purpose of a Roman scourging was to expose not just muscle, but bone. And often internal organs even do you think of amount of blood loss you would have had suffered there to then be hung on a cross, we have to pull yourself up in order to breathe while you’re still losing blood. And then at the end of it, they jab a spear into his heart. He didn’t make it. He didn’t make it. Even if he did, let’s just play fantasy here for a moment, even if he did, how to get out of the tomb, Did he roll the stone back and sneak past the guards. And then a few days later, he shows up before his disciples and somehow convinces them. Having miraculously not bled out, I guess, somehow convinces him that he is the resurrected and glorified Lord. And not a guy on the verge of death. Not a chance. So we’re left with this really uncomfortable fact, the tomb was empty. And we don’t seem to have any good natural explanation for it. So you can sit there even now and say, well, there must be an explanation. Okay. But what exactly is the explanation? We don’t have a good alternative. Like we’re back to Bertrand Russell and Queen Elizabeth. Remember, we agreed with him? That would be bad information, most likely. But what if the one who told him that Queen Elizabeth was dead was the attending physician at her death? Well, that changes things right. Now we need a little something more. Or we go back to the beers quote. Faith, remember, is belief without evidence. Well, no, we’ve got evidence. We’ve got the empty tomb. belief without evidence and what is told by someone without knowledge. What do angels count as having knowledge? And most of you would go? No, because they’re supernatural. We don’t believe in angels either. Okay. What about eyewitnesses? Do they count as having knowledge? The women at the tomb Joseph of era mithya. The apostles who see Jesus later. So now we have real evidence given by a people with knowledge in what is still admittedly an event without parallel. At what point do we need a better explanation? That’s the second stage of wonder, right? They’re not settling for easy answered, and easy answers. Clinging to our our preconceived notions not being closed minded. At this point in history, like now we have to start weighing competing claims, we may have gotten to the point where we realize there’s too much evidence to deny the resurrection, which is true. And at the same time, perhaps feeling like there’s still too little to be certain beyond a doubt. Which is true also, if beyond a doubt, you mean, with scientific or mathematical accuracy? You can’t replicate these things in a lab. Of course, history is not science. What do you do in that moment, too much evidence to deny too little to no without doubt. Daniel Taylor, in his book, The Myth of certainty, he says one option is surrender to the paralyzing ambivalence of cautious uncertainty. I love that. We read it again. One option is surrender to the paralyzing ambivalence of cautious uncertainty. Another is to use uncertainty itself as a stepping stone to the risk of commitment. And that’s the approach I would commend the risk of commitment. Ask questions, seek answers, risk commitment, go ahead and wander. In other words, go ahead and wander. But those brute undeniable facts like the empty tomb, lead you to seek explanations, the resurrection, or what. And then, just maybe, onto the third stage of wonder, beliefs, beliefs, we do see hints of this in the very last clause. Since the end of verse 12. Bending over, He saw the strips of linen line by themselves and he went away, there’s the word again, wondering to himself what had happened. Interestingly, this is a different word. Now. This does not mean to be at a loss or uncertain. This is the word that normally means amazed. In fact, we saw it last week. If you were here at the end of the Sermon on the Mountain, they were amazed at Jesus’s teaching, same word that’s being used there. They’re wondering what sort of teacher Jesus says this is a new stage of wonder if Peter is not bewildered, he’s not curious what happened. He’s got the facts. And he’s got the explanation from the women now. Now he’s chasing significance. What does this mean? Why does this matter? We don’t see it all here in this story. But we know what’s happening in Peters mind because we see how he explains it all later. Here’s what he’s just done. There’s a fact he is not here. And then there’s an explanation. He has been raised. He has been raised to bring us salvation. There’s the belief. Here’s how he says it in his first letter, First Peter one, verse three, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That’s where it comes from. Now, why did Jesus die in the first place, he tells us the next chapter to 24, He Himself bore our sins, quoting Isaiah, by the way, 700 years before Jesus, He Himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness by his wounds you have been healed, then he sums it up 121 Through him, you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified Him. And so your faith and hope are in God, that’s the significance. This was not a random, albeit very cool miracle. No, this is something else. This is the story of our redemption, God rescuing us from our cells. Just think with me, if Jesus has been raised by God, and vindicated by God, then then everything he taught us is true. That means he really is God come in the flesh to save us. It means he really lived a perfect life and full obedience to God. So that he had a perfect performance record to exchange with us. When he takes our sins are very flawed and spotty performance record on Himself on the cross. And then he died, really died that brutal death on a cross, and then Dying on that cross, he really did take care of our sins, He wipes the stain away, he takes the punishment, he pays the penalty, He restores the fabric of the world that had been ripped in to buy our sin. And then he was really laid in Josephs two to 36 hours later, his heart really did start to beat again. And his lungs filled with air. Because he really did conquer death. Jesus is alive even now, which means he really does offer us hope, the hope of eternal life, the hope of restoration, that is what he called us into a new birth into a living hope. He really does offer all this to us when we turn from our sin and turn from ourselves and turn to him and he offers it to all of us. Even the really bad people. Like the thief on the cross next to him, who repented of his sin and trusted in Jesus. And Jesus said, today you will be with Me in Paradise, even to the doubters and skeptics, which again, might be some of us like Thomas, I’m not going to believe unless I gotta touch the wounds, and Jesus goes, Okay, here you go. You see now that the story then it’s not just true, but good. We should want this story to be true, because it provides exactly what we need and all that we have been looking for. That’s the point of this story. And it’s where we all have to go. Because every one of us here has to accept or reject this truth. This is not just an interesting tidbit from history. This is not like the moon landing. There have always been a few people who think we didn’t really land on the moon back in the 60s. But the question of whether or not Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, you answered that question will change my life, not one tiny bit.
