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Bible Study: Luke, Chapter Twenty-Four

  • Bible Study, Luke 24, Part One from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: Today we are going to continue our Bible study and we will be studying the first half of Luke Chapter 24 in depth. You can follow along in your own Bible if you like. I will be reading from the World English Bible because it is the only modern English translation that is copyright free, and I can read the entire bible on video. We will give a quiz next week when we have completed the chapter. Let’s get started:

    First, let’s set our location and characters: Church tradition has it that Jesus was arrested about midnight on Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemane, after the Last Supper. Now the Bible does not give us the exact details on the dates, or days, but we will try and do the best we can.

    Biblical dates today are mostly educated guess work and probably are not that accurate, so it is best to not focus too deeply on them. For instance, Jesus could have been arrested on a Wednesday. Also in the Bible, days are measured from evening to evening, like in Leviticus 23:32, and not midnight to midnight like today. That said, the Bible does now and then tell us the time of day that things happened.

    After Jesus was arrested, He was first taken to house of Annas probably about 1 AM, then to Caiaphas. At daybreak, about 5:30 AM, He appeared before the Jewish supreme court, the Sanhedrin. They charged Jesus with heresy and took Him to Pilate, the Roman governor. The Jews had no power to put anyone to death, so this step was necessary.

    Pilate found no fault in Jesus and tried several times to set Him free, but the Jewish priests and elders stirred the crowd up against Jesus and they pressed for Him to be crucified. Pilate wanted nothing to do with it, and sent Jesus on to Herod, who was the puppet leader of the Jewish people appointed by Rome. Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, dressed Him in a royal robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.

    Pilate then had Jesus scourged and then brought Him back out in front of the crowd and attempted to release Him again, but the crowd demanded that He release Barabbas instead, who was a murderer. Pilate was a politician, when he saw that he was losing favor with the people, he caved in and did what the multitude wanted.

    Jesus was crucified on a hill that is called Calvary, Golgotha, the place of a skull. It was a hill that looked similar to a skull right outside Jerusalem. It is believed that Jesus was crucified on Friday at about 9 AM and darkness covered the land from 12 noon, until Jesus’ death at 3 p.m (Mark 15:25, 33-38).

    Jews begin observing the Sabbath day about 18 minutes before sunset on Friday. Sunset would have been around 6 PM, so there was little time for a proper burial. Joseph of Arimathaea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, took it down, and they hurriedly laid it in his own tomb nearby. That is where this chapter begins:

    Luke Chapter 24 beginning in verse 1, reading from the World English Bible: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.

    Chapter 23 ended with: 55 “The women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid. 56 They returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”

    The dead body of Jesus was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb right before sunset, the beginning of the Sabbath. John 19:38 tells us that Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus, gained permission from Pilate to bury Jesus’ body. With the aid of Nicodemus, he wrapped Jesus’ body in linen wrappings with about 100 pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes, and laid him in a new garden tomb that he had cut out for himself.

    Fragrant spices like frankincense and myrrh were made from dried tree sap, called gum resin. It was a hard substance that could be ground into powder. It could be melted and burned as incense. Strong smelling spices like this were used to cover the smell of decaying bodies, so the family could spend time at the tomb mourning without being driven away by the odor. For instance, in John 11:39, when Lazarus was dead, Jesus told them, “Take away the stone.” Martha, Lazarus’ sister said,  “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” This was day three for Jesus.

    The faithful women who had followed Jesus all the way from Galilee, saw the tomb where they laid Him on Friday, and began gathering more spices and ointments. They rested on the Sabbath day. These women arose early on Sunday morning, the first day of their week, and returned to the tomb to cover the body of Jesus with their fragrant spices and ointments, while God’s terrific twelve apostles were nowhere to be found.

    On their way, these women would have been depressed, exhausted, mourning, with no hope whatsoever. Their Messiah, was dead. Though they were still trying to serve Jesus, they only expected more sorrow. They were only going to try and cover the smell of His decaying body as a last farewell. Today when you bring flowers to a grave, you don’t expect to find it empty, and if you did, you would not assume that they had been resurrected. Neither did they.

