Reading: Luke 24:36-43
While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.” But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them. [NASB1995®]
The disciples knew of the Lord’s resurrection from the testimony of the women who found the empty tomb. Then the disciples who were with Jesus on the way to Emmaus gave witness again. But the resurrection of Jesus is something they find difficult to believe. How can someone bring themself back from the dead?
Finally, the Lord is in their midst, and he greets them. Their initial reaction? Fear and confusion. It must be a spirit!, they say. But the Lord shows them, without a doubt, that He himself is in the midst of them. “Come,” he says, “touch my flesh, see that I am, and that I live, because I have overcome death, as I promised.”
The surprise continues, but fear becomes joy. It really is Him. He even eats with them.
This encounter with Jesus leaves such a profound mark on those who are there that it will lead them to serve the Risen One until the day of their own death.
It is true that it is not easy to believe that Jesus has risen. Jesus’ disciples themselves doubted. But as they see him, touch him, and spend time with him, their hearts are filled with an unalterable conviction. When we look at the history of the church, and what happened with those who were witnesses to the resurrection of Christ; we see many dying for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus.
Why was it worth giving their lives? Certainly not for rumors or possibilities, but only for a certainty. And the disciples now know that Jesus is no longer in the tomb, but has overcome the last enemy: Sin and its fruit, death.
MEDITATE: The Christian faith supports and affirms the most sublime and precious ideas. But it is not just about ideas, but rather palpable, tangible facts. John will say that he writes of what he has seen, heard, and felt (1 John 1:1). The Gospel is a reality.
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader