Resurrection. Luke 24

Sermon given by Dr. Amari on Easter Sunday 2005, on the resurrection based on the text of Luke 24

Author: Dr. Rafat Amari/Sunday, April 1, 2018/Categories: Christianity, The Bible, New Testament, Luke, Christ, Resurrection, Article

Resurrection: Luke 24

 

Luke 24:13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 

Disbelief limits people’s movement and makes them journey to the opposite direction of where they are supposed to be. 
The day that witnessed the occurrence of great events and the spread of good news, two individuals who had left everything were on their way to a village called Emmaus. This represents the isolation of an individual’s self from the good news and those who believed it or remained waiting for God’s work. The perception of Emmaus’ disciples was that if the spiritual issues were uncertain then there is no need to dedicate life or exert effort to pursue them. The withdrawal of Emmaus’ disciples from a lifestyle was based on their faith in Christ and His promise of eternal life, service and also the anticipation of the forthcoming kingdom of the Messiah to this world, which would eventually liberate Israel from the Romans.

Luke 24:14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 

In spite of their withdrawal and keeping distance from the fellowship of the disciples, it was not possible to forget what happened. The series of events that took place such as the rolling of the tombstone, the disappearance of Jesus’ body, the appearance of the two angels and resurrected Jesus to Mary Magdalene are facts that can not become an accessory event on the day of the resurrection. Facts about Jesus cannot be ignored: His death and resurrection for those who were promised( evangelized) with will remain the news that will excel as a topic of discussion through life. 

Luke 24:15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.

Discussing Christ not only gains observation of the character discussed, i.e. Jesus Christ, but also His presence through the Holly Spirit. Dialog with Christ receives his personal presence through the Holy Spirit. He accompanies in order to bring assertion about His sacrifice (redemption) and resurrection. To make the discussion about Jesus different from any other types of daily discussions people have, He needs to be seen and felt in the heart. Jesus continues to be with those who discuss Him until he plants the seed of truth in the heart. Doesn’t this shed the light on the significance of the  Gospel and the importance of having discussions about Jesus and His death and resurrection?

Luke 24:16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

Not recognizing Him holds an outstanding wisdom, i.e. to be able to know Him in His death and resurrection through scriptures, not only through their direct personal experience. Leaving the place directly without declaring His identity gave them the advantage of conversing with Him and being able to express all of their opinions, which were free at that particular moment when they did not recognize Him. 
This story teaches us the importance of God’s wisdom in dealing with the most unsuccessful, disappointed and hopeless people, specifically, when some significant opportunities are delayed or when those people do not see a rapid interference from God. Spiritual lessons come before seeing miracles. That is the way God follows in growing the personality of an unsuccessful and disappointed person because God wants him to depend on His promise and believe in it and to live happy all the time even in the absence of miracles and expectations. 

Luke 24:17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. 

Sadness on a good and glorious day conceals lack of faith. Sadness and failure that lack the basis go against the greatest success and glory. 
This is how the mask of despair hides an opposite viewpoint to the greatest truth ever and that is, resurrection. Do our personal convictions agree with God’s work in our lives and His good will for each one of us?

Luke 24:18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"

 

As if the Lord was the only one who did not know what was seen from them, problems and disappointment. Thus, in times of ordeal we do not see God's wisdom and His solution for our problems. We accuse God to be the one who does not care about what happens to us. As if God is a stranger who does not feel our pain. We wonder the same way prophet Jeremiah used to wonder saying: Jer 14:8 O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? 
The crucifixion of Christ was a great shock for the group that followed Him because they assumed that the promised kingdom of God would be established in this world.

Luke 24:19 And he said to them, "What things?" 


He ordered them to review their report about what made them disappointed 

And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. Luke 24:20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. Luke 24:21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 


The review contains an accurate narration of the crucifixion event and its pain and suffering. However, there was a misperception of the fact that the cross was the core of God's will for humanity and not Christ incarnate for the materialistic salvation of Israel. Also, there was a disregard on the part of the disciples for the signs given to them in regard to the resurrection, as we see from these words :

Luke 24:22-24 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 

They regarded the clearest signs uncertain and therefore they would not settle the argument.These( sometimes) events of negativism and the difficult circumstances mentioned in our report are accurate. But the unawareness of God's hands that operate behind the clouds and the disregard of the powerful signs of the resurrection does not bring relief from the sadness of life and its effects on the body and the spirit. But the failure to recognize the hand of the Lord behind the cloud and the signs of the power of the resurrection, results in no liberation from the gloominess and grimness of life and its effects on the body and the soul. 


Luke 24:25 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 

Jesus is asking for faith from the circle in which he trained and taught. The disciples should have seen the actual facts of the resurrection before anyone else since the Lord Himself taught them about it before its occurrence. 
It is really sad how slowly we move from the phase of seeing to the phase of believing God's work; from the phase of theoretical study of theology to the phase of trust and belief in God’s promises, when we are not prepared to see God's work which is in agreement with his preceding promises for us. By ignoring all that we live the past with all its sad experiences instead of observing God's work in our lives.

Luke 24:26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 

The death and the resurrection of Christ should not have been surprised the disciples. Neither should these two issues have been difficult to accept and believe because these events were to occur since they were mentioned as prophecies in the Old Testament. 

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

How did the resurrected Christ deal with suspicion, anticipation and the prayer with the others in the upper room in Jerusalem? He focused on laying a scriptural foundation  salvation and resurrection( about His redemptive death and resurrection ), in order to make the appearing signs of God's work clear and doubtless.( the one who as a scriptural foundation easily recognizes the signes of fulfillment which God brings in his life; the appearing signs of God’s work would never be unclear and with doubt) God lays a scriptural foundation in the life of every individual because He wants His work to be noticed.

Luke 24:28-34 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 

How could it be that the one who explains the word of God to them not be invited to sit with them after clearing their doubts and giving them all that spiritual guidance? The one who dispersed clouds of the darkness and revealed the divine truth must have an importance above all other disciples who suspected the resurrection and failed to receive it as a fulfillment of the many scriptural prophecies. Doesn’t the man who walked with them deserve ( is of )notability and a status higher than all other disciples? Doesn’t he deserve to be invited for closer fellowship? Isn’t there a need to know the identity of that man who on occasions scolded them openly and firmly for their lack of faith? This crucified man who explained the scriptures in a way no one had ever done before. Isn’t there a need to know the identity of that man who walked with them: how he scolded them firmly and openly because of their unbelief, how he explained the scriptures in way no one could explain except the one who was crucified before three days ?
It is important for us to not only hear the word of God and its explanations, but to see God’s intentions for us for deeper fellowship with Him and try to have deeper relationship with Him. We also need to observe how He enters( His intention to enter to ) our homes to break the good news about eternal life the same way he broke the bread with His disciples. 

Concluding observation on verse 29:
Luke 24:29 but they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. 

The deep relationship with Jesus and His strong presence in the house is not the fruit of a short-lived superficial call( prayer) but an obligation for persistent prayer that reaches God’s ears and makes us want nothing but this deep relationship with Him. 

 

Copyright 2005, Dr. Rafat Amari. All rights reserved. 

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Dr. Rafat Amari
Dr. Rafat Amari

Dr. Rafat Amari

Scholar in comparative religions and Author of over 30 books

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