The Book of Luke, Evidence of a Bodily Resurrection - Lesson 246
Luke 24:33-53 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43And he took it, and did eat before them.
44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And ye are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
The two disciples who were joined by our Lord Jesus as they walked to Emmaus, rose up the same hour as Jesus left them and hurried to Jerusalem with marvelous news.
They were amazed as Jesus expounded the scriptures on the way to Emmaus, beginning at Moses and through all the prophets, of those things concerning himself.
They were even more astounded as he opened their eyes to reveal to them that he was Jesus, but after this he did not stay with them but a moment.
As I said last week it seems that Jesus Christ was interested in these two men knowing the scriptures before they were introduced to the physical presence of the risen Christ.
This reminded me of the instruction of Christ to the disciples in the upper room as recorded by John in chapter 16.
Jesus told his disciples that it was expedient for them that He go away.
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Expedient means fit or suitable for the purpose, conducive to advantage.
This is interesting in light of what happened on the road to Emmaus for it tells us that the very presence of Jesus Christ is not the best thing that God the Father can do for believers.
In fact it is just the opposite, for God removes the physical presence of his Son from believers as a benefit or advantage to believers.
For he continued to tells his disciples in John:
13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
In other words when Christ is present his presence is emphasized.
Without Christís presence his word is emphasized.
This is what took place on the road to Emmaus.
Christ withheld his presence in order to implant his word in their hearts.
And this is what is taking place today without the physical presence of Christ for He has given his Spirit to guide us into all truth.
The emphasis is on the truth, not the physical presence of Jesus Christ.
The physical presence of Jesus Christ will come later when the church is raptured and brought into his presence.
In a way this church age could be compared with the time on the way to Emmaus where the disciples received instruction.
And the rapture could be compared with the revealing of the Lord to the disciples after he had broken bread.
So in this Emmaus experience our Lord was showing us of things to come as to how the church would be instructed and the necessity for him to return to the Father in order for his word to be paramount, not his presence.
I think these principles can be used in the rearing of our children for I see an importance of communicating to our children at times, by the written word.
So much of our instruction is verbal but we see here in Christís teaching of his own, an emphasis on understanding and obeying the written word.
Fathers and Mothers, how about communicating to your children in writing at times, so they know the importance of obeying your written word and ultimately Godís written word.
How about a list of duties that they are to perform, a check off list as it were.
Post it in their room where they can see your word daily.
How about written expectations regarding their school progress.
What about written rules in the household of your expectations concerning their behavior and their relationships with their siblings and others.
The written word is powerful for it has memory.
It can be read and re-read and referred to at will.
Momís voice and Dadís voice, heard once disappears quickly but the written word is permanent.
I remember in my own experience when my wife and I had our Home for Children.
We had chores for each of the children and since there were so many children we made a schedule for them to follow.
That schedule worked like clockwork and things got done with precision.
There were no "I forgots" or "I didnít hear yous for they knew exactly what was expected of them for it was in writing.
They learned to follow written instructions and that is what God expects regarding his word.
So written instruction at times, I think, would be a good thing to use in addition to voice instruction.
Now this passage brings us near the end of our study in the Gospel of Luke.
It is a passage which appears to take place at one quick time however by comparing scripture with scripture we know the time spanned in these verses is 40 days.
For Luke is careful to tell us this in his continuance of the record of these times in his book concerning the Acts of the Apostles chapter 1 verse 3.
3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
But in our verses here in chapter 24 Luke provides us a summary of those 40 days written as if the events occurred that same day that the two men returned from Emmaus.
Verses 36 through 42 describe events which took place the evening of the resurrection upon the return of the two disciples from Emmaus.
Verses 44 through 49 most likely is instruction Jesus gave the disciples during the 40 days.
Verses 50 through 53 take place the last day Jesus walked the earth and concern his ascension to the Father which Luke describes more fully in the first chapter of the book of Acts.
None of the Gospels tell of everything that Jesus did but together they give us everything we need to know about the Lord Jesus Christ and his ministry while here on the earth.
Sometimes it is hard to reconcile the events of the Gospels but the thing we need to remember is that many events are not told us, so we do not have all the necessary ingredients in which to come to an absolute conclusion.
Only by knowing other scriptures can we realize that this passage concerns a 40 day period.
One principle that we must remember is that the economy that God has created for the believer is a faith economy "for the just shall live by faith" means that God has so arranged things in his word as to press his children into a life of faith.
That is what growing is all about, for we are to grow in faith.