    Mark 16:11 tells us that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were there. While on the way, they discussed who would roll the stone away for them, but when they arrived, they saw that it had already been rolled away (Mark 16:4).

    Now there is much debate about how long Jesus was in the tomb: was it part of 3 days, or a full 72 hours? Personally I don’t think that is what matters, but someone is going to ask, so here is what I have gathered, what is commonly believed, and seems reasonable to me. Remember biblical days are measured evening to evening:

    - Jesus died at 3 PM and was buried shortly before sunset on Friday, that is day 1.

    - At sunset (about 6 PM) the sabbath began, which is Saturday, this is day 2.

    - About 6 PM Saturday evening, it became Sunday the first day of the week, this is day 3.

    So Jesus lay in the tomb a small part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday, rising sometime Sunday morning. He said seven times that He would rise “on the third day.”  If Jesus rose on the third day at all, then He could not have meant “after 72 hours have passed.”

    The gospel accounts do not tell us the details of how Jesus was resurrected, because they were not there to see it. A couple of things we do know: Acts 3:15 and 4:10 tells us that God Himself raised Jesus from the dead, instead of Jesus rising Himself. Also, God did not raise a specter or ghost, but the actual physical body of Jesus, with the nail marks. That is why the tomb is found empty. 

    2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

    The Jewish leaders asked Pilate to set a guard on the tomb in case the disciples tried to steal the body Jesus, and they secured the tomb by rolling an enormous round stone in front of it that fit into a channel. It would have taken several strong men to move it. They then placed a Roman seal on the tomb. The seal was a rope, overlapping the width of the stone and on either side of the doorway, there was a glob of wax that held the rope in place. You could not move the rock without breaking the wax seal. The Roman guards watched the sealing carefully because they were responsible for guarding whatever was being sealed inside. They knew their careers, and their lives, were on the line. The Roman seal carried legal authority, so the stone was secured by the authority of the Roman Empire.

    The tomb was then secured by a guard of Roman soldiers. A typical Roman guard had four soldiers. Two watched while the others rested. This guard may have had more because it was a high priority case. The soldiers would be fully equipped: sword, shield, spear, dagger, armor.

    Matthew 28:2 (WEB) reads: “Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men.

    I love this verse, I can’t read it without smiling, because it really puts our life into perspective. A single angel of the Lord descended from the sky, broke their precious seal, rolled away the huge stone, then sat on it, and looked down at the soldiers.

    The battle-hardened Roman soldiers who would nail a man to a cross and then gamble for His clothing, looked up and told him to put the stone back or he would be arrested. No wait, they began shaking in fear, their knees knocked together, and they fainted on the spot. Not long before this, some were laughing and mocking Jesus while He bled to death on the cross.

    How weak and pathetic the strength of man appears when an angel of God shows up. This was a very powerful angel with all the majesty of God, and mortals could not even stand before him. This had happened to Daniel long before (Daniel 10:6). It will also happen at the return of Jesus. People will be living their lives as they do every day, and bam, they will suddenly be face to face with their Maker, and men’s hearts will fail them because of fear.

    What I mean is: live ready to die. When the angel came, the soldiers didn’t have time to go and pray, they fell to the ground. How much more so when the Lord Jesus returns.

    3 They entered in, and didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. 4 While they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing.

    Joseph of Arimathaea was a wealthy man and the tomb that he had carved out of stone for himself was new. It may have looked similar to this one. The large stone was fit into a channel to hold it securely. The hillside itself was soft limestone.

    The women entered the tomb, but didn’t see Jesus. John 20:13 tells us that Mary Magdalene thought that His body had been stolen, but then two men appeared in dazzling clothing, like Jesus looked on the Mount of Transfiguration. Obviously the men were angels and radiated the splendor of God.

    5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He isn’t here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again?”

    The women bowed down to the ground in respect and possibly because the light was so bright that it was blinding. The angels asked an important question: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” The angels seemed surprised that the women were surprised. “He told you about this several times…”

    Too often we look for Jesus in the dead things: religious traditions, formalism, man’s rules, human effort, substitutes of the flesh. We will never find Jesus in those things. We find Him only where there is resurrection life, when we worship Him in spirit and in truth.

    There is a tendency for churches to look for Jesus “among the dead.” For some reason people love the example of the dead, controllable, harmless Jesus. They can place Him where they want Him to be. You see crucifixes and paintings with Jesus dead on the cross everywhere. If it is not that, then He is still in a manger, the little baby Jesus, so cuddly.

    That’s not reality! Jesus is not dead, nor weak, nor a baby, and you will not find Jesus in a manger, on a cross, or in a tomb any longer. Behold Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and He will return as a reigning King. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. 

    8 They remembered his words, 9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

    Jesus told his disciples several times what was going to happen to Him in Jerusalem, but they had not understood. Mark 9:31 reads: “For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, “The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again.” 32 But they didn’t understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.” (Mark 9:31-32; Matthew 17:22-23).

    Now they remembered His words and what He had said before. The women went back and told the eleven apostles about what they had seen at the tomb. After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he hanged himself, so 12 apostles minus 1, leaves 11.

    10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles. 11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they didn’t believe them.

    These faithful women were first named in Luke 8:1, now Luke mentions them here a second time. They were the faithful, on the cutting edge of what God was doing at that moment, carrying the “now” word of God.

    The apostles did not believe them. The women kept telling the good news to the Eleven over and over, but the “lordly males” were not impressed. They regarded the women’s witness as female hysteria, “silly talk” (Abbot-Smith), “humbug” (Fitzmyer), “babbling” (Maclaren).

    These were the apostles, the men over whom Jesus had prayed for an entire night before calling them (Luke 6:12, 13). Their faith would be the foundation of the Church. Jesus had explicitly told them numerous times about His death and resurrection, but now they dismissed the women’s witness about an empty tomb and called the angels’ words humbug. One thing is for sure, the apostles did not invent the resurrection story, for at the time, they could not be convinced to believe it themselves.

    Like so many of us, the apostles had heard, but not heard God’s Word. They never bothered to think that Jesus meant exactly what He said. We need to remember that 98 percent of the Bible is understandable. There is plenty to do without getting bogged down in the 2% that you don’t understand. As Mark Twain once said, “It’s not what I don’t understand about the Bible that bothers me. It’s what I do understand!”

    Several things happened here in the other gospel accounts that we should cover as well:

    Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord Jesus. According to Mark 16:9, she stood outside the tomb weeping (John 20:11). At first, Mary thought Jesus was the gardener and she did not recognize Him. Apparently, Jesus in His resurrected body, looked different or through some supernatural cloaking, they could not recognize Him. Mary did not recognize Him, nor the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:16), nor the apostles when they were fishing near the beach (John 21:4).

    Mary thought that the gardener had removed the body of Jesus and asked him where he had put it so that she could give Him a proper burial, which tells us that Mary Magdalene was a woman of substance (See Luke 8:2). When Jesus called Mary by her name, she immediately recognized Him. The Shepherd called His sheep by name, and they recognized His voice (John 10:3). Jesus then appeared to the other women as well (Matthew 28:9).

    After Jesus revealed that it was Him, Mary went and told Peter and John, then they ran to the tomb to see for themselves (John 20:2). They only saw that the tomb was empty. 

    Matthew 28:11 onward tells us that when the soldiers who were guarding the tomb reported what had happened to the chief priests. The priests gave them a considerable amount of money to lie and say that they all fell a sleep, and the disciples had quietly stolen the body of Jesus. Sleeping on watch duty was a serious offense, so they offered to keep them out of trouble.

    The story was not that well thought out because it is highly unlikely that someone could roll away the giant stone and steal the body without waking them up. Also, they were saying they knew exactly what happened, even though they were sleeping, but to the priests, anything would be better than telling the truth. The soldiers took the money and lied as they were told.

