The Vindication of Christ, and Confirmation of Faith (Luke 24:1-12)

The Vindication of Christ, and Confirmation of Faith (Luke 24:1-12)

I.) The Crux of Christianity

The event we celebrate this morning as believers is not to be rejoiced over merely one time a year, but every single time we gather together. This means though we may not be able to gather together on this specific day, understand we are to rejoice over it the next time we gather together. We are to do so the following week as well.

Sadly and shamefully, the resurrection is a side note in many ministries and in some peoples thinking. It is a truth that elicits little joy among professing Christians, which only reveals both a lack of love for, and ignorance of the gospel.

Q.) Why should we always express such joy over the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

A.) The resurrection is the crux of Christianity.

Christianity not only lives or dies on this truth, but the world is either condemned or acquitted.

If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead[1]:

“Our preaching is vain, our faith also is vain.” Vain means to be devoid of truth.[2]

If our preaching and faith is entirely lacking truth:

“We are found to be false witnesses of God”, because we teach He raised Jesus whom He did not really raise. “Your faith is worthless”, because we trust in the work of a person who could not even raise Himself back to life.

If Christ remains dead in the grave:

“You are still in your sins, (and) those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” We, therefore, “are of all men most to be pitied” if Jesus did not rise again.

The question is:

Q.) Did He truly rise to life never to die again?

A.) Scripture, history and the establishment of His church throughout the generations provides irrefutable evidence that He did.

Christ was physically “raised from the dead”.[3] This means we as believers are of all people most to be esteemed, for:

1.) Our teaching is devoid of error, and our faith rests in nothing but the truth of God.

2.) Our faith in Christ is not worthless, because forgiveness of sins and eternal life are experienced by grace through faith in Christ.

This means the world is condemned, not acquitted; which ultimately means the unbeliever is:

1.) Among all people most to be pitied, because they are devoid of the truth of God.

2.) They are dead in sin, separated from the life found in Christ, and destined for eternal damnation under the wrath of God.

II.) The Crux of Unbelief

One may wonder:

Q.) With such insurmountable evidence, why do people still refuse to believe in the resurrection?

A.) The reality of the resurrection affirms the depravity of all humanity before a holy God.

The fact that Christ was raised from the dead as a Man verifies that man is not only dead, but incapable of obtaining life without God’s intervention. The unregenerate person hates such truth, because it directly assaults their pride and autonomy.

We can give legal and historical evidences for the resurrection of Christ to fallen man, but without the work of the Holy Spirit there will be no belief.

Paul Washer unapologetically affirms this saying:

“…apart from the grace of God and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, no man will accept the claims of Christ. Man will ignore the claims he can ignore, distort the claims he cannot ignore, and resist the claims he cannot distort…he will expend more energy denying the truth than he would have expended by simply submitting to it.”[4]  

Today we rejoice in the truth that is ignored, distorted, and resisted by men. We do so unashamedly for we know whom we have believed and are convinced that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to Him:[5]

“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ.”[6]

Q.) What exactly are we celebrating?

A.) The vindication of Jesus the Christ, and the confirmation of our faith in Him.

III.) The Vindication of Christ

Vindication is the act of freeing someone from allegation or blame.

Jesus claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God, but:

1.) Scribes considered Him uneducated.[7]

2.) Governing authorities rejected Him as an eccentric prophet.[8]

3.) Pharisees declared Him possessed by Beelzebub.[9]

4.) Family dismissed Him as insane.[10]

Q.) How was Jesus freed from such allegations?

A.) He “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”[11]

Romans 1:1-4

When Paul says that Jesus was “declared the Son of God” he is using a Greek word from which we get our English word Horizon.[12] In the Greek it means to define or to distinguish.[13] Just as our horizon makes a clear distinction between earth and sky, God has clearly distinguished Christ from all of creation. The Father vindicated The Son by resurrecting Him from the grave. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is God in the flesh, and all of His words are true.

VI.) The Confirmation of our Faith

There is something beautiful I wish us to see: God the Father vindicated God the Son after The Son first vindicated the Father.

Q.) What allegations, though false, could be brought against God after reading the Old Testament?

A.) He is not truly righteous?

Q.) How could someone make such a claim?

A.) He allowed wicked men to live after He declared sin would require their death.

Do not fail to understand: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and David all deserved to perish under God’s righteous anger. They were all spiritually bankrupt before God, and in need of another Person’s righteousness.

Q.) How was God able to allow them to live and still maintain His righteousness?

A.) In His forbearance “He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration of His righteousness at the present time.”[14]

Q.) How was God the Father freed from the allegation of being unrighteous towards sin?

A.) He took His only Son and “displayed (Him) publically as a propitiation in His blood.”[15]

He freed Himself from such an allegation by imputing humanities guilt and shame upon His only Son and judging it in holy righteousness. The Son vindicated the Father by rendering Himself as our sin offering, and bearing our deserved wrath. Christ atoned for the sins of His people with His blood, appeased God’s wrath with His body thus satisfying the righteousness of God. God is therefore “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”[16]

Q.) How do we know that God is wrathful?

A.) Look to the cross with the Christ upon it, for that is where God’s wrath was poured out and His righteousness proved.[17]

Q.) How do we know that God is love?

A.) Look to the cross with the Christ upon it, for His love is demonstrated in Christ as He appeases God’s wrath and satisfies His justice.

Q.) How do we know atonement for sin was made?

A.) Look to the cross with the Christ upon it, and listen as He declares, “It is finished!”[18]

Q.) How do we know His declaration is true and that His payment for our sins was accepted by God?

A.) Look to the empty tomb of a rich man, and realize the Christ who suffered and died upon the cross has risen from it never to die again.

The work Christ finished upon the cross not only proved the Father to be righteous; it purchased redemption for those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ by grace through faith.

The declaration God made of the Son by the resurrection not only proved Jesus to be who He claimed to be; It confirms our faith in the One who accomplished such work on Calvary’s Hill.

Romans 4:25

Christ’s resurrection means atonement was made, wrath was appeased and justice was satisfied. Those who rest in Christ will experience:

1.) Forgiveness of sins, for Christ suffered their penalty and covered them with His blood.

2.) Eternal life, for Christ was physically raised to life never to die again and ascended to heaven as Lord of all.

He is therefore able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives.

V.) Rejoice in His Resurrection

Today, do not be like the disciples in Mark 9:

The text tells us, “They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead might mean.”[19]

He will again told them in Galilee He would be killed in Jerusalem and “He will rise three days later. But they did not understand the statement.”[20]

The angel reminds them of this afterwards, saying:

“Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered in the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”[21]

It was “necessary for the Christ to suffer these things”, because it was the only way that:

1.)  The dead can be made alive.

2.) His enemies can be called His friends.

3.) Those who are under His wrath can be saved from it.

4.) Those who are destined for eternal destruction can been given eternal life.

Rejoice in His resurrection, for through it the Christ is vindicated and our faith in Him is confirmed.

[1] 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

[2] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number:2756

[3] 1 Corinthians 15:20

[4] The Gospel’s Power & Message, Paul Washer; Page 216

[5] 2 Timothy 1:12

[6] 2 Corinthians 4:6

[7] John 7:15

[8] Matthew 11:19

[9] Mark 3:22

[10] Mark 3:21,31-32

[11] Romans 1:4

[12] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number:3724

[13] Romans 1:4; Declared

[14] Romans 3:25b

[15] Romans 3:25a

[16] Romans 3:26

[17] Romans 5:9

[18] John 19:30

[19] Mark 9:10

[20] Mark 9:31-32

[21] Luke 24:6-7

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