TEXT: LUKE 24: 36 - 43
READING: PSALM 16: 1-11
SUBJ: The resurrection day appearance of Jesus to the disciples with emphasis being laid on His physical appearance and with especial emphasis on His nail pierced hands and feet.
AIM: That we might fully appropriate the reality and the necessity of the resurrection as the reason these words are preserved for us.
INTR: The exciting events of the day of our Lord's emergence from the tomb continue to stir and elate believers in that they have been made partakers in it and await the answer to it in ourselves.
1. Tradition is easy to adhere to and is often done with little substance. We must ever guard against allowing the wondrous truth of the resurrection to be only a symbolic observance.
2. By faith we may be transported to such scenes as this and be enabled to embrace the reality and revelation given us thereby.
3. And we can continue in that way and grow in our understanding of all that He has done and in our awareness of life from the dead.
THESIS: Our Lord's post-resurrection ministry aimed specifically at grounding His disciples, and us, in the truth that He was indeed dead and that as a result repentance and remission were assured to all who believe and that He lives to continue with us ever.
I. A Natural reaction observed (vv. 36-37)
1. We pause to consider the series of events that left them huddled together in fear and uncertainty.
1) Things had gone downhill for them from the time of the ordeal in the Garden, trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and condemnation under Pilate and on to the cross.
2) They had, no doubt, plunged deeper into a sense of despair.
2. A second eyewitness report had just been delivered to them and was met with unbelief as was the other.
3. But then, Jesus appeared it he midst and declared "Peace be unto you."
1) A question of doors and the fascination with the abilities of a glorified body.
2) But they were not asking how He got in - they were too afraid to do anything.
4. Theirs is the reaction of a fallen human nature that fears what it cannot explain and especially anything that appears to be supernatural. The fact of His death had fully registered in them.
5. They recognized the form, they had heard the report that He was alive, but resurrection was not within their ability to understand - it was not natural to them or us.
6. But we compare their reaction to that of Mary Magdalene on seeing Him alive.
II. The glorious Gospel revelation to them (vv. 38-40)
1. He greets them with searching questions as if to say did not I tell you what would happen?
1) Why are you troubled?
2) Why are you having unbecoming thoughts? They thought they had seen a ghost.
2. To them, seeing was believing and He accommodated their doubts:
1) Behold my hands and feet (a first directive)
2) The declaration - "it is I, myself."
3) The invitation to touch Him and experience the fact that He was alive and intact: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (1 John 1:1)
4) Compare the reaction here to that of the Transfiguration - the difference was His death (and He was dead) and His resurrection.
3. He showed them His hands:
1) It would seem that He approached them to enable a closer look and to see the effects of the Roman spikes.
2) This would take them back to the scenes of Calvary and He would continue to preserve that memory as both tokens of redemption accomplished and the ultimate sacrifice of love.
3) Consider from Wm. Hendriksen: "When Jesus notices that these men are still filled with fear and doubt, he directs their attention to his hands and feet. He shows them these bodily members. John has "his hands and his side." What Jesus wants them to see is undoubtedly the stigmata, the marks of his crucifixion. It is, of course, impossible for us, who do not as yet possess the resurrection body, to understand how it was possible for the body of Jesus to be, on the one hand, so unlike our present bodies that he was able to enter a room without opening either a door or a window; yet, on the other hand, so similar to our present bodies that the very scars resulting from his crucifixion were still showing."
4. Death had indeed seized Him, but now He stood in their midst in defiance of all that human nature said could not be - He was alive forever more.
III. A second confirmation of His humanity (vv. 41-43)
1. They seemed to transition from doubt and fear to such joy as to express something on the order of "this is too good to be true."
2. A thousand questions may have flooded their minds and He would answer them all.
3. The next question would settle it for now. "Have ye any meat?"
1) This would further solidify the fact that He was still the same man and would remain so.
2) He ate with them.
4. And even now He is in the same form in glory and will appear the second time without sin unto salvation.