Luke 24

Scripture

Luke 24 

Observation:

· The morning after Jesus’ burial, some women went to his tomb and saw that the tomb was opened and empty. They wondered what had happened…
· Two angels appeared suddenly and the women were frightened. The angels asked why they looked for Jesus among the dead, that Jesus is alive – he is risen! The angels reminded them of what Jesus said – the Son of Man would be crucified and raised again on the 3rd day. They remembered his words.
· The women returned to tell the other followers of Christ, but they thought it was non-sense and didn’t believe them, except for Peter who ran to the tomb and found it indeed was empty. He wondered what had happened…
· Later that day, two of Christ’s followers were walking the 7 miles to Emmaus and talking about everything that had happened. Jesus joined them but was not recognized. They shared all that had happened and what they had seen, but it did not make sense to them yet. Jesus told them they were slow of heart to believe what the prophets had spoken. Then, Jesus explained what was said in all the Scriptures about himself. In Emmaus, they asked Jesus to join them for dinner and they recognized him when he broke the bread and gave thanks. He then disappeared. They immediately went back to Jerusalem to tell the others that He was risen and they had seen him. Peter had seen him too.
· Then, Jesus appeared among them. He said “Peace be with you”, but they were afraid - thinking he was a ghost. He showed his hands and feet so they would recognize him and he ate something so they knew he was not a ghost but in the flesh. He repeated what he had told them – that everything had to be fulfilled about him.
· Then, he opened their minds so they could understand the Scripture. At that point, he told them to remember that Christ had to suffer and then would rise from the dead on the third day. He told them that repentance and forgiveness of sin will be preached in all nations in his name and that they were His witnesses. He finally reiterated that He would send what my father promised (the Holy Spirit) and to stay in the city until that happened.
· Jesus led them out to Bethany where He blessed them and then was taken up into heaven. His followers worshipped him there joyfully and then returned to Jerusalem and praised God continually at the temple!

Application

This post-resurrection story is so powerful! The thing that hit me by after reading all of chapter 24 together is the reality of what it takes to understand who Jesus is and what He has done. Here are his own disciples, who have walked with him and listened to him for years. They saw what was happening and EVEN THEY were wondering what it all meant and struggling to understand it all. Despite this first-hand experience with Jesus himself, they did not understand the truth about Jesus until verse 27 and verse 45 when Jesus “explained to them” and “opened their mind so they could understand the Scriptures”. With this revelation from Jesus himself, NOW they understand. Then, He told them again what he had told them, what was to come and what they would do. They would be His witnesses! Their response, now that they understood, was pure joy and continual worship and praise to God. I need to remember as I share my testimony and my faith with others that it is God himself who can open another’s mind to understand. If I am to be a witness of his to my city, region and the world, then I need to remember that it is God himself who will bring understanding. My job, just like the first disciples, is just to be a witness to what I have experienced the joy I know being in Christ.

Prayer

God, I want to do well as your witness, so would you please help me: to remember and convey that joy and excitement I had when I first believed, to remember that my job is to be your witness but that you will be the one to change hearts, and to remember that I have what I need to be your witness through the Holy Spirit that you sent me. Amen

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
Amen... thanks Tom for your insights. What a powerful passage! What struck me as well was how all the disciples were the first skeptics. Though Jesus explained to his extended family of disciples and women that we was to raise on the third day, the women came with spices expecting a dead body... all but Peter thought they were crazy and were incredulous. Cleopas and his companion were befuddled. In each case it took either seeing the empty tomb or hearing from angels or Jesus himself to bring about belief.

Risen Savior, please reveal yourself to us and those who are lost today. Open our eyes so that we may recognize who you are.

Wed, February 4, 2015 @ 6:10 AM

2. Phil Payne wrote:
Luke 24. Finding Hope When God Disappoints

The top line story in Luke 24 is the resurrection of Jesus. The tomb was empty and he then appeared to his disciples! But there is an important understory that weaves through the narrative. For those who had followed and trusted Jesus the time was dark. Jesus has been dead three days. Why didn’t he save the nation, or at least himself? Their confidence in his Messianic mission was shattered and their hope was broken. How did God restore their crushed faith – and what can we learn about the path for our spiritual healing when life goes terribly wrong?

