Our Gospel this week is Luke 24:36-48, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
This passage echoes the resurrection appearances in the other Gospel accounts, all telling the same story – Christ is risen and visited those closest to Him that they would believe. There are minor differences in the details perhaps but the truth stands out in each. According to God’s plan, Jesus was raised on the third day and showed Himself to His followers.
Just prior to this in Luke’s gospel, Jesus walks on the road to Emmaus with two of His followers (Luke 24:13-35), and we see a familiar pattern. Jesus comes to them, “opens their minds to the Scriptures”, eats with them and departs. We see the same sequence in this week’s lesson and both mirror the events of the Last Supper.
We can have the same experience, meeting Jesus in worship, hearing the Scriptures discussed, celebrating Communion and then departing to serve Him in our world. This enables us to be connected to Him by faith and energizes our discipleship. We are blessed by Him to carry His love to everyone, everywhere.
Gracious God, make us bold in our witness as the disciples were after Christ’s resurrection. Help us to know Your risen Son and to carry the Good News to all the world.