ALIVE

 
                             Reading Luke 24:13-43
 

    INTRODUCTION

 
 
    Some years ago a man  was  passing  a  shop in  Prince's  Street,  when
    he  noticed a painting of the crucifixion displayed in the window.
    As he gazed upon it the memory of long forgotten  truths  flooded  back
    into his mind. He didn't notice  a  ragged  little  boy  who  was  also
    looking at the picture, until he  spoke: "That's Jesus  sir;  they
    put  that crown of thorns on His head; They  nailed  Him  to  a  cross,
    and  crucified Him; He died  for   our   sins   Sir,  and  they  buried
    Him  up  yonder".
    The memories were too vivid, and with a lump in his throat,  he  turned
    and walked away quickly. Suddenly he felt a tugging at  his  coat,  and
    found that the little boy had followed him.  "I forgot to tell you
    Sir, HE ROSE AGAIN"
 

      THE ESSENTIAL TRUTH

 
      [A] So often today, Christians seem  to  suffer  from the same lapse of
      memory as that little boy, and  they  forget  to  stand up for the fact
      that Jesus is RISEN, and as such IS ALIVE TODAY!
      [B] Do you remember a few  years  ago,  at Easter time, the Post Office
      was paid to frank   the   letters   with   "JESUS  IS ALIVE!"
      Thousands and thousands of  people  finding  the  mail  coming  through
      their door, with this central truth of the Gospel!
      [C] But what a fuss  it  created!!  Due  to  complaints from the Moslem
      population, who  found  it   "OFFENSIVE!"   the  post  office
      refused to continue!
      [D] If it is offensive to proclaim that Jesus is alive - SO BE IT!
      IN SOME MOSLEM COUNTRIES, THAT IS  A  MESSAGE STILL PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
      TODAY!! AND IN THIS  MODERN  AGE,  CHRISTIANS  HAVE  BEEN  PUT TO DEATH
      BECAUSE THEY PROCLAIMED THIS TRUTH!!
      [E] You could go to the tomb of  Mohammed, and know that the remains of
      his body are there!
      [F] You could go to  the  graves  of  the  founders of many other world
      religions, and know that they have died and were buried - end of story!
      [G] The thing that makes Christianity  different, is that it's founder,
      although crucified, IS ALIVE AND WELL, AFTER 2000 YEARS!!
      [H] Christianity is not just  a  religion  or  a  dogma,  but is A LIFE
      CHANGING  EXPERIENCE OF THE LIVING CHRIST!
      [I] The resurrection is the centre stone of our faith!
      "If Christ be not raised, ye  are  yet in your sins" said the
      Apostle!
      WITHOUT THAT TRUTH - WE HAVE NOTHING BUT A DULL DEAD EMPTY RELIGION!
 

      THE DEVIL'S DESPERATION

 
      [a] That's why, every Easter,  you'll  get headlines that say something
      like, "PROOF THAT JESUS CHRIST DIDN'T RISE FROM THE DEAD!"
      [b] So often, I think the devil must be getting desperate!!
      [c] Look at this year!!
      Professor appears on television   news   -   "We   have  found the
      grave of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus -  proof  that  He  lived and died and
      was buried like anyone else! We  found these  burial  caskets, with the
      three names on them"
      The interviewer made the point that  probably  some of the most popular
      names at the time  of  Christ,  were  Joseph,  Mary  and Jesus, and the
      archaeologist had to agree. THEN   HE   WAS   ASKED  ABOUT THE BONES IN
      THE CASKETS, AND  GUESS  WHAT,  THERE  WEREN'T  EVEN  ANY  BONES IN THE
      CASKETS!
      THEY'D BEEN STOLEN, HE SAID. Now I don't know who would want to steal a
      pile of ancient bones - BUT WHAT A PREPOSTEROUS LOT OF NONSENSE!!
 

      THE FACTS

 
      [a] The two in our Bible reading,  on  the way to Emmaus, were downcast
      and depressed. Jesus was dead!
      [b] They probably didn't even want  to  talk with the stranger who drew
      alongside them on their journey.
      [c] But before  long  their  hearts  were  burning  within  them, as he
      revealed to  them  the  truth  of  Scriptural  prophecy  regarding  the
      Messiah!
      [d] If they had not shown  Christian kindness and invited this stranger
      in to stay the  night,  they  would  not  have  had  the opportunity to
      recognise Him, as the RISEN CHRIST!
      [e] When He appeared to the others, He proved beyond any doubt, that HE
      HAD RISEN IN THE FLESH.
      [f] They were able to TOUCH HIS WOUNDS!
          He ATE A MEAL with them!
          He even COOKED A MEAL for them!
      THIS WAS NO GHOST! THIS WAS THE RISEN CHRIST!!
      [g] We can have forgiveness  of  sin  when  we repent, because JESUS IS
      ALIVE TODAY!
      [g] Jesus can give eternal life to  those  who  ask Him , because HE IS
      ALIVE TODAY!
      [h] At our invitation, He can transform us, AND COME TO LIVE WITHIN US,
      because HE IS ALIVE TODAY!
      [i] Christianity holds the only true way of Salvation, because JESUS IS
      ALIVE TODAY!
      BUT ALL OF THAT MEANS  NOTHING  TO  YOU,  IF YOU HAVEN'T YET PERSONALLY
      INVITED HIM INTO YOUR LIFE TO BE YOUR SAVIOUR!
      BELIEVING THE DOCTRINE IS FINE - BUT  TO EXPERIENCE THE RISEN CHRIST IN
      OUR LIVES IS SO MUCH MORE WONDERFUL!