· 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!
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.
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
Posted on Tue, February 3, 2015
by Tom Greene