Luke 24:36-44: Joy and Marveling
September 24, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Again, Jesus, though as we shall see, fully physical, yet apparently suddenly appears among them. Naturally enough they are frightened by what must have seemed to be an apparition, perhaps of a ghostly kind, and Jesus immediately assures them: “Peace to you!” The presence of Jesus is the companion of true peace with God and therefore inner peace in our soul. Let us seek him and know him that we might find peace forever.
To show that he is not a “ghost” or a “spirit,” he asks them to see his hands and feet and to touch him. He is indeed physical. They are “disbelieving” for “joy and marveling”; their overwhelmed joy at the appearance of Jesus is running ahead of their cognition, and while part of them is now rejoicing, they are still rationalizing the appearance and intellectualizing that it cannot be so—surely! And so Jesus asks for something to eat, again to prove that he is physical, and Jesus ate some fish in front of them. No ghost is he.
Having overcome their fears, and demonstrated that he is truly risen from the dead, he proceeds to instruct them once again. This is what the Bible has promised would happen—the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms—and all that it has said must be fulfilled in him, his death and his resurrection. The Word of God is reliable and can be trusted. And the Word of God culminates in the cross. This changes everything.
We who believe in Jesus are no longer floundering in the shadowlands of doubt and fear but have a perspective of the future that shines light on even the darkest of days. He is risen! And in Christ we too will rise from the dead!
Take heart, you who grieve. Take heart, you who mourn. Take heart, you who are plagued by pain and suffering and tremble at the frailty of your physical body. Take heart, you who are filled with doubt about the purpose of your life and whether all your service for Jesus will ever amount to very much. Only the story of eternity can adequately tell the whole of the fruit of each deed done for Christ, when not even a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name will lose its reward. Your labor in the Lord is not in vain! Peace. Rejoice. Trust God’s Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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