by Bill Spaans:
You may recall that in chapter one Dr. Luke stated that his purpose was to write an “orderly account” of the life and teachings of Jesus. In this last chapter Dr. Luke ends by giving us three compelling stories to corroborate Jesus’ resurrection.
In the first story women go to the grave to attend to the body, but they did not find Jesus there. What they did encounter were two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning who said (vs.5-8)
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered His words.”
In the second story two men were on the way to Emmaus and pondering all that had happened, when they were joined by a third person. This third person, Jesus, explained in detail what had happened and why. Still, they did not recognize Him until they all sat down for a meal together. Dr. Luke writes (vs 30 – 32)
“When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
And thirdly, in Jerusalem, the eleven remaining disciples were together, no doubt discussing what they should now do. Dr. Luke writes (vs.36 – 39)
“Suddenly Jesus stood among them and He said, “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.”
Over the years many have claimed that the stories of the resurrection were just fabricated by the disciples to keep the “myths” about Jesus alive. But these stories that Dr. Luke ends his gospel account with provide convincing evidence that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Further evidence is provided in the transformed lives of these eyewitnesses, who were transformed from dispirited followers to unstoppable witnesses.
What an amazing thing the resurrection is for us as well! It changes our entire perspective on life when we realize that Jesus rose from the dead. And so will we! We can now say along with Paul (1 Cor. 15:55-57) “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
May our lives reflect the reality of the resurrection. And to God be the glory!