Luke Chapter Twenty-Four
v.1 “1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”
Sunday morning has arrived. Jesus was buried on Friday afternoon and spent the rest of that day, Saturday and since the Jewish day started at what we call rather than , much of Sunday. There was little time to prepare his body for burial on the day that he was crucified because of the preparation for the Sabbath. Saturday, or the Sabbath, they rested as commanded and Sunday morning is the first opportunity that these women had opportunity to visit the tomb. Those that came included Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matthew 28:1), Mary the mother of James (who may be the same person as the “other Mary” in Matthew) and Salome (Mark 16:1).
v.2-3 “2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
The stone that was used to seal the tomb of Jesus was “A GREAT STONE” (Matthew 27:60), a stone that the women knew that they could not move and they were concerned about that (Mark 16:3). But when they arrive at the tomb they find that all of their concerns were for naught. The stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty.
v.4-5 “4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
Needless to say, they had not expected to find the tomb empty. They can’t explain, don’t understand what is going on, and therefore are “PERPLEXED”. They see the tomb, two men standing by that appear to be wearing shining garments and they are even more afraid. They fall on their faces in fear and awe at what they see and then they hear something even more astonishing. Why do you look for Jesus among the dead, he’s alive, he’s among the living.
v.6-7 “6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
These two creatures who appear as men have the most amazing news. The tomb is empty, the stone has been rolled away, the soldiers that were place on guard don’t know what has happened; all they know is what they see. The cloth that was used to cover his face has been neatly folded and placed aside. Jesus had told them what was going to happen, the angels remind them of that teaching; he has been resurrected, he is alive again. It is through his resurrection that we find our hope and faith:
I Peter 1:3-4 “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”
v.8-9 “8And they remembered his words, 9And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.”
Just maybe, finally they begin to understand the significance of what Jesus had taught them about his death, burial and resurrection. Needless to say they are amazed and confused. They leave the garden and return to the city, reporting all that they have found to the eleven apostles remaining. Luke doesn’t record the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene found in Mark 16:9-10 but that creates no discrepancy, just the ways of two different men describing the same event with different emphasis on different scenes.
v.10-11 “10It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”
Is there any significance to the fact that Luke names three women as witnesses? It was a command of the Mosaic Law concerning testifying against any man that became a matter of practice in other matters as well.
Deuteronomy “15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”
Mary Magdalene is the woman which Jesus had healed of seven devils (Mark 16:9), Joanna was the wife of Chuzas, Herod’s steward and Susanna is apparently a friend of both. They make their report, the mother of James is even included in the group that went to the garden and returned but the apostles don’t believe them, they treat their words as idle tales. So it’s Peter, the one who appears to be the leader of the eleven, the impetuous one who runs to investigate:
v.12 “12Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.”
Peter sees the burial garments laid back, the empty tomb and leaves wondering, pondering in his mind what all this might mean. Extraordinary things are happening. These people, though taught by Jesus for three years are just beginning to see that this is not just a insurrection against the Roman government that was squelched but something is happening that is much more significant in the history of mankind.
v.13 “13And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called
Emmaus, which was from
Mark and Luke record
this short journey by two of Jesus’ disciples.
The location of Emmaus, as a village, is not known but sacred scripture
tells us that it is about sixty furlongs or seven miles from
v.14 “14And they talked together of all these things which had happened.”
As they walked along on their journey they discussed the happenings of the day, these strange things that are coming to their ears. One of the disciples is named Cleopas (v.18) the second is not identified.
v.15-16 “15And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”
While they are walking, talking and trying to reason out what has happened, Jesus joins them. They don’t know him because “THEIR EYES WERE HOLDEN THAT THEY SHOULD NOT KNOW HIM”. They cannot account for the empty tomb and they still don’t understand the facts of his resurrection. Even though they know and have possibly even seen those that Jesus raised from the dead they still don’t understand. Jesus is about to help them in their confusion.
v.17 “17And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”
Jesus basically asks them what they are talking about. They are very sad; obviously distressed about something that has happened to them and they are debating between themselves about it.
v.18 “8And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?”
These disciples are
amazed. How could someone who has been
v.19-20 “19And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.”
Jesus immediately asks the “What things”, what has happened? He doesn’t admit ignorance of these events nor even imply that he doesn’t know, he’s simply trying to get these two men to explain their grief and confusion.
They reply that they are talking about Jesus of Nazareth, one who was mighty in both deeds and words. One who had power over death:
John “The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.”
One who was proven to all who wished to see as one sent and blessed by God:
Acts 2:22 “22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:”
v.21 “21But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.”
As we have discussed
several times in our study these disciples thought that Jesus was to be a
temporal ruler, release
v.22-23 “22Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.”
They are even more confused because “certain women” of their company had gone to the tomb early that morning, his body was gone and they told a story about seeing a vision of angels and that they had been told that he was alive. They were discussing, perhaps even arguing about these events when this stranger approached them.
v.24 “24And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.”
Some of their own number, other than the women, had gone to the tomb and found everything as has been described. But they didn’t see Jesus and have no idea what has become of him or his body.
v.25 “25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:”
Jesus calls these two men fools, not fools as we normally use the term today, but foolish men in that they have not understood what had been prophesied nor what Jesus had told them himself. The prophets had predicted accurately the coming of Jesus, his suffering, his crucifixion and his resurrection. He links the Jesus of Nazareth together with the Messiah of promise for them.
v.26 “26Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”
They have not understood Jesus teaching. He asks them shouldn’t Jesus have to suffer these things and then enter into his glory? Paul preached at to the Jews at Thessalonica:
“3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” Acts 17:3
v.27 “27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Jesus began at Moses and helped them understand all of the things found in scripture that was written about him. We can suppose that he started with the seed promise, written by Moses:
Genesis “15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Deuteronomy “15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”
Isaiah “14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Malachi 3:1 “1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way
before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his
v.28 “28And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.”