Like if it turns out it was false. All right, maybe I got a little less trust in the government and in the media, or if you don’t think it was true, and it turns out it was true. Maybe you got a little more trust in the government in the media. Until the next thing though. It’s not gonna change our lives in the slightest. That’s not the resurrection though. But this is not just an earthquake. This is a personal earthquake, the ground you’re walking on is opening up before you because his death and resurrection has a universal significance. Because Jesus is Lord of all the fact is sitting out there. The tomb was empty. The explanations are few and far between it calls for a decision how will you respond? Well, you sneer like the disciples, at least at first, will you trust like the women Would you seek, like Peter, just don’t get stuck. That’d be my encouragement to you here. It’s interesting. Carolyn Weber in her Spiritual Autobiography, it’s a story of her coming to faith at Oxford called surprised by Oxford. She tells them a time when she being at Oxford, she and a friend went to find Stonehenge not too far from there. And they got stuck on a ring road as what they call which is a traffic circle. And, you know, you can get in the inner lane of a traffic circle. And you could just do this for the rest of your life when you run out of gas anyway, because they didn’t know which exit took them to Stonehenge. And so they just kept going around and around and around. That’s what a lot of us do with the big questions in our lives. Can we ever be sure? No. So we’ll just keep driving. Because I don’t know which exit leads to Stonehenge, which exit leads to truth. My encouragement is just get off. Just try one. Try one, try an exit go down a bit. If you don’t find Stonehenge, if you don’t find truth, you can always come back and try a different exit. You also got other options, you could you know, consult a map, just throwing that out there. What would that mean? Like, investigate, read some good books or something you could talk to the locals which way is Stonehenge? A lot of us in this room are those locals we would be so happy to talk to you about this. It’s one of the reasons why gathering with the church community is so important to our faith. But go ahead and wander. Right. That’s the takeaway. So go ahead and wonder you can start confused and bewildered and maybe even sneering, but don’t stay there. Ask questions. Learn more things. You know, Kyle mentioned that little book we’ve got out on the information table, please grab one as you go. 12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Easter will take you about 30 minutes to read. You can read it standing up. I tried it this week. It works. Okay. And here’s the thing. It’s a short book, but it is like your Easter basket chock full of goodies, you will learn stuff for sure I learned a lot about chocolate. I knew most of the Bible stuff. But still, you’re going to learn stuff, guaranteed, like start there or read the gospel, but move through the stages to all and trust. But you do have to make a decision. Because not making a decision is still a decision. I want to make this very concrete for you. So we’re going to play imagination again. So imagine you are out to dinner. And a mysterious man approaches you. He claims to be a doctor. And he tells you that you’ve just drunk poison. But the good news, he has the antidote, but you need to take it right away. This is how most spy thriller start off. So you’re in a spy thriller. Now, this is very exciting for all of us. So that would be an earthquake moments, right? Like, I was not expecting unless you actually were a spy, in which case you’d be like, Okay, great. Thank you for the antidote. But the rest of us would be like, I don’t know what just happened earthquake moment, you’re confused? What do you need to believe in order to make a decision here? First, you got to believe that this guy is who He says He is. Like, he’s a doctor. He’s knows what he’s talking about. Second, you would have to believe that you have a problem. You just drank poison. And you’re about to die as a result. Third, and maybe most importantly, you’d have to believe that his intentions are good, and that he really can save you. That’s what will determine if you trust him or not. But here’s the thing again, whatever you do, you’re making a decision. You either drink the antidote, or you don’t. And we’re gonna find out who was right, shortly thereafter. So how do you know if you trusted this mysterious guy, you would drink the antidote? How do you know that you believe and trust in Jesus, You take the salvation that he offers. You believe those same three things. He is who he claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God, in fact, God Himself, you believe that we have a problem. It’s called sin. That’s why he had to die on the cross, the punishment that we deserved, because there was not enough good that we could do not enough points that we could earn to make up for the deficit we had already created by our selfish, sinful living, we have a problem. And third, you’d have to believe that he is good and able to save you. And the proof, the pointer that lets us know that all that is true is the empty tomb. And the resurrection that it proclaims, Jesus is alive. He walked out of that grave, and he died and rose to save us. Will you believe it’s incredible news, I grant. That’s incredibly good news. Go ahead and wonder, would you join me in prayer?
Lord, we pray that even now you will be opening our eyes and ears and hearts. To see and hear and understand the truth of all that Jesus came to do for us in your great plan of salvation. We pray, Lord, that You would help us to believe, to trust to move from confusion to understanding and from understanding to trust. As we surrender our lives to you and accept the antidote, the grace that you offer us as we get off the traffic circle and pursue truth help each and every one of us to take a step as we leave here today, to receive and belief, we ask this in Christ’s name, Amen.

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