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Basic Bible: Proofs of the Resurrection

Luke 24:36-53

“And as they spoke . . .” (v. 36). They would have consisted of the eleven disciples and those gathered with them. This number included the two believers who returned to Jerusalem after journeying to Emmaus (v. 33). Jesus appeared to the apostles as they spoke immediately after their having heard the report of His appearance to Cleopas and the other disciple on the road to Emmaus.

The apostles had received an earlier report that Jesus had risen — that from the women who found the empty sepulchre. The women reported the words of the two angels who said, “He is not here, but is risen” (v. 6). The apostles had heard but believed not (see v. 11).

 The things which are recorded in verse 37 to 42 are there because God wants us to know that the apostles doubted the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their doubt followed two reports and the very appearance of Jesus before them. Seeing, in this instance, was not believing because they saw and heard and did not believe.

Doubt is a reasonable reaction because it is impossible for what happened to have happened. The disciples reacted to what they saw in a reasonable and predictable way.

The Lord showed them His hands and His feet. His nail torn flesh was exposed; they beheld it but still doubted. Jesus then took fish and honeycomb and ate it before them. The Lord does that which is necessary to erase doubt. The Lord cannot use doubters; He uses believers.

The Lord speaks to all who will ever believe. In verse 44, He told the apostles that all things which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the Psalms concerning Him must be fulfilled. There are numerous passages in both the Psalms and in the books of the prophets concerning the Messiah. The Psalms speak of His being rejected, His crucifixion, His priesthood, and His future reign. Daniel speaks of His sacrificial death. Zechariah prophesies of the future time in which the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall “look upon me whom they have pierced.” Isaiah prophesies of all these thing and more. One, however, must search the law of Moses to find that which directly spoken concerning Jesus. In Deuteronomy 18:15-19, Moses prophesies concerning the Prophet who shall come and do the works of Moses and deliver words to which all men must hearken. Jesus is that Prophet and all men who cast Him aside bring condemnation upon themselves.

Verse 45 states, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” The Lord God has opened up the understanding of believers (not doubters).

And what is it that believers are to understand?

That Christ came according to the scriptures. That Christ suffered according to the scriptures. That Christ rose from the dead according to the scriptures. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in JESUS’ name to all nations beginning in Jerusalem.

Jesus told the disciples (Believers) that they were witnesses of these things. “These things” is that ALL which is recorded in the scriptures is true and that ALL things must be fulfilled. All believers are witnesses because they believe. All believers are employed as witnesses. There is no such thing as an unemployed believer. Not all witnesses are equal. Some believers are more effective witnesses than others. Some can be and have been counterproductive. Jesus did not instruct His disciples to go forth and do the best that they could do.

He told them to wait until they were endued with power from on high. We know that this power came upon the disciples at Pentecost. It is a promise kept. Believers of today became believers because they heard and believed the message that was delivered to them by witnesses who were empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Today, believers survey the scriptures and find promises that have been kept and promises yet to be realized. Believers are to tell others of the things which have been made known to us. We are without excuse. He came that we might know that ALL THINGS which are written are true and that we are to be the witnesses of that truth.

God wants us to be good witnesses. Jesus revealed His nail torn flesh and dined with the disciples so that they might be certain witnesses. Let us confess all doubt and be the Spirit-driven witnesses that He would have us to be.

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