When they drew near the
v.29 “29But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.”
Cleopas and the other disciple, some think its Luke, persuade him to enter this village with them rather than traveling on. It is toward evening, the day is about over. They are grateful for his teaching them about the prophesies concerning Jesus and they want to show their hospitality.
v.30-31 “30And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”
When they sit down to eat their simple meal, Jesus acts as host and does something that causes them to recognize him immediately. He takes the bread, asks God blessing, brakes it and gives it to them. Immediately their eyes are opened, they know now that their stranger is the Christ, himself. And since his purpose has been served, Jesus disappears.
v.32 “32And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Now they understand. Their hearts had burned within them while this stranger taught them more perfectly the Word of God, now they know why. They have been walking, conversing and now are prepared to eat a meal with the risen Saviour.
v.33-34 “33And 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.”
This news is just too
good to keep. Instead of staying in
Emmaus for the night, they rise up the same hour, probably finishing their meal
for strength to make their return journey, and leave for
v.35 “35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.”
They tell of all the things that has happened to them on the way; how that this stranger joined them, taught them the words of the prophets more clearly and finally was recognized because he blessed and broke the bread for their meal.
v.36 “36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
Before they could even finish their story, Jesus appears among them and speaks to them.
v.37 “37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.”
They are afraid of him. They’ve seen him scourged, killed and buried, now he’s standing in their midst. We would probably have much the same reaction. When I was in high school and went to school activities at night I had to pass a cemetery between my house and the road fork was I was usually dropped off. I didn’t even like to do that and these people are seeing what is to them a real ghost.
v.38 “38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”
He asks why are you troubled. It’s like we would say, It’s just me.
v.39 “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.”
He shows them that he is not a spirit. He has vanished and appeared like a spirit would but his body is real, he has flesh and bones, so he’s not a spirit or something that they would expect to see come up from the hadean world. Though he has been resurrected, he still has all of the attributes of any man on earth.
v.40 “40And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.”
Luke doesn’t record the words between Jesus and Thomas like John does in John 20:26-29, but he does record that Jesus showed them his hands and feet and he could very well be describing that same occurrence. His hands and feet are scarred and mangled from the nails that were driven through them; mute but undeniable evidence that they are looking at the Christ.
v.41 “41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?”
While they still considered his words, while they still found it hard to believe they begin to experience the joy that would be attendant to seeing a resurrected Jesus, they’re still wondering, not quite believing what their eyes are telling them. So he says, “HAVE YE HER ANY MEAT?” or as we might say today, I’m hungry.
v.42-43 “42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43And he took it, and did eat before them.”
Jesus apparently appeared to these disciples during or just after their meal. When he states that he is hungry they give him something for their table to eat. This is a further verification that he is not a spirit being but has indeed been raised from the dead. They have now seen him in the flesh, they have touched him, they have seen the marks of the nails and have seen him take food the same as any other man; consequently they now have a solid foundation for their faith in his resurrection and conformation that he is alive. Peter uses this information in his sermon to Cornelius and his household:
Acts “41Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.”
v.44 “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.”
Luke doesn’t record the other appearances of Jesus to his disciples. Here he summarizes the instructions that Jesus gives along with what we call the great commission. His presentation at this time is much like what he presented to the two on the road to Emmaus. He reminds them THAT “ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED” which had been “WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, AND THE PROPHETS, AND THE PSALMS”. This includes all of the things that were included in the three divisions of the Old Testament commonly used by the Israelite people.
v.45 “45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
This verse has generated a better understanding of the special powers given the disciples to understand Jesus three years of teaching. I had always thought that special understanding was given them when they were given the power of the Holy Spirit. But through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit we told here that this understanding came at an earlier time and was completed when they were given the power to remember and teach the gospel of Christ in its purity without error or compromise.
v.46-47 “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.”
He again reminds them that everything that has happened was part of God’s plan for the redemption of the souls of mankind. It was God’s divine plan. Jesus would suffer and be raised from the dead on the third day.
Psalms 22:1 “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? Why art thou so FAR FROM HELPING ME, and from THE WORDS OF MY ROARING?”
Isaiah 50:6 “6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached to whom? All nations. Would they understand the significance of these words at this time? No, not until Cornelius is directed to send for Peter. But here it is given by the Son of God himself, it is written by Luke and had been written by the prophets beforehand.
Isaiah 49:6 “6And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
Micah 4:2 “2And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
v. 48-49 “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
These apostles had been
with Jesus from the beginning. They had
heard all of his teaching. The Holy
Spirit would give them the power of total and perfect recall of all of those
things that Jesus wished to be “PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS”. They were to stay in
Isaiah 44:3 “3For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:”
Joel 2:28 “28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”
Peter would later declare boldly to the people in his sermon on Pentecost that they are witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy (Acts ).
v.50-51 “And 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.”
The time has come for
Jesus to return to his Father. His work
here on earth as one of us is completed.
He leads them out of the city, Luke says ‘AS FAR AS TO BETHANY” beyond
Olivet or the
“12Then returned they unto
v.52:53 “52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”
This Luke ends his first “TREATISE” that was written to tell “OF ALL THAT JESUS BEGAN BOTH TO DO AND TEACH.” (Acts 1:1)