The Resurrection of Jesus

THE CRUCIFIXION OF Jesus was a shock to his disciples, but great was their joy when they became convinced that he had been raised from the dead. “The Lord is risen indeed,” was the conclusion they reached after he had talked with the two on the road to Emmaus, and had appeared to Simon. (Luke 24:34) Even so, he was very different from what he was before, never appearing to them more than once in the same manner.

Each time Jesus appeared to his disciples he revealed some further point of truth to them. This was especially true in the case of the two who were walking to Emmaus. Verse 15 says that they “communed together and reasoned.” When Jesus joined them he asked, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”—vs. 17

They were noticeably sad of countenance and their ‘reasoning’ must have been on the negative side, leading them to the conclusion that Jesus was not the Messiah, else his enemies could not have put him to death. After they related the cause of their sadness, Jesus began reasoning with them from the scriptures. He asked, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”—vss. 26,27

As he finished his discourse they reached their destination in Emmaus, and Jesus indicated that he would continue on his way, but they urged him to remain with them, and he did. It was at the evening meal, when he broke bread with them in his old familiar manner, that they recognized their guest. Then suddenly he vanished from their sight. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”—vs. 32

Well might their hearts ‘burn’ with joy, because Jesus had convinced them from the Scriptures that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and die as the Redeemer of the world ere he could enter into, and display, the glory of his kingdom. Now they knew that his death was not a tragedy, but a necessary and important step forward in the outworking of the Divine plan for the salvation of the world! It is doubtful that they grasped this great truth in all its brilliance until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. They did, however, come to understand that Jesus’ death was necessary, and that he had now been raised from the dead.

Beginning with Pentecost, the Early Church understood further that the foretold sufferings of Christ included his body members, his church, those called out from the world to suffer and die with him. The selection of these has required the entire Gospel Age, and not until the work of this age is finished will the glory of the Messianic kingdom manifest itself for the blessing of mankind as a whole.

When the two disciples returned to Jerusalem from Emmaus they met with the others and related their experience. While together, Jesus appeared in their midst, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” They were, for the moment, anything but peaceful. The record says that they were “terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” (vss. 36,37) But Jesus calmed their fears, asserting that a “spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”—vs. 39

Jesus was now a Divine being—“born of the Spirit”—and, as he had explained to Nicodemus, could now come and go unobserved, like the wind. (John 3:8) To be seen by his disciples, it was therefore necessary for him to assume a body of flesh, and the exact nature of each appearance was determined by the purpose to be accomplished. To Mary he appeared as a gardener; to the two on the road to Emmaus he was a ‘stranger.’ They saw no nail prints in his hands and feet, and no wound in his side. In John 20:30 we learn that this appearance was a “sign”—a miraculous manifestation. Jesus gave his flesh for the life of the world. He did not take a scarred body to heaven with him when he returned there.

On this visit, Jesus continued to open up the scriptures to his disciples, helping them to understand more clearly the real purpose of his death that had been foretold in the Law and the prophets, and in the Psalms. This was vital information for them to acquire, for they were to be witnesses that he had been raised from the dead.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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