Luke 24: Happy Easter and Ascension Day!

LISTEN | READ

(53 verses, 06:50 to read)

What I am about to READ

  • Eyewitness accounts of our risen and ascended Savior!

MARK and LEARN

  • 1: “On the first day of the week”—The Jewish Sabbath began at sundown on Friday and lasted until sundown on Saturday. The women rested in accordance with God’s command. “Spices”—They were used for embalming. Jewish people in Bible times considered burying their dead to be very important. Failure to do this was a serious dishonor.
  • 2: “The stone”—Luke makes no mention of the stone before this. Possibly he assumed that his readers were familiar with Matthew and Mark (see 1:1–2) and so he passed over the closing and opening of the tomb. He focused on what the women found there.
  • 3: The women entered the tomb to look for the body of Jesus. They did not expect Him to be alive. They were confused to find the tomb empty; they didn’t know what had happened.
  • 4: “Two men”—These were angels (verses 22–23).
  • 5-9: The angels rebuked their unbelief asked why they were looking for the living among the dead. They reminded them of what Jesus had said while they were still in Galilee, namely, that all this was going to happen. They should have expected Him to be alive. “He is not here, but has risen.” Jesus lives! The full implication wasn’t clear yet, but this is the heart of the gospel.
  • 10: These women had supported Jesus’ ministry and had grown in faith through His words.
  • 11-12: The disciples didn’t believe it. They knew He was dead and couldn’t grasp what was happening. Even after Peter ran to the tomb, they left “marveling at what had happened.”
  • 17: The two disciples were surprised at Jesus’ question. The events of the last three days were certainly the talk of all Jerusalem. How could anyone not know? They assumed He was a traveler there for the Passover who didn’t have a clue what had been going on.
  • 19-24: The two disciples had hope in Christ. They had believed that Jesus was the true Messiah and that He was going to redeem Israel. They believed He was the prophet who was to come. They did not yet understand all that that meant, but they had put their trust and hope in Him. Now, it all appeared to be over. It seemed that He had died and lost. It seemed that they had been mistaken. Even the vision of angels reported by the women was unconfirmed. The men had found only an empty tomb, no angels and certainly no Jesus.
  • 25-27: Jesus gave them a rather strong rebuke. He called them foolish and slow of heart. He was referring to their lack of understanding of the Old Testament prophecies. They should have known these things were going to happen. God had spelled it all out with clear and direct messianic prophesies throughout the Old Testament. Jesus went through the Old Testament, beginning with Moses and the Prophets and explaining what they had prophesied about Him.
  • 30: The breaking of bread here refers to a meal, not to Communion.
  • 31-35: Immediately, they returned to share the joy with the rest of His followers. They heard that Jesus had appeared to Simon Peter (an appearance that Scripture does not describe for us).
  • 36-37: Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace to you!” This word of Christ actually accomplished what it says. Christ gives them the gift of peace.
  • 38-43: The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost because they knew He was dead. Some of them had even seen Him die. At stake here was their understanding of Jesus’ physical resurrection and what it meant for them—that in Christ they too would rise. Jesus proved He was physically resurrected by inviting them to touch Him and feel that He had a body. Then He took physical food and ate it in front of them.
  • 44: “Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”—The Jews divided the Old Testament into these three divisions (“the Psalms” represents a larger group of works they called the Writings, which we sometimes call the poetical books). Here Jesus is referring to the entire Old Testament.
  • 45-47: The message of the entire Old Testament is about Jesus. Jesus said that the Old Testament taught three things: Jesus would suffer for our sins, He would rise from the dead on the third day, and the gospel (repentance and forgiveness of sins) would go out into all the world. The people in the Old Testament had the same faith we have today, only they lived by hope in the promise of its fulfillment.
  • 48: The disciples had witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection. They would bear witness throughout the world to what they had seen.
  • 49: The Lord would give them the Holy Spirit, who would equip them with wisdom and insight into the gospel and power to carry on their ministry as the foundational witness to Jesus’ resurrection.
  • 50: Forty days elapsed between verses 49 and 50. Luke gives only a brief summary here. He gives a fuller account of Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:1–11.
  • 51-52: The Ascension – The disciples were filled with joy, a joy expressed in worship and thanksgiving. Our Lord is now sitting at God’s right hand, ruling over all things for the good of His church.

MEDITATE

Jesus rose! All our sin is paid for and forgiven! Jesus rose, so He must be the Son of God who has power over life and death. Jesus rose, so we too will rise and live with Him forever. We are blessed with the New Testament, which makes everything about Jesus clear to us. But even if we only had the Old Testament, we would still understand the basic truths about how Jesus would establish His kingdom—by His death and resurrection. Throughout the Old Testament, God promised that His gospel would go beyond the physical border of Israel and reach every nation under heaven. This applies to you! God has given you a place in His kingdom.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.

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