Luke 24:36-49

While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Understanding And Applying the Text

There are some differences between Mark, Luke, and John’s accounts of this event. John inserts what Luke omitted. That makes it easy to reconcile the two. There is no contradiction about the substance of the fact. There may be concern about the time. John says this occurred in the evening. But it had to be late at night when this happened. The disciples had returned from Emmaus. When John says “evening” what he intended to communicate is was after sunset. The apostles had shut the doors. They kept themselves concealed within the house. Christ’s appearance was unexpected.

Luke tells us they were afraid. Do ya think? They are in a locked room. Jesus had died. One moment they are alone and the next Jesus stands in front of them. Their mind went to the most likely explanation. They saw a spirit. They had never seen a spirit before. But that was the only explanation they could think of. It had to be Jesus’ spirit. Dead men don’t come back to life. Dead men stay dead.

There is an old expression “Seeing is believing.” Well not so fast. In fact, even at the ascension, Matthew tells us many disciples still did not believe. (Matthew 28:17)

Do you believe everything you see? You shouldn’t. Our eyes can play tricks on us. Dead people don’t come back to life. Seeing something like a dead person come back to life would make you turn to the person next to you and ask, “Do you see that?” And if they saw it too, you would not feel any better. It would be spooky. u That is what the disciples felt. Concocting a story, like a dead man coming back to life, would be hard to sell. It would be a lot easier to say Jesus came back spiritually. But He had a physical resurrection.

Jesus wanted to be sure they knew He was not spirit. He was physical. He had not eaten in 3 days. So it was natural he was hungry. But the context suggests he ate to prove he was not a spirit. He wanted them to touch him. Jesus wanted them to know he had a physical body.

At first, the disciples were afraid. But as they realized it was Jesus, they slowly started to relax. Thought I am sure they were still cautious.

Jesus pointed out that His death and resurrection allowed for repentance. And the repentance would be for the forgiveness of sins. Without the anointing work of Christ repentance would be impossible. The good news of Christ’s atoning work is for all nations.

They were to be witnesses to Christ’s resurrection to all nations.

The good news of the gospel is Christ died and rose again so we could repent and have forgiveness for our sins. By Christ’s sacrifice, God can forgive without violating justice. Christ allowing us to have communion with Him is nothing short of amazing. If you realize what He has done for us, it makes you want to only do things that please Him. To understand His law not because of the threat of punishment but to do what is pleasing to Him.

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