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Intro Sentence: The big picture of this chapter provides us with compelling evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead

Luke 24:1 – 12

Jesus has risen

24On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside 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? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

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The big picture of the chapter provides us with the eruption of the resurrection news through the community of Jesus’ followers, slow at first then gathering pace toward Jesus’ goal. It has more than historical interest for us because the spread of the resurrection news continues today as the Lord Jesus builds his church.

The opening section (1 – 12) deals with the women discovering the tomb is empty. Two angelic beings speak to them and announce that Jesus has risen.  They are reminded that this is what Jesus said would happen (v7).  This was the first evidence of the resurrection but was quickly dismissed as the women told the others.

The evidence mounts in the next section (13 – 35) when the risen Lord Jesus meets two people on the way to Emmaus. They don’t recognise him, but he explains to them that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and enter his glory.  In verse 27 we read, “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Only after this, when they stop for a meal, does it become clear to them that the man they were speaking with was Jesus who had risen from the dead.  He immediately departed and left them pondering this extraordinary experience and teaching before going to tell the others.

Next Jesus appears to the disciples.  He made it abundantly clear that it was really their Lord, risen from the dead, who was speaking with them.  Again, in verses 44 and 45 there is the reminder that this was fulfilment of what he had spoken to them and it is what had been written in the scriptures. He goes on to explain that the good news concerning him is to be preached by them as they are empowered by the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit.

Finally, Jesus is described as departing from them and ascending to heaven.

The significance of this big picture comes in three ways for us.  Firstly, we cannot escape the building of the evidence of Jesus resurrection. Starting with the empty tomb, we read of an angelic message, a prolonged and intimate appearance and then an utterly convincing appearance to those who knew him best.  It is compelling evidence that is not easily dismissed. Secondly, we are confronted with these events being explained as fulfillment of what Jesus said would happen and the fulfillment of all the scriptures. These two issues tell us that the resurrection is not just very real but also the culmination of God’s purposes for the whole of humanity as they are fulfilled in Jesus.  We are to ponder the significance.  Thirdly, it is good news to be presented to the world until Jesus returns.  That continues and we are to act on it.

Head and Heart: Be convinced of the resurrection by the evidence and be moved to love and trust.

Hands: Spread the news!

Prayer: Loving Father, we praise you that we can read your word and be convinced that Jesus has risen and defeated death for us. Touch our hearts with the power of your Spirit to give us assurance of our own salvation and a passion to see others saved. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A song to listen to: Raised with Christ

David Johnston

Living Church – Creek Road

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