Sermon Outline

The Book of Luke
Crucified and Risen
Lesson #13 for June 27, 2015
Scriptures:Genesis 3:1-6; Luke 22:39-46,53; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Matthew 12:30; 1 Corinthians 15:14.
    1.    This lesson covers the two most important events in human history so far: 1) The death of Jesus Christ, and 2) The resurrection of Jesus Christ. In previous lessons, we have discussed the fact that from His childhood, Jesus knew that He had come to this earth to fulfill His Father’s will by living and dying as He did. (Luke 2:41-50; The Desire of Ages 78.1)
    2.    The entire life of Jesus was focused step-by-step toward that incredible goal. Many passages in the Gospels use the word must especially in relationship to the sufferings and death of Jesus. (Luke 17:25; 22:37; 24:7; Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; 9:12; John 3:14) He did not allow anything to deter Him from that awful fate. When Peter tried to reprimand Him for talking about His future death, (Matthew 16:22-23) Jesus denounced Peter as Satan.
    3.    Right in the Garden of Eden, the conditions were set up that would lead to Golgotha. God had said that sin leads to death. (Genesis 2:17) Satan said that was a lie. (Genesis 3:1-5) In this story of two gardens, human beings joined Satan’s side by eating the forbidden fruit. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made it possible for us to escape that terrible association with Satan by offering proof of the truth of His words spoken back in Eden. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to selfishly taste the forbidden fruit. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus lovingly sacrificed Himself to taste death for all of us. Gethsemane is the ultimate example of self-sacrificing love in obedience to God’s command. Satan and every one of his evil host were doing what they could to prevent Jesus from succeeding; but, they failed. When we face temptations in our day, could we use the same methods He used?
    4.    Look at some of the key players in that final week in the life of Jesus. What do we know about Judas? After praying all night and communing with His Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus chose His disciples. (Luke 6:12-16) Did Jesus choose Judas? Jesus did not choose Judas. In fact, when Judas tried to push his way into the inner circle of the disciples, Jesus tried to discourage him. (The Desire of Ages 293.2) The other disciples thought that Judas had a lot of potential. He might have been another Paul. But instead:
    He had fostered the evil spirit of avarice until it had become the ruling motive of his life. The love of mammon overbalanced his love for Christ.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 716.3.
    5.    When Jesus fed the 5000 men, not counting women and children, with five loaves and two fish, (Luke 9:10-17) Judas recognized almost immediately the political and military advantage of that power. He “set on foot the project to take Christ by force and make Him King.”–The Desire of Ages, p. 719.0. When Jesus demanded that the disciples get into a boat and cross the sea of Galilee, Judas’s high hopes were dashed, and his disappointment was bitter. Judas refused to take his eyes off the temporal dream that he had, and thus, lost his place in a future kingdom which will be beyond his wildest dreams. When Mary poured that expensive perfume on Jesus’s feet, (John 12:1-8) Judas was the first to denounce that “waste.” It was from that meal that he went out and sealed the agreement with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver–a workingman’s wages for one month. (Matthew 26:15) At that point, Satan entered Judas, and he became a lost soul. (Luke 22:3) How many of us have our eyes fixed on earthly treasure more than on a place in the kingdom of God?
    6.    How has the cross of Jesus impacted you? His life is the great divide in human history, not only between B.C. and A.D. but also a divider between faith and unbelief, betrayal and acceptance, life and death. Everyone has to join one side or the other. No one can be a fence-sitter forever. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me,” (Matthew 12:30, NKJV) Like it or not, we have to choose sides: Christ or Satan.
    7.    How did the Sanhedrin relate to Jesus? They were 70 men. They were terribly afraid that the rising influence and power of Jesus would destroy their influence and power over the people. They chose to kill an innocent Man rather than risk the loss of their influence and power. Unfortunately for them, as a result, they lost it anyway!
    8.    How did Pilate view Jesus? When Pilate was called by the Sanhedrin to judge Jesus, he recognized almost immediately that Jesus was innocent. (Luke 23:1-7,13-25; John 19:4, NKJV) But, Pilate was a time-serving politician. He was afraid that if too much negative press got back to Rome, he would lose his job. Thus, he was afraid to oppose the will of the crowd and especially the Jewish leaders.
    9.    When Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, Herod was excited about seeing Jesus. He promised Jesus that if He would just work a miracle before him, he would happily set Jesus free. But, it was Jesus’s difficult task never to use His divine power for His own benefit because He was to live and die as a Human Being with no advantage over us in any way.
