Monday, November 29, 2021

2021.11.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 24:36–43

Read Luke 24:36–43

Questions from the Scripture text: What was still happening in Luke 24:36 (cf. Luke 24:35)? Who suddenly stood where? What did He say to them? But how did they respond (Luke 24:37)? Because what had they assumed? What two questions does He ask them in Luke 24:38? What, specifically, does He tell them to behold, in order to verify identity (Luke 24:39a)? What, specifically, does He tell them to touch, in order to identify physicality (verse 39b)? What does He show them in Luke 24:40? What is still their response (Luke 24:41)? What is preventing them from believing at this point? What are they doing instead? Then what does He ask them? What do they give Him (Luke 24:42)? What does He do with it (Luke 24:43)?

As the Lord displays proof of His resurrection to His disciples, He does similarly for us. It is of utmost importance that we realize that His resurrection from the dead is an historical fact (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:5–8).  And the Scripture teaches us that His resurrected body is the template for our future resurrected bodies (cf. Philippians 3:20–21). Jesus Christ is the proper study and delight of every Christian, and so we come with eagerness and adoration to a passage that teaches us about His resurrected body.

Christ’s resurrection body is imbued with power, Luke 24:36. “Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them.” They knew that this was impossible, so they jumped to conclusions (Luke 24:37) and were terrified. It is true that Obadiah thought this could be done with Elijah (cf. 1 Kings 18:12), and other prophets thought this indeed had happened in 2 Kings 2:16. And the Spirit did it to Philip in Acts 8:39–40. But there is no mention here of the mediation of the Spirit, and we have a second instance in John 20:26. This is something that Jesus’s resurrection body simply can do. 

Christ’s resurrection body bears the marks of our redemption, Luke 24:39a, Luke 24:40. Various deniers of Christ’s death and resurrection have resorted to “lookalike” theories. But Jesus is urgent that the disciples would see that it is He Himself. And His ultimate proof of identity is “behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself.” There is only one Redeemer, and He bears the marks of our redemption, even in His glorified body. In John’s apocalypse, He is described as appearing as a lamb as though it had been slain.

Christ’s resurrection body is a real, physical body, Luke 24:39b. Even if it is Jesus, how do they know that it isn’t just the appearance of a body? Jesus invites them to lay hands on Him and discover that He has flesh and bone. He has a real, physical body. In the resurrection, we will have real, physical bodies. We will inherit a real, physical world. In the biblical view of things, the physical is not beneath or less important than the spiritual. Our current bodies are temporary, but there are permanent ones coming. And they are real bodies. Jesus’s real, physical body demonstrates that we who believe in Him have been made right with God (cf. Romans 4:25).

Christ’s resurrection body is capable of food and fellowship, Luke 24:41-43. They still aren’t able to take in the reality of what has happened, but now it is not because of the doubt that Jesus mentioned in Luke 24:38, but because this seemed something too joyous to be true. 

Jesus seems to enjoy their joy and seek to provoke it by His request in Luke 24:41. As they marvel and worship, He asks for some of whatever they’ve been having as an evening meal. They have broiled fish for supper and honeycomb for dessert. He eats it, and He does so in their presence. We can look forward to the enjoyment of food in the new creation, and we can especially look forward to table fellowship with our Lord. For now, He brings us to a table on earth, where we may eat bread and wine in His presence, and our faith can feed upon and commune with Him Who sits enthroned in glory.

Why is it important to you, personally, that Christ has been raised from the dead? What are you looking forward to, with regard to His resurrected body? What are you looking forward to, with regard to your own resurrected body?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we adore You, Who died and rose again for our poor sake. Forgive us for when we are unmindful of the reality of Your resurrection, or when we think or live as if for this life only we have been saved. Grant that we would serve You and enjoy you with our bodies now, even as we look forward to serving You and enjoying You with our bodies in the future. Which we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP157 “Immortality and Resurrection” or TPH358 “Sing Choirs of New Jerusalem” 

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