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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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The Triumph of the Tomb

Luke 23:44-53

          The Death of the pharaoh in ancient Egypt was followed by the formal announcement, "The falcon has flown to heaven and (the one who is replacing him) has arisen in his place!"
European monarchies who died had their deaths followed by, "The King is dead!  Long live the King!" This centuries-old cry make no sense at all. The King for whom his followers  proclaim long life is also the King who has died!
          John the Beloved wrote these immortal words of Christ from his exile on the Isle of Patmos when he said in Rev. 1:18,

18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

          My sermon this morning is about the paradox of an empty tomb and a triumph. The first stage of Jesus' journey brought us to Gethsemane and to the Praetorium hall, where He was accused and indicted. Then He was taken to the house of Annas then of Caiaphas, where he was unjustly accused in the midnight travesty of a Jewish trial, to the hall of Pilate and to the court of Herod. Finally, there was  bloody Calvary where He bled and died on the tree.
          Yet, there is a triumph over death and the tomb! When we think of tombs we think of mausoleums, graves, gravestones, and the last remains of once-living persons. Every prominent person who has lived and died has been buried in a tomb. The Great Cheops had a tomb, the awesome Great Pyramid of Egypt. Alexander the Great had a tomb. Every great European Monarch was buried in a tomb after their deaths. Princess Diana of England had a tomb after her tragic death. These tombs are all the same, they contain the remains of people who once lived, breathed and one day died.
          The Tomb of Jesus was different. It was a borrowed tomb and was empty the third Day after Jesus' burial.
He is Risen!  
Pastor Phil  <><<
March 27, 2016 / Easter
Sheepfold Ministries / Rev. Phil Roland

The Triumph of the Tomb

Luke 23:44-53

“There is nothing in Christianity that so comforts those who are mourning their losses in this life as the fact and reality of Jesus’ resurrection over sin, death and the grave. Hallelujah! He has risen!" Pastor Phil Roland <><<

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"                                      John 11:25-26


          A. Jesus was mocked as a failure!  Luke 22:63-65
          63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having                      blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying,                            "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?" 65 And many other things                        they blasphemously spoke against Him.

                    1. The Prophet predicted in 700 BC this mockery - Isaiah 50:6
                                   6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who
                     plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
                    2. Isaiah also said it would be seen that way - Isaiah 53:3
                3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted
                   with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was                                      despised, and we did not esteem Him.
                    3. What about your failures in life?
                    4. Have others looked at you and saw failure?
                    5. Nothing says failure like a tomb/grave
                    6. Eg. Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society"
                              Professor Willams and his students are looking at the                                                    school's trophy case filled with trophies of past athletes. He
                                    asks the question, "What do all of these people have in
                                    common? (Pause, "They're all dead!" "But you're not dead!
                                    Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! Make the most of your life while
                                    you live! There are no trophies awarded in the grave!"
          B. The Tomb is full of the “If onlys. . .”
                    1. The backward look, "Don't do it! It's painful!"
                    2. Ever feel like a “has been?”
3. The tomb says that all of life is meaningless - Eccles. 3:20
                                        20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.



II.   THE TOMB WAS COLD - John 18:18
18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
          A. Peter’s denial isolated him from Jesus and other disciples
                    1. His heart became a Mausoleum
                    2. Cold to God and man
          B. Jesus faced the coldness of rejection - John 1:10,11
                    10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world
              did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive                         Him.
                    1. The severest of emotional pain is to be rejected by friends
                    2. The broken-heartedness of rejection
                    3. Betrayed by close friends. . .Back-Stabbed. . .
          C. There is no place so cold as our loved one's final resting place
                    1. It takes a few hours after death to assume room temperature
                    2. A death chill begins almost immediately
                    3. Our hearts can become like Peter's. . .Empty, cold, dead
          D. Scrooge in Dicken's "Christmas Carol comes to himself
                    1. He views his own snow-covered grave in winter
                    2. Scrooge discovers there is more to life for the living
                    3. It doesn't have to end there!
III.   THE TOMB WAS DARK - Luke 24:53
53 Then he took it down (Jesus' Body), wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.

          A. Treasures of Darkness, the Triumph of the Tomb - Isaiah 45:3
                    3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret
              places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name,
              Am the God of Israel.
                    1. Jesus' Triumphed over Death and Hell - Rev. 20:13,14
                                        13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades
                          delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged,
                          each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were
                          cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
a. At the soon command of Jesus death/hades end
                              b. The end of human darkness: The Triumph of Jesus
                    2. Can we hide in darkness from God’s Spirit? - Ps. 139:7-11
                                        7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your
                          presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed
                          in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning,
                          And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand
                          shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, "Surely
                          the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about
                          me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You. . .

          B. Darkness is the birthplace of Creative Miracles - Genesis 1:2
                    2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the
              deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
                    1. God speaks in darkness and we hear Him - Matt. 10:27
                                        27 "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you
                          hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
                    2. We testify of what God has done in the darkness
          C. Patriarchs - Mighty Men of Old - Found God in the darkness
                    1. MOSES - Ex. 20:21
                                        20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to
                          test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not
                          sin." 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick
                          darkness where God was.
                    2. JACOB - Genesis 32:24
                                        24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the
                          breaking of day.
                    3. DANIEL - Daniel 6:22
                                  22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they
                        have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and
                        also, O king, I have done no wrong before you."
                    4. JESUS Cries out in Darkness
a. Gethsemane - Matthew 26:36-48
                              39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed,
                                      saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from
                                      Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
                              b. Golgatha - Matthew 27:45,46
                                                            45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was
                                      darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus
                                      cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama
                                      sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You
                                      forsaken Me?"
5. At the darkest times in our lives we seek Jesus and find Him
                    6. Have you sought Him in your darkest hours?

Dr. Tony Compolo tells the story of a little preaching competition that he had with his pastor at the church he once attended. Tony preached the perfect sermon, perfect in every way. He had taken the congregation to the heights of glory. And as he sat down beside his pastor, Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” The old pastor got up and said something like this…

It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying.
But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd.
Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’.
It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe Him in scarlet. They crown Him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday.
Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.
It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals.
It’s Friday. But let me tell you something: Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King? And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know: It’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross feeling forsaken by His Father.
Left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him? Oh, it’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit.
It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a laughing.
It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place.
But it’s Friday. It is only Friday.
Sunday is a comin’.
Tony recorded that that the sermon reached such an excitement that when the preacher delivered the final, ‘It’s Friday!’ the whole congregation roared back, ‘BUT SUNDAY’S COMIN’!’


Luke 23:44-53
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.
49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.
51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.