    10.    Two thieves were crucified with Jesus, one on each side. (Luke 23:39-43) Although both, at first, spoke against Jesus, one of them had been watching Him and changed His tune. One of the thieves wanted Jesus to release Himself and them. The other one recognized that the two of them were getting what they deserved. He had become acquainted with Jesus earlier; however, because of what the Pharisees and Scribes were saying about Jesus, he had decided that Jesus could not be the Messiah. After watching Jesus through His trial and crucifixion, he realized that Jesus was the Messiah; and he pleaded for mercy. (DA 749.3)
    11.    What happened early Sunday morning after the crucifixion? The friends of Jesus were hiding in the upper room, terrified for their lives. But, early in the morning, some of the women went to the tomb with the single purpose of carrying out the final steps in the typical burial ritual. Try to imagine their surprise when they found the tomb empty. They must have been shocked to see heavenly messengers telling them, “He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:6, KJV)
    12.    Why is the resurrection such an important aspect of Christianity? (SeeActs 1:22; 2:14-36; 3:14-15; 4:1-2,10,12,33; 5:30-32.) If Jesus had failed to come forth from the grave, we would know that He was not truly divine, and we would not have the answers about God that we need. If He had not risen from the grave, He could not forgive our sins or heal us, and thus, there would be no salvation for human beings.
    13.    Try to imagine the scene when the women returned to the disciples and told them that the tomb was empty and that Jesus was risen! The disciples, culturally prejudiced against women as they were and totally depressed and discouraged because of the events of Friday and hiding from the authorities, could absolutely not believe the women.
    14.    Back in heaven before our world was created, Lucifer had claimed that he should be treated as an equal with Jesus Christ. God reminded him that he was a creature and not a Creator. Lucifer refused to accept that fact. By rising from the dead in His own power on resurrection Sunday, Jesus proved beyond any doubt that He was divine; Satan knew that his claims had been refuted.
    15.    ReadLuke 24:13-49. What important events occurred on resurrection Sunday? Instead of returning directly to heaven to engage in the long-expected celebration over His victory, Jesus spent His time walking the dusty trails from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Hiding His identity, He spoke to those two disciples about the events of that weekend. As they walked along, He showed them from the Old Testament how the death and resurrection that had taken place were, in fact, fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. Jesus did not just reveal who He was and demand that they accept His statements; He provided solid evidence to support that claim.
    He [Jesus] maintained his disguise till he had interpreted the Scriptures, and had led them to an intelligent faith in his life, his character, his mission to earth, and his death and resurrection. He wished the truth to take firm root in their minds, not because it was supported by his personal testimony, but because the typical law, and the prophets of the Old Testament, agreeing with the facts of his life and death, presented unquestionable evidence of that truth. When the object of his labors with the two disciples was gained, he revealed himself to them that their joy might be full, and then vanished from their sight.—Ellen G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3 p. 214.2; The Signs of the Times, October 6, 1909 par. 8; SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1125.12; SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7a, p. 245; 6Red 32.3. [Content in brackets and bold type are added.]
    16.    Is it possible that Jesus did not really die? There are some who claim that if, in fact, Jesus was alive on Sunday, it was because He did not really die. Such a claim, of course, is preposterous! Having been beaten, brutalized, crucified, and eventually pierced with a spear, there is no way He could have staggered out of a rock tomb, snuck past the Roman guards, and then walked the seven miles to Emmaus as if nothing had happened! When the two lesser-known disciples returned to Jerusalem to report their exciting news, they found that Jesus had appeared to others also. (Luke 24:46-48) Imagine the Son of God using Scripture to prove His case. Wasn’t His personal presence enough?
    17.    How good are we at proving our Christianity from the Bible? How much time do we spend studying it? What kind of impact has it had on our lives?
    18.    It is hard for us as egocentric human beings to accept the fact that the security of the universe was even more important to God than the salvation of human beings.
    It was in order that the heavenly universe might see the conditions of the covenant of redemption that Christ bore the penalty in behalf of the human race. The throne of Justice must be eternally and forever made secure, even tho the race be wiped out, and another creation populate the earth. By the sacrifice Christ was about to make, all doubts would be forever settled, and the human race would be saved if they would return to their allegiance. Christ alone could restore honor to God’s government. The cross of Calvary would be looked upon by the unfallen worlds, by the heavenly universe, by Satanic agencies, by the fallen race, and every mouth would be stopped.... Who is able to describe the last scenes of Christ’s life on earth, His trial in the judgment hall, His crucifixion? Who witnessed these scenes?–The heavenly universe, God the Father, Satan and his angels.—Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, July 12, 1899 par 2. Compare LHU 257.2 where the key words are omitted! [Bold type is added.] (CompareRomans3:1-4.)
