< CHAPTER 23 |
A Key Verse
Jesus died Friday afternoon. His loved ones rushed to bury him before the sunset started the Sabbath, the time of rest. Sunday morning, the Sabbath having ended, some of the women—at least including according to verse 10 Mary Magdalen, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James–went to anoint Jesus’ body with oil and spices, to finish his proper burial.
The empty tomb
1 Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. 5 The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He isn’t here, but has been raised.
“Alleluia, Christ is Risen” by a youth choir in California.
Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others.
10 Luke and the other gospels disagree on details, but all agree that it was women who knew about the resurrection first.
11 The apostles dismissed the women’s testimony as nonsense. For three years they followed Jesus, and the greatest news of his ministry, his very resurrection, they did not believe because they were told by women. Sexism is tragic, and it sure didn’t help the apostles be good Christians that day!
12 But Peter ran. It seems that Peter may have believed, or at least couldn’t manage to fully doubt.
Kristin Chenoweth, famous for being in Glee and Wicked.
Encounter on the Emmaus road
13 On that same day, two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking to each other about everything that had happened. 15 While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey.
16 The apostles were somehow kept from recognizing Jesus, but Bible isn’t clear about who kept them from seeing—did God blind them or did they blind themselves?
19 He said to them, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet. 20But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. All these things happened three days ago. 22 But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”
25 What kept the apostles from recognizing Jesus at first? Perhaps their own dull minds.
28 When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. 29 But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 How can we learn to recognize Jesus? The disciples’ eyes were opened when they saw Jesus bless and break bread. In the Lord’s Supper, we can experience Jesus more clearly!
33 They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!” 35Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.
Jesus appears to the disciples
36 While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 37They were terrified and afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones like you see I have.” 40 As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41Because they were wondering and questioning in the midst of their happiness, he said to them, “Do you have anything to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish. 43 Taking it, he ate it in front of them.
44 Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 46He said to them, “This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 Look, I’m sending to you what my Father promised, but you are to stay in the city until you have been furnished with heavenly power.”
Ascension of Jesus
50 He led them out as far as Bethany, where he lifted his hands and blessed them. 51 As he blessed them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 They worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem overwhelmed with joy. 53 And they were continuously in the temple praising God.
Things to Think About