He is Risen
From a Sermon
By Leonard Ravenhill
"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, come Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended form heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow;
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said to the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."
I think it was Campbell Morgan who said that the resurrection is the most stupendous, supernatural miracle that the world has ever known. It supercedes everything else - because if He is not risen from the dead then everything else collapses!
Think of this as a great pyramid the apostle built through the writing of his fourteen epistles, including Hebrews: then he turns that great pyramid over and he balances the fine point on one thing! It is this awesome verse in the 15th chapter of first Corinthians. He says, "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
There are many philosophies about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the Scripture is the first, the foremost, and the final word.
There are those who say that Jesus never died. All He did was faint, because He had been up all night, and pushed around, and He had lost some blood. They put Him into a tomb and then He revived in the cool tomb and He came out again. Well, the apostles, of course, shatter all that argument absolutely.
Remember that this is the thing that got the apostles into trouble! If Jesus wasn't risen from the dead, I think they could have gone back to the temple and said, "Look, He was a good man, we saw miracles, and He was a marvelous man, but He didn't come through on the last thing. He said, 'I'm going to rise from the dead under My own power.' - we're sorry He didn't make it. And we feel that we have something that we should share with you..." You know, I think in the temple they could have started a new school, and a new sect of Jesus followers, and had no trouble. But the thing right out in the open was that these men who had trembled and run away, who forsook Him and fled, become as bold as lions.
Why? Because they knew that Jesus had risen from the dead, that's why!
It says in the Acts of the Apostles concerning Jesus, first chapter and verse three, "To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Now look, if it was a fallacy, as the world says, why do this bunch of men stand up and live in danger of their lives. Can these men have had hallucination for forty days in succession? "He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs." I can't find one modern version of scripture that includes the word infallible. Man hates that word infallible. He showed himself alive. To who? Oh, to a whole bunch of people; as many as five hundred in broad daylight. Can you see visions in broad daylight? Suffer hallucinations? He showed Himself alive, by many infallible proofs!
What were the infallible proofs? The infallible proofs were,
"we have touched Him, we have seen Him."
Peter testifies to that later in his first epistle, doesn't he? He says, "We don't follow cunningly devised fables, we have seen Him, we handled Him, we heard Him." For forty days He confirmed their faith.
Oh, that's wonderful.
Yes, it's wonderful! But to me it's also terrible, you see, because the world hadn't believed Him for three years, for the next forty days He said, "Get out of it, world, I am not appearing to you."
He could have won the world in a day!
All He had to do was go to Pontius Pilate at one o'clock in the morning and tap
him and say, "Hey, what are you going to do now?"
Then go down the road to Caiaphas house, stand by his bed and only say,
"Well? Well?" Oh, he'd have shuddered in his bed and had to say, "Oh, My
God, have mercy on me."
Or go to the village cemetery and shout over the wall, "I am
the resurrection and the Life."
THE RESURRECTION IS NOT PART OF MY THEOLOGY, THE RESURRECTION IS A PERSON.
"I AM THE RESURRECTION."
HE IS AS MUCH MY RESURRECTION AS HE IS MY SAVIOR, AND MY LORD AND MY KING!
Now it says in the Emmaus walk that He appeared unto them in another form. That's right and they didn't understand. How many forms did He appear in?
He appeared as a little baby. GOD appeared as a babe.
He appeared as a great teacher. Their ears must have burned when He
preached the Sermon on the Mount. They said, "This is the most
marvelous thing man has ever uttered. Is this possible?" He appeared
as their teacher, as He had appeared as a babe.
He appeared as a servant, to their embarrassment. One day He put a towel
around His waist, and took some water, and He knelt, and washed their feet.
He appeared one day on a cross, as the atoning Lamb to take away the
sin of the world.
And now He appears in another form. They are walking down that road, just seven miles from Jerusalem on the Emmaus road and He overtook them. Their feet were heavy, but their hearts were heavier still.
You know what? I think the resurrection morning was the most
disappointing morning in the life of the Son of God.
You know why? Because if one
of them had believed Him they would have been lined up
outside of the tomb waiting for Him, but not one of them turned up.
He'll appear to you in different forms... the way you need Him.
Sometimes He comes in tenderness and compassion when you have a wounded
heart and a wounded spirit, and He binds up the brokenhearted.
Sometimes He will come and pierce the heart. Because He loves us,
He will come and pierce us.
Sometimes He will come in overwhelming majesty, you have to bow at
His feet in adoration.
He doesn't have to come in one form or another, He appears as He wants to appear.
He showed Himself alive unto His disciples with many infallible proofs. Oh, I think they enjoyed it when He broke bread, you know, when He called one morning and they were tired after fishing, "Hi boys!" Actually the Greek says, "lads, come here." And they went, and as the hymn says, "they met their heart's desire, bread and fish upon the fire." That was the greatest breakfast ever cooked.
I think He took some rocks and put them down and said, "Become bread."
Then He said to the devil, "I'll do it when I want, not when you want."
Because the devil once said to Him, "If you are the Son of God,
turn those rocks into bread." Well, you can never do the wrong thing
at the right time, but you can do the right thing at the wrong time, and He said, "No."
I guess He collected fish the same way Peter did under His instruction when they needed to pay taxes. So, He
made breakfast for His disciples.
Do you think they ever forgot that breakfast?
Did Peter ever forget when Jesus looked on him in compassion?
Did Thomas ever forget when He said, "Put your hands in..."
Those were wonderful appearances.
But I'll tell you the thing that was most wonderful of all: you know why they were strong enough to do what God told them? He BREATHED on them.
He BREATHED on a piece of clay. Oh, Adam was very beautiful when he was first made. As beautiful as a corpse, because he had no life in him. Beautiful eyes, fingernails were perfect, body perfect, and then finally, God BREATHED in him, and he became a living soul.
Remember, He took a man called Abram A B R A M, and He BREATHED into Abram and Abram became AbraHam. Changed his whole life.
He breathed on them in the upper room, BEFORE Pentecost, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." And they received the Holy Ghost! Because if a man has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. But they received an enduement of power, a Baptism, in that upper room.
Many infallible proofs of His Resurreccion!
Again, this is the key to the apostolic church.
This is the key to the apostolic church of Jesus Christ today.
All the warranties of the future are in Jesus Christ and the resurrection.
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