    19.    Do you have any questions about the death and resurrection of Jesus? Are there any doubts in your mind when you consider that incredible story? If so, you have lots of company. But, there is a considerable amount of compelling evidence to suggest that the story is absolutely true. For example, Jesus said to His disciples: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14, NKJV) Considering the status of the people who were followers of Jesus, at that point such a prophecy must have seemed impossible. But, today, we know it is true.
    20.    Christ died for sinless angels too.
    That which alone can effectually restrain from sin in this world of darkness, will prevent sin in heaven. The significance of the death of Christ will be seen by saints and angels. Fallen men could not have a home in the paradise of God without the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Shall we not then exalt the cross of Christ? The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. It is through the efficacy of the cross that the angels of heaven are guarded from apostasy. Without the cross they would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan. Angelic perfection failed in heaven. Human perfection failed in Eden, the paradise of bliss. All who wish for security in earth or heaven must look to the Lamb of God. The plan of salvation, making manifest the justice and love of God, provides an eternal safeguard against defection in unfallen worlds, as well as among those who shall be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.—Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889 par. 4; SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1132.8,9; SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7a, p. 476.3; Our High Calling, 45.4; The Home Missionary May 1, 1897. [Bold type is added.]
    21.    Did the angels really need the “message of the cross”? (Ephesians 1:7-10; 3:7-10; andColossians 1:19-20) What did the angels learn from the cross?
    For centuries God looked with patience and forbearance upon the cruel treatment given to his ambassadors, at his holy law prostrate, despised, trampled underfoot. He swept away the inhabitants of the Noachian world with a flood. But when the earth was again peopled, men drew away from God, and renewed their hostility to him, manifesting bold defiance. Those whom God rescued from Egyptian bondage followed in the footsteps of those who had preceded them. Cause was followed by effect; the earth was being corrupted.
    A crisis had arrived in the government of God.... All heaven was prepared at the word of God to move to the help of his elect. One word from him, and the bolts of heaven would have fallen upon the earth, filling it with fire and flame. God had but to speak, and there would have been thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes and destruction.
    The heavenly intelligences were prepared for a fearful manifestation of Almighty power. Every move was watched with intense anxiety. The exercise of justice was expected. The angels looked for God to punish the inhabitants of the earth....
    The heavenly universe was amazed at God’s patience and love. To save fallen humanity the Son of God took humanity upon himself.—Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, July 17, 1900 par 4-7. Compare DA 37.2.
    For centuries God bore with the inhabitants of the old world. But at last guilt reached its limit.... He came out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, and by a flood cleansed the earth of its iniquity.
    Notwithstanding this terrible lesson, men had no sooner begun to multiply once more, than rebellion and vice became widespread. Satan seemed to have taken control of the world. The time came that a change must be made, or the image of God would be wholly obliterated from the hearts of the beings He had created. All heaven watched the movements of God with intense interest. Would He once more manifest His wrath? Would He destroy the world by fire? The angels thought that the time had come to strike the blow of justice, when, lo, to their wondering vision was unveiled the plan of salvation.—Ellen G. White, MS 22, January 10, 1890 from Ellen White’s diary; The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 569.2-570.0.
    Before Christ’s first advent, the sin of refusing to conform to God’s law had become widespread. Apparently Satan’s power was growing; his warfare against heaven was becoming more and more determined. A crisis had been reached. With intense interest God’s movements were watched by the heavenly angels. Would He come forth from His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity? Would He send fire or flood to destroy them? All heaven waited the bidding of their Commander to pour out the vials of wrath upon a rebellious world. One word from Him, one sign, and the world would have been destroyed. The worlds unfallen would have said, “Amen. Thou art righteous, O God, because Thou hast exterminated rebellion.”—Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, August 27, 1902 par. 4; Reflecting Christ, 58.4. Compare The Youth’s Instructor, July 29, 1897; That I May Know Him, 19.3. [Bold type is added.]
    22.    How much time do you spend thinking about the significance of the final events in the life of Jesus on this earth? Has it changed you? A number of other major religions in our world celebrate their leaders by visiting their graves. Thankfully, as Christians, all we have is an empty tomb! What does that tell us? How did the cross–which was an instrument of shame designed by the Roman government to thwart any attempts at treason–become a symbol of salvation? How do you think you would have fared if you had been one of the group of close followers of Jesus during that weekend? Try to imagine yourself standing at the foot of the cross. How would it impact you to know that the physical pain that Jesus was going through was hardly felt because of His fear of being separated from His Father–even for a short time–as a result of sin? Can you grasp the fact that the victory that Jesus won can also be your victory? What would it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus in the 21st century?
