So we come to the last of our letters for this week, and read the rest of the account registered by Doctor Luke in Luke 24:36-53.
How was it that after all these things had happened, the doubt persisted? For one thing, Jesus had told them that he would be raised from the dead. For another, the women–Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary–Jesus’ mother–and others–had seen the empty tomb and heard the angels say that Jesus had risen. For another, Cleopas and his companion had talked and eaten with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They were still discussing this when Jesus appeared. But they were still startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost, instead of being relieved that it was now clear, and they could all see Him.
But then it really is disconcerting the way Jesus just appears (and disappears)–especially after the resurrection: walking through locked doors, seeming to materialize out of thin air. They did have some clues about this resurrection, but they couldn’t really be expected to fully understand.
I love the beginning of verse 41: “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering” (NRSV). Disbelieving and still wondering.
Then Jesus gets down to giving them proof through the ordinary. “Have you got anything to eat?” Yes, He’s still human and can eat. Again He eats with them on the lakeside in Galilee. Then He moves on to the next basis for proof, explaining from the scriptures that everything that had happened was foretold.
He opened their minds, and then told them what they were to do. Nothing like doing something to prove that you’ve understood it. “You are witnesses, but wait for God’s initiative in giving you the power to do it”, so that you will understand that it is HIS work that you are doing.
We are still witnesses to the risen, living Jesus today as we witness to our generation.
We pray today for
Derek & Joanna (preparing to feel blessed!)