Observations:

A. Early in the morning the women who had walked with Jesus went to the tomb to wrap the corpse with spices. Their grief was heavy. But they pushed through the grief to do the right thing, what had to be done, the work that was their responsibility alone. When they reached the tomb it was open and the body was gone. They were bewildered , confused. “We weren’t expecting this! What shall we do now?” God met their confusion be sending two angels who announced the resurrection and reminded them of a truth they had forgotten in their grief. Jesus had told them that he would be killed, yet live again. In reply to their heart cry – “What shall we now?” The angels told them to tell the disciples that Jesus was alive.

B. Two of Jesus’ followers, Cleopas and another, left Jerusalem that morning for Emmaeus – a day’s journey. We know that neither was in Jesus’s inner circle, as “the eleven” had remained in Jerusalem [vs 33], but they had hung around Jesus for a while and were known by the eleven. Their disappointment was bitter – “We HAD hoped he was the Christ”. But clearly not – for he was dead. Yes, the tomb was empty. But Jesus wasn’t seen. Now it was time to go back home, back to the farm or workbench, and forget this faith experiment.

Jesus met them on their journey, but their disappointment was so heavy and bitter that it blinded their eyes. They did not recognize that He was with them. Patiently this stranger (Jesus) taught them the Hebrew Scriptures and prophecies concerning the Christ. Having been outside the inner circle, these men might not have been trained in the scripture. As they listen to the Word being taught, their hearts “burn within” and hope is rekindled. They respond to the Word by inviting the stranger to spend the night with them at the inn. As hope in the Word supplants their despair their eyes are opened and they recognize Jesus at the evening meal. Amazed, and believing, they rush back to Jerusalem that night.

C. The eleven were gathered together in Jerusalem. Their hope was crushed. They had expected the kingdom to come that week. Only a few days before they had argued about which of them would have the greatest power/privilege as they ruled Israel with Jesus. But Jesus had failed. He’d wimped out, doing nothing to resist arrest. He wasn’t the Christ they were expecting. He had died, in the most humiliating way. They had followed him 3 years – for nothing. Only Peter and John, the ones who had followed Jesus to trial, have retained a shred of hope.


When the women arrive to report the resurrection, Peter and John [see John 20] race to the tomb – and Peter believes. But the other disciples still have crushed spirits and refuse to believe the women’s report.

What did Jesus do when even his closes disciples had lost their faith? First, He sent the women to announce his resurrection and the empty tomb. “God has acted! Come and see.” That didn’t move them, so he send Cleopas and the other disciple back from Emmaeus to say that they had seen Jesus – and possibly to remind the inner circle of the scripture concerning Him. Having sent testimony and the Word to break up the despair, Jesus then appears to the eleven disciples of his inner circle. At first they think it is a ghost, but recognize Him as He speaks peace over their spiritual chaos and then shares a meal.

APPLICATION: There is a common process to restoration of faith in these three examples. Testimony, scripture, and then a revelation of Jesus to reopened hearts. So where so I turn in the times of anguish and darkness? Twice my greatest hopes and ambitions have been ripped away as I lost two jobs that I loved. In other periods, about 15 years ago, the spiritual warfare for control of my soul was so intense that I lost my mind and had to be hospitalized. When everything is lost, where does one go?

To the testimonies and to the scripture. As with David (in the Psalms) these were my anchors (and Caroline’s) as we remembered the witness of God’s faithfulness to us and centered our hope for truth and restoration in the promises of scripture. Then Jesus did reveal Himself – in wisdom, in healing grace, in intimate revelation of Himself and His love.

It is important that I remain in His Word, not just for today’s need, but also for defense and strength in battles yet to come. It is important that I share my testimony of the Lord’s power and goodness to encourage others, and to maintain close fellowship so that others can encourage me with scripture or testimony when my faith is weak.

Wed, February 4, 2015 @ 8:15 AM

3. Kristy Espinoza wrote:
Thank you for writing this..I love your prayer, and it made me think about how I act when I tell people about Jesus. I need to remember to show my joy and love for the Lord like when I first believed, when I share to new people how much I love and trust in Jesus. :)

Wed, February 4, 2015 @ 4:54 PM

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