    The most sublime truth in the world is that Jesus, holy and sinless, came to this world, suffered and died for our sins, and rose again on the third day victorious over Satan, sin, and death. And the next most sublime truth is this: He offers this victory over sin and a place in His kingdom for all who accept Him in faith. Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, p. 171.
    23.    The Gospel of Luke was written to one of Luke’s friends named Theophilus. How do you think he responded to this book when he first received it? Did he think the story was too preposterous to believe? Did the orderliness of Luke’s account (Luke 1:3) help him to realize that the account was factual? What can we do to make the story believable and convincing to our fellow human beings?
    24.    Many Christians have questions about the creation story. But, they look forward to the day when all the righteous will be re-created and given heavenly bodies to dwell with Jesus forever. However, if you do not believe that God created man in the beginning, it is foolish to believe that He will re-create all the resurrected righteous at the second coming!
    25.    In summary, let us look at three key moments that took place that weekend. In the Garden of Gethsemane after struggling to the point where He was sweating drops of blood, Jesus finally said: “Father, if it is your will.” (Luke 22:42, NKJV) Christ’s greatest fear both in Gethsemane and on Calvary was that His separation from the Father might be eternal. (DA 686.5; 750.2)
    26.    When we voluntarily choose to sin and separate ourselves from God, do we feel a terrible loss and a great terror because of that separation? (Isaiah 59:2; Acts 17:25,28)
    27.    Separation from the Father Who is the only Source of life, brings death. It is sin that separates us from God. By taking upon Himself the separation that results from sin, Jesus died. Jesus death was a demonstration to us of the truth that sin leads to death–the truth that He had warned us about in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:17)
    28.    What was the “bitter cup” that Jesus had to drink? When Jesus prayed that the cup might pass from Him, it was a legitimate prayer. Prayer may be reasonable, it may be legitimate; but, it must also be submissive. Our prayers are always answered–sometimes with a “Yes,” sometimes with a “No,” and sometimes with a “Wait.” Remember that in all things God works for good with those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
    29.    The moment of victory came when Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished.” Jesus had relied upon the evidence heretofore given Him of His Father’s love and acceptance. (DA 756.3) By demonstrating the truthfulness of His words and showing the awful consequences of what it means to be separated from the Source of life, God opens to us the privilege of accepting His offer of returning to Him and becoming His friends. (2 Corinthians 5:19) On the cross, Jesus knew that it was a fight to the death. He needed to crush Satan and his claims or else be destroyed Himself.
    30.    Those who experience the new life in Christ discover that that life does not begin with birth; it begins with death. Only when self dies, can we rise in newness of life. That is why baptism is the best symbol of the new birth. What was accomplished by the cross? The Gospel writers did not talk about it very much. (SeeJohn 12:31-32.) But, especially Paul in the rest of the New Testament spoke about it at some length. (Romans 3:23-26; 5:8-10; 8:32; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 15:3; Galatians 1:3-4; 2:20; Ephesians 1:7; 5:2; Hebrews 9:2-26; 10:1-4,17-18)
    31.    Can we know with certainty that the events that we have studied in this lesson were/are real? What is the relationship between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our future hope of salvation? Can you name some of the passages from the Old Testament that Jesus might have used to convince the two men on the road to Emmaus? Why are the contents of that conversation not preserved for us in the Gospels? Did the sermons recorded in Acts mimic the evidence that Jesus provided?
    32.    Speaking to the shell-shocked disciples and others in the upper room, what evidence did Jesus provide that He was real? ReadLuke 24:36-49. Compare 1 John 1. They saw Him, they heard Him, they were able to touch Him, and they observed Him eating. That was all the evidence necessary to support His claim of a bodily resurrection. Why is that important?
    33.    Between Thursday night in the upper room and Sunday night in that same room, there were betrayal, denial, and plotting. Satan tried to control Judas and Peter. He succeeded with Judas who ended up committing suicide. But, when Jesus looked straight at Peter and the cock crowed for the second time, (Luke 22:61) Peter suddenly realized what he had done and rushed out not knowing where he was going and ended up casting himself on the ground at the very spot where Jesus had prayed; and Peter wished that he could die. (DA 713.3) It made Peter a new man. Are we ready to have that experience ourselves?
© 2015, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution of all or of a portion of this material such as to a Bible study class is encouraged.                                        [email protected]
Last Modified: May 8, 2015
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