Jesus Has Risen
On the third day right at the break of dawn, the women disciples made their way to Jesus’s tomb as the Sabbath had prevented them from properly embalming Jesus’s body. But when they reached the tomb they saw that the stone covering the entrance of the tomb had been rolled away. When they entered the tomb they were shocked to find it empty. Suddenly, two men in bright clothes stood next to them.
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?Luke 24:5
The angels of God informed the frightened women to remember the words that Jesus spoke and not look for Him among the dead. Then the women recalled that Jesus had already revealed the events that unfolded over the last three days. Sometime we look at Jesus and his teachings only in theory as something that is ‘good to have’ and we completely miss out on the real changes Jesus is doing in our lives as a result of our simple mindedness.
The women ran back to the disciples and recounted for them all that had happened on that famous morning. We are given the names of these women disciples who became the very first carriers of the Gospel.
It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.Luke 24:10
However the disciples did not want to believe the good news that they should have known all along but rather called the Gospel as nonsense. Peter was one of the two who ran and sought to find what had really happened. The closest people to Jesus on this earth, were in denial and were not able to accept Jesus’s own words.
This is our situation today when we don’t want to believe what Jesus has promised us. We say we are His followers and would gladly dedicate our time and energy to do His will but the basic faith is often missing in many of us because of which we are not able to fully enjoy our communions with Him. Just like the two men from our next section, who could not even recognise Jesus when having communion with Him.
On the Road to Emmaus
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.Luke 24:13-16
The two disciples, Cleopas and his friend, did not realise who was their new travel companion and were actually hu-mansplaining to Jesus regarding his own resurrection. They addressed Jesus as a prophet so they clearly did not believe the testimony of the women who saw the empty tomb. Perhaps if Jesus’s crucifixion and death had demoted His status in the minds of these men from the Messiah to a prophet with a nice message. And Jesus finally stopped their babbling and sternly rebuked them saying,
“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.Luke 24:25-27
How marvellous would have been the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus that day. The seven mile journey would have flown by when Jesus started giving these men a crash course Bible Study from the book of Law to the book of prophets explaining what the scriptures actually meant with regards to the coming of the Messiah. They invited Jesus to stay with them and explain more over supper.
When Jesus broke the bread, their eyes were opened and they recognised the Messiah among their midst. The breaking of the bread is perhaps a symbolism for His body that was broken for us and at that moment the Spirit enabled these men to understand who was their travel companion and Jesus disappeared.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”Luke 24:32
At once they returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven and the other disciples and proclaimed that it was indeed true as they had now witnessed what the women saw in the morning. If we allow the Spirit to work in our lives, we also will be a witness to God’s mighty work and not be mere spectators of someone else’s witness for Christ.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”Luke 24:36
They were all startled and thought they were seeing Jesus’s ghost. Jesus assured them that their eyes were not fooling them and even allowed the disciples to clear their doubts by touching the resurrected Christ.
And while they still did not believe .. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”Luke 24:44
At that moment, Jesus opened their minds and made the disciples understand what was written about the Messiah and how He had to suffer death for our sins and rise again on the third day. They needed to understand what Christ had done for them before they could go out into the world and be witnesses for Him to preach His name to all nations.
But why did Jesus wait till now to explain these passages to His disciples. Everything has a time, A time when God sees fit and a time when we are ready. While the former is not for us to even speculate upon, we need to evaluate the later. The disciples even though followed Jesus and heard all his sermons, they still did not fully understand what he had come to do on this earth.
They dreamt about Jesus overthrowing the Roman empire and taking His seat on the royal earthly throne with them standing next to Him. It was at this moment when they actually understood what Jesus was saying all along and what he meant by “His Kingdom will Last forever”. Let us not let our own desires cloud our thoughts and miss out on the wonderful truths that Jesus wants to teach us everyday.
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.Luke 24:51-52