In our final passage of Luke’s gospel, Jesus calls his disciples to be his witnesses, he promises to send the Holy Spirit to them, blesses them one final time and leaves them worshipping him with great joy.
I want you to imagine that you’re sitting down with someone you love dearly. Maybe it’s a friend, or a relative, or a coworker, or a spouse, or your child. Now imagine that you know that this is the very last conversation you will have with them in person on this Earth. Now ask yourself, what would I say to them? What would I regret not saying if this was the last time I ever saw them?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the anxiety that comes with the storms of life? Or struggled with trusting God in the midst of your fear or felt totally consumed with doubt and despair?
One of my deepest desires is to see people grow closer to Jesus; help people experience the power of changed lives; and to equip people to set the world on fire through the proclamation of the gospel. In other words, intimacy with Jesus is a life-changing experience that sets us on fire with the gospel.
There’ve been many seasons of my life where I’ve experienced devastating grief and sorrow. Many seasons where my hopes have been crushed against the rocks of unmet expectations. And in the midst of those sad and hopeless seasons, the Lord has been so kind to lift my heart and remind me that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection trumps all the false gospels that I so easily and foolishly fall into believing.
Today we will examine Luke 23:50 – 24:12 and as we do we’ll consider the truth and the implications of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. And the big idea here is that, the truth of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection inspires great hope and great courage amidst our momentary suffering.
One of the central truths of Christianity is this truth that Jesus died on the cross so that the gift of life could be made available. When I think of the word “impact” I think of Bruce Lee.
If you could describe the condition of your heart today, what word would you use to describe it? Is your heart angry, bitter or resentful? Is your heart indignant, rebellious or hard? Is your heart fearful, wounded or depressed?
What is the most painful memory you have? And how has that painful experience motivated, conditioned or shaped the things you think, say or do.
The cross of Christ is the center of the gospel message because the cross of Christ crushes our sinful desires, kills our sinful behavior and plants godly desires and abilities deep within our hearts. What sinful desires do you need to deny as you follow Christ? What sinful behavior needs to be killed in you as you follow Christ? What new desires or abilities do you see sprouting in your heart as you follow Christ?