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Watch this featured message from Pastor Barrett Berry

Pastor Barrett Berry ~ Easter 2019
Return of the King

Message as Prepared for Pastor Barrett Berry


Message as Prepared for Pastor Barrett Berry

Empowered Living Church - The ELC

Easter Sunday, Luke 24:1-12 NIV

“What Had Happened Was . . .”


Luke 24:1-12 NIV ~ 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.


CONTEXT:  What had happened was . . .


Fresh Prince of Belair (Will Smith) and Nia Long (his girlfriend) are out and about at a party.  Will is attempting to hide from his girlfriend and when she finds him hiding he says, “What Had Happened Was.”  Will goes to get Nia’s coat out of a room and finds Ashley, his little cousin. Ashley comes out of the room following a boy and will says in utter disgust “Baby Nooooo”


Lesson One: Why Did They Go To The Tomb?


Luke 24:1-3 NIV ~ 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.


The women went to the tomb to finish the job.  Loyalty comes with a cost and with privileges. We must finish what we start.  


Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV ~ 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


Why Did They Go To The Tomb?


Lesson Two: Why Did They Look For The Living Among The Dead?


Luke 24:4-6 NIV ~ 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:


Quite often some of us . . . no . . . many of us stay in our dead relationships with folks who have lost sight of what we are chasing after . . . God’s glory!  


God never told us we would not suffer.  Just like the never told his followers he would not suffer, get betrayed, and die.  


A Psalm of David when He was in the Desert of Judah

Psalm 63:1-4 NIV ~ 1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.


We need to be like David and the ladies at the tomb: GOD CHASERS!


Why Did They Look For The Living Among The Dead?


Lesson Three: What Were The Prophecies?


Luke 24:7 NIV ~ 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”


On the road to Emmaus Jesus stops to speak with two of his followers and he teaches them a history lesson from all three major sections of the Jewish Bible: Law, Prophets, and Writings.  He quotes predictions about how the Messiah would suffer--predictions fulfilled by this crucifixion. Perhaps he quotes some of these, which the disciples would later use in their sermons:


  • Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) ~ But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
  • Isaiah 53:9 (NIV) ~ He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth OR He was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
  • Psalm 16:10 (NIV) ~  Because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay OR You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave
  • Isaiah 53:11 (NIV) ~ 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
  • Psalm 118:22 (NIV) ~ The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;


What Were The Prophecies?


Lesson Four: What Is Your Witness?


Luke 24:8-10 NIV ~ 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.


Mary Magdalene: healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.


Joanna: her name means “Yahweh has been gracious” was also healed of evil spirits and infirmities.  


Mary the mother of James: Could be Jesus’ mother’s sister or Mary Jesus’ mom.  


The Other Big Three: Peter, James, and John


There are three occasions in the gospel where Jesus takes three of the apostles, Peter, James and John, aside from the rest.


First, in Matthew 5, it is the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death. Jesus had the three accompany Him into the room where her body lay and he restored her to life (vs. 37).  Second, in Matthew 17, He had the three accompany Him to a mountaintop where he was transfigured. As He shined forth brighter than the sun Moses and Elijah, long gone from this world, appeared and discussed matters with Him. The Final time was on the night before His crucifixion. He asked Peter, James and John to accompany Him as He went to a secluded spot to pray for strength as He faced His hour of suffering (Matthew 26; see verse 37).


All three of these occasions touched upon the topic of death. The first showed Jesus’ power over death as the three saw Him raise the girl; “Little girl, I say unto you, get up!” The second showed Jesus supremacy over Moses, who had been dead for many years, when the Father said of Jesus, “This is My beloved Son, Listen to Him!” Then finally, in the garden as Jesus faced His own death, He found strength in prayer as He announced His intentions; “Father, not My will, but your will be done.” That is the only proper attitude for God’s people to have concerning God’s will. He put His trust in the Father in heaven, and so should we all. He lives again.  The grave could not keep Him.


The three women and three men shared in that they were loyal followers of Jesus and were set apart by him to witness his greatest miracles.  The bare witness of his victory over death.


What is your Witness?


Lesson Five: What Had Happened?


Luke 24:11-12 NIV ~ 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.


It was Peter we learned over the last few weeks that Jesus prophesied about Peter’s betrayal.  We know Peter betrayed Jesus three times before his enemies and that Jesus restored him during the conversation about lambs and sheep.  I am imagining Peter is realizing that everything he knows about Jesus was now coming into his new reality as leader. Many of us, if not all of us, get to a place where we feel disconnected from God, but it is in these moments of reality we realize that now it is up to us to lead because God has prepared us for just this season.  We are not disconnected. We are connected with Him with POWER!


What Had Happened?


CELEBRATION: What Had Happened Was?


The Journal of the American Medical Association details the crucifixion from the Bible and ancient sources to describe their medical understanding of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.


1 The Beating

  1. Victim is stripped and tied to a pole
  2. Shards of metal and bone are laced into the leather whip
  3. Romans aren’t limited to 40 strokes, as are the Jews.
  4. Pain and blood loss set the stage for shock


2 Dead Man Walking

  1. Jesus carries crossbeam to execution site
  2. Crossbeam (5 to 6ft) is attached to a vertical pole (6 to 8 ft)
  3. Seat prolongs the torture, making it easier to breath


3 Nailed

  1. Iron nails pin wrists and feet to cross.
  2. Nails miss main arteries and bones.
  3. Wine laced with pain killing myrrh or frankincense is offered. Jesus refuses.


4 Breath of Life

  1. Position and weight of body forces Jesus to push up to exhale.
  2. Breaking legs speeds death.  It forces arms to do all the work, pulling victim up to exhale.
  3. Jesus dies before breaking His legs becomes necessary.


5 Speared

  1. Soldier confirms death by stabbing the heart.
  2. By this time, shock has started separating blood into two basic elements: cell clusters and amber-colored serum.
  3. “Water” pours out of Jesus’ chest---serum from inside and around the heart.
  4. Possible cause of death: a combination of shock, exhaustion, asphyxiation, and heart failure (broken heart).  


I argue Jesus died from them all.