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Luke 24 – He is risen indeed

Two wonderful quotes about the resurrection are below (Friedrich Krummacher, Russell Moore):

In that mourning group [of women] you see only the first divinely quickened germs of the future kingdom of the divine Sufferer. From a few, a multitude that no man can number will before long proceed.

But sometime before dawn on Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. The breath of God came blowing down into that cave, and a new creation flashed into reality.

The women go to the tomb to continue burial rites. Two angels reflecting the glory of God point the women to Jesus’ words of his suffering and being raised – and they remembered his words. It is not the empty tomb that convinced them Jesus lived, nor the angels themselves – it was believing Jesus’ words that created faith. The women’s testimony is not believed by the disciples.

The same day two disciples are traveling to a village named Emmaus, about ten kilometers from Jerusalem. Jesus appears with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him by divine action. Jesus rebukes them for being slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. He then opens the Scriptures – the words of Moses and all the Prophets – showing how they spoke of the Christ. Their hearts burn within them as he opens the Scriptures. Finally, we are told: And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Jesus of Nazareth opens their eyes of the blind and causes the deaf to hear!

In the next section the two disciples have returned from the road to Emmaus and report what has happened to the eleven. As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them. Jesus identifies that they are troubled (startled and frightened) and full of doubt (unbelieving). Jesus shows them his hands and feet and still they remain unbelieving.

Jesus then points them to his earlier words and to the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms. Luke tells us that Jesus then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. It is only at this point that their unbelieving is turned as Jesus opens the eyes of the blind and causes the deaf to hear. Hasn’t Jesus’ healing been pointing to this work of Christ all along?

The best way to conclude is in the final words of Luke’s gospel: Then he led them out as far as Bethany and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God.

The Gospel of Luke began with Simeon and Anna joyfully glorifying God in the temple for the redemption that was going to come from Jesus’ birth – it ends with the disciples joyfully glorifying God in the temple for the redemption that was accomplished in Jerusalem in Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Gospel bookends in praise.