We are to rightly divide the word of truth, we are to be studying and learning and growing but those things will always come by living by faith.
We will not know everything because if we knew everything there would be no need to trust God.
And not trusting God would be against Godís faith economy for to trust God is good for us and God is interested in our good.
Many times Christians attempt to plan out their lives, to plan out their childrenísí lives and to attempt to provide for every possibility that can come about, but when we do that we are trying not to live by faith but instead trying to live by sight.
We do not want any unknowns to pop up, but I can assure you that unknowns will pop up.
And why will they pop up?
They will pop up because God wants you to trust him and to live by faith.
It seems to me that folks, especially in this modern age, try to organize their lives according to neatly conceived plans.
They have in mind education plans, career plans, marriage plans, housing plans, family plans, children plans, retirement plans, and even burial plans.
But what about Godís plan?
Some think if you live by faith instead of your own plan God will put things on you that are unbearable such as being a preacher or being a teacher or being a missionary or other some such thing.
So our plans are just avoidance schemes to avoid living by faith.
Many in our own area had those plans and their lives were arranged and everything was thought to have been provided for but their plans did not include Ivan or Dennis or Katrina.
Those folks in the World Trade Centers had plans but their plans were never realized.
Otherís plans fall apart quickly when bodies donít cooperate and fail to obey the plans.
The bottom line is that Godís children are to live by faith not by plans.
Your plans and faith do not walk together.
God does not check your plan portfolio as he takes you through the Christian walk.
Didnít he say the just shall live by faith.
That word "shall" does not bring choice.
It is a must word and God will so arrange it for his children to live by faith.
And a great part of that arranging concerns the departure of Christ to the Father so that the disciples are left to their own devices or to Godís devices.
Jesus is to be no longer with them.
It is sink or swim time for them for they can rely upon themselves or they can call out to God for help.
And when they do call out it is the beginning of living by faith for they call out because they do not know all the answers nor do they have any plans.
But one thing we find that the disciples do know is that their Lord is risen indeed for he has appeared to Peter and the two disciples who have returned with the good news.
In our passage we find the bumping of two announcements of wonderful news.
It is almost like a "can you top this" event of wonderful news.
One group thinks no one can top their news but then the Emmaus disciples describe their lengthy meeting with their Lord.
So both the two from Emmaus, and the eleven disciples bubble over with joy with the news that Christ is alive and has appeared to some of them.
The two from Emmaus were not even able to get their words out because Jesus had already appeared to Peter, who told them Jesus was indeed alive.
The best they could do was simply to add their own testimony to the same truth.
Jesus was really risen from the dead, and they believed it.
Or did they?
For when he appeared to all of the group they were terrified and frightened, thinking that they had seen a ghost.
They thought Jesus to be only a ghost and they were afraid of ghosts.
John tells us that the room where the disciples had gathered had a locked door and only a ghost, a being without a body, could enter in, or so they thought.
They had no knowledge of the power of a resurrected body so thinking that Jesus was a spirit or a ghost was reasonable to them but this reason excluded a bodily resurrection.
It was very hard for the disciples to believe that Jesus had risen and it seems that every step of the way toward belief was hindered by roadblocks of the mind.
These roadblocks are also true with us for we say we believe Godís word but when the pressure mounts we too falter and revert to unbelief by our practice.
Belief is not just a matter of our profession, but of our practice as we are clearly taught by James who tells us to be doers of the word, that is practice the word in our daily lives.
I can easily say that I am a believer, but if that belief is not shown in my behavior then my status as a believer is suspect?
But Christ knew their frame and graciously provided for them by inviting them to touch him, to examine him closely, to look at the places on his hands and feet and his side which just a few days ago were penetrated by spikes and spears.
38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43And he took it, and did eat before them.
So Jesus Christ shows he is alive and in a body by physical evidence.
He was not, as they supposed, a ghost.
Touch me for I am flesh and bone.
Look at the prints left on my hands and feet and side.
Certainly his body was not in all ways like his former body but it was a body like his former body in that he was recognizable.
The body of our Lord was not like the former body in that it was not corruptible.
In others words it could not be killed or it could not die, and it was capable of appearing and disappearing, as was shown in His appearance in the room with the locked door.
Finally, Jesus ate some of the fish which they were eating.
This was the final proof that His body was a real body and not a ghost, a body which would not require food for life, but a body which was able to take in and process food.
So Jesus Christ provides the physical evidence but in the next verses we see that he provides even more important evidence for it concerns the evidence of Godís word.