The Resurrection of Jesus: Luke 24

We have been looking at the story of Jesus as it is told in Luke’s Gospel. It begins with the arrival of an unlikely king born in poor humble circumstances. Then we saw Jesus as a teacher-prophet. He went through out Israel calling people to a radical way of life. Where enemies become friends,

The poor are cared for, where people find forgiveness for their failures. He went from town to town, inviting people to follow him, and live under God’s reign in this upside down way. And he did many signs and wonders, so many Israelites began to hope that He would rescue Israel from the Romans

And set up a new kingdom of peace and justice. In short, that He would bring the Kingdom of God Now, the religious leaders of the day were also hoping for God’s Kingdom but to them, the message of Jesus was a threat. Yeah, they had expected to gain power

And prestige when all this went down. But Jesus said that God’s kingdom belongs to the poor, to the outsider. And the real power is serving others in love. This conflict intensified when Jesus, while in Jerusalem disrupted the temple’s sacrifices and called Israel’s leaders a gang of rebels So, they arrested Jesus

And they have him accused before the Roman authorities of being a rebel king. He was handed over for execution even though he was innocent. But then he was taken outside the city and put to death on false charges. This brings us to the final section of the Gospel of Luke

There was a religious leader named Joseph, who opposed Jesus’s execution and then requested to be given his body so he could buried Jesus in a nearby tomb. And then a couple of days later some women who had followed Jesus, came to visit that tomb and they found it open, and empty

And they encounter these mysterious figures telling them that Jesus was alive from the dead. So they ran away terrified, nobody believed their report. I mean he can’t be alive they all saw him die. Now, just outside of Jerusalem a pair of Jesus’s followers

Were leaving the city traveling on a road to a town called Emmaus. And they were sad and confused about everything that had happened. Then Jesus shows up walking along side them but they do not know it is him. Yeah, that is weird. Why could not they recognized him?

Yeah, it is odd but a really significant image for Luke. So, they are blind to Jesus for some reason, so Jesus asks them. What are you guys talking about? And they begin telling him about Jesus, a powerful prophet who they expected would rescue Israel; but it was instead executed.

Some women see him alive, which is crazy. It is all too much, we are going home. So Jesus tries to explain that this is what the Jewish scriptures had been pointing to all along. That Israel needed a King who would suffer and die as a rebel

On behalf of those who are actually rebels. And then he would be vindicated by his resurrection, so he could give true life to those who would receive it. But it still not making sense, they are as confused as ever. Which leads to the scene where they sit down for a meal with Jesus

He takes the bread, he blesses it, breaks it and gives it to them just as he did at the last supper. Yeah, this is the image of his broken body, his death on the cross And it is when they take in the broken bread

That is when their eyes are open to see Jesus then he disappears and the episode is over So this is a story about how it is hard is to see Jesus for who he really is Yes, this is brilliant, I mean How could God’s royal power and love be revealed through

This man’s shameful execution? How could a humble man become the King of world through weakness and self sacrifice? It is very hard to see. But this is the message of the Gospel of Luke. It takes a transformation of your imagination to see it and embrace Jesus’s upside down kingdom.

The Gospel of Luke ends with, Jesus and all of his disciples together over another meal and everyone is freaking out about his resurrected body. I mean he is still a human but way more. Yes, He has passed through death and come out the other side, a walking, talking, piece of new creation

And then Jesus tells them that He’s going to give them the same divine power that sustained Him so they can go out and share the Good News of God’s Kingdom with other people. After this, Luke tells us that Jesus was taken up into Heaven

Which is a cool exit and all, but why disappear into the sky? In the Old Testament, the skies are the place of God’s throne, they’re above everything so this is Luke’s way of showing that Jesus has been enthroned as the Divine King of the whole world

His followers stay in Jerusalem, worshipping God and Jesus waiting for this new power and this is where the gospel ends now Luke is going to write about how they receive this power and take the news out into the world and that’s what his second volume, The Book Of Acts, is all about.

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