Apr 21 2019 Luke 24 - The Resurrected Christ Opens Our Eyes
21st April 2019
In Luke, there are 4 encounters that specific individuals have on that first Easter. Three of these stories are found in other gospels – and are expanded. Luke is the only one that talks about the road to Emmaus. Luke takes a minimalist view, shortening the stories. We talked how Luke had all these sources to compile his account. Many scholars believe Luke probably had Mark and Matthew – and therefore, emphasized different things.
Luke never mentions how Jesus met the women at the grave – just that they got there – and then moved on.
Peter – Ran to the tomb – that’s the extent of it!
We’ll look at a couple of these stories – all 4 gospels have the women at the tomb – Women play a huge role in Luke’s gospel. It is important for us to understand the role that women played in Jesus’ life and ministry.
Luke 24: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground,
They go in – there are men in dazzling clothes – that doesn’t mean that they are stylish – the clothes that they were wearing were radiating light and glory. We know that these are angels. Last week, in the teen group, we were talking about the angels – the cherubim – angels don’t have wings – but cherubim do – they are other creatures. Angels take human form. And when they appear in the Bible, people tend to be terrified – they always say – don’t be afraid! It is not because they are scary – it is because they are glorious – and for us humans, looking upon true glory is a scary thing. It is not until we are transformed that we can look on glory without being afraid.
We also talked about – how, today, because of our scientific technical, knowledge-filled world, we want an explanation for everything. Therefore, we tend to discount the spiritual realm. But Easter shows us that the spiritual world is real, and it can be felt and experienced in our realm. The spiritual and physical come together often in the Bible, and we need to be open to them coming together in our world, - in our lives.
Spiritual realm always has impact upon this realm, both for good and evil. And in our lives – there is spiritual stuff going on in and around us – and the Easter story – we see Jesus appearing and disappearing - angels coming and going – bodies coming out of graves – and we think that was for another time and place. In some places in the world, the spiritual realm is more recognized.
the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 "He is not here, but He has risen. (He has risen indeed!).
Why do you seek the living among the dead – almost like, didn’t you get this? Why are you here? You should have understood this all along.
When we think of angels, what do we think of? Guardian angels protecting the babies of the world? I am sure there are angels protecting us at times, but that is not their primary role – the word can be translated messenger – so when Paul sends Timothy to Ephesus – he is a messenger – an angel! But not like angels. Their primary role is to bring the message to people. Here, with the women – they bring the message to the women about the resurrection!
Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
As we have gone through Luke, Jesus spoke often of his suffering and death, and the disciples never really caught it. They had to remember that he spoke of his suffering and death. The Messiah had to do more than just win a victory over Rome – He had to win a spiritual battle over the forces both physical and spiritual.
The greatest war took place on the cross – this is hinted at in Genesis 3:
Genesis 3: 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."
So from the very beginning of time – God tells the story of the gospel – that the Messiah must suffer – the serpent – we think of Satan – he is the representative of all the evil forces -and the seed of the woman represents the coming of the Messiah – and in that time – the snake will bruise the heel of the Messiah – but in the delivering of that blow, the Messiah will crush – destroy - the powers of darkness forever. The cross was a victory over all the dark forces – both human and spiritual – all the forces came together in that garden to try to take it all from God. Like an Avengers movie – only it is real! This stuff is happening. But the victory was won on the cross.
Colossians 2: 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
On the cross He disarmed all these dark forces – and He wins the victory over sin – canceling out the certificate of debt – that which was hostile to us – the guilt of our sins – we all know how we feel when we do something wrong – attacked by the guilt and shame – it is hostile – He wiped that out! Canceled it all! He has won the victory – we don’t have to stand for that in our lives. We don’t have to have the guilt. The condemnation is gone.
Sin no longer has power over us. We are free from it – Is that your constant experience? If it is, raise your hand – and leave – we don’t want to get hit by your lightning. Yes, we get some real victory in areas in our lives – but there are other areas where we wonder if we will ever get over it – will it ever change about me? The progress seems minimal – stretching out to gain an inch – but ultimately, we will conquer them all in our new resurrected body. We have victory over death! New bodies! These bodies will die – but we will be given new ones that aren’t so frail and messed up and worn down and broken and susceptible to every form of disease and decay – immortal bodies! We will be like JESUS! He walked through a wall to be with the disciples.
We will be like HIM! That’s what it says!
Luke 24: 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
Women were the first creatures and messengers of the gospel – the first people commissioned to proclaim the gospel = GO! Proclaim to my brethren! Preach to your brothers – to Peter, James, John – that I am alive.
And the men didn’t listen.
11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad.
Jesus sets them up here…
18 One of them, named Cleopas (many think Luke got this information from Cleopas), answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?"
This sounds like Shakespeare here…
19 And He said to them, "What things?" (What are you talking about?!)
And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death and crucified Him.
At this point – Jesus should have said, I’ve been trying to tell you that!
21 "But we were hoping (there is the problem) that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.
Their hope and expectation are always a problem. There hope was that he would drive out the Romans.
But Jesus wept when he came into Jerusalem – over the things that make for peace – not the conquering of Rome. Their hope and expectations were misguided.
Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 "But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 "Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see."
25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"
Here it is again – the only solution was for the Messiah to suffer…
27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
This must have been a long walk. From the Jewish perspective – this would have been hard for them to understand. We need to give them a pass for not recognizing it – we see Jesus in Isaiah 53 – but they would have seen Israel:
Isaiah 53: He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
For us it is so clear – we have the advantage of being on this side of these events. Think about what Jesus did for us – pierced for our sin. Jesus won the victory on the cross, but He also brings about a restoration and healing – not just victory over sin – from Good Friday to Easter, He restores us to Himself. All of us have things that are completely broken inside of us that need to be mended – and that takes place because of what Christ did – be it emotional, spiritual, psychological – it would be good to recognize those things that need to be healed and allow Him to heal us.
Luke 24:28 28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over." So He went in to stay with them.30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.
This would have been their last memory of Jesus before the arrest… - He takes the bread – like He did at the Last Supper.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?"
Only God can open our eyes. Only God can open a person’s eyes.
Have your eyes been opened? Has God been able to open your eyes? Have you allowed Him to open your eyes to what He has done for you? That is the heart of God – that we might all see. But sometimes we resist and push back – open your eyes – let Him open your eyes.
Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,