    Scripture records that Jesus appeared five times on the day of His resurrection, and then five more times during the following forty days. The five appearances on resurrection day were:

    (1) to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11 and Mark 16:11)

    (2) to the other women (Matthew 28:9)

    (3) to the two disciples going to Emmaus (Luke 24:13)

    (4) to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34)

    (5) to ten apostles and others, without Thomas (John 20:19)

    12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.

    John 20:2 tells us that Peter and John, the one whom Jesus loved, ran to the tomb and that he outran Peter and got to the tomb first, but didn’t go inside. After Peter went in and saw, John went inside, saw the strips of linen lying there, and believed. What did John see that made him believe?

    I believe what they saw was the flattened grave clothes of Jesus lying there, as if a body had just passed right through them, leaving them the perfect distance apart. When John saw that, he believed, and Peter was filled with wonder as to how that could have happened. They found the tomb empty as the women had said, and returned home.

    13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened.

    This was still resurrection Sunday, and there had been several trips to the empty tomb, some had seen angels, a few said they had seen Jesus, there was much confusion and despair among the followers of Jesus. A lot had happened in a very short time.

    Two of the disciples were walking to the city of Emmaus. The original site of the city is now lost, but the most probable location is about seven miles Northwest of Jerusalem. In the year 1099 crusaders found a fort there called “Castellum Emmaus”. In verse 18, one of the disciples is identified as Cleopas. So who was he? This is a bit complicated, but seems reasonable to me and worth mentioning:

    John 19:25 tells us that “Mary the wife of Clophas” was at the crucifixion with Jesus’ mother. Tradition identifies Clophas as the brother of Joseph, a blood-relative and uncle of Jesus. That means this Mary, the wife of Clophas, would have been Jesus’ aunt. Jesus’ earth dad, Joseph, had passed on, and it is appropriate that the aunt and uncle would have come to comfort Mary during a family emergency.

    If Clophas, and Cleophas are the same man, then it is probable that he was traveling back home to Emmaus with his wife Mary, who is the other disciple that is unnamed. They may have come to comfort Jesus’ mother, stayed through the burial on Friday, but couldn’t travel on the Sabbath because it was forbidden. Now that it was the first day of the week, Uncle Cleopas and Aunt Mary, overcome with grief, are making the sad journey back home to Emmaus. It is theoretical, but I find it interesting and probable. Of course it is also possible that Clopas, and Cleopas, are separate individuals from different planets, so whatever you believe is fine.

    15 While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

    Jesus “drew near” to them, meaning that they were probably heading in the same direction on the road and He overtook them. They did not recognize Him. There are several occasions where the risen Christ was not recognized (Matt. 28:17, John 20:14, John 21:24) but this time it appears that they were blinded to His presence. In the same way, Jesus can be walking right beside us and we will not recognize Him unless He reveals Himself to us. Hebrews 13:2 tells us that people unknowingly meet angels and think they are just strangers.

    17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”

    Cleophas first answers with sarcasm, but Jesus responds with an honest question of “what things?” and then both of the disciples start to share what had recently happened with Him. 

    19 He said to them, “What things?” They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”

    They let it all out, confusion, depression, disillusionment, shrinking faith, anger and pain.

    25 He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26  Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

    They were honest with Jesus about what had happened, now Jesus is honest with them and begins to share scriptures from Moses and the prophets about what the Christ had to suffer.

    They had read and believed the writing of the prophets like Isaiah, and they embraced the Messiah-coming-as-a-deliverer passages, but they ignored all the passages that prophesied about His sufferings. Foolish people! How dull are you? Jesus basically told them that things were going by the book, just as God intended.

    I am going to stop here and resume next week, where Lord willing, we will finish up the gospel of Luke. Thank you for watching and being a part of Refreshing Hope!

    Luke Chapter 24, Part Two

    RHM Bible Study, Luke Chapter Twenty-Four, Part Two from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: Today we are going to continue our study of Luke Chapter 24 in depth. You can follow along in your own Bible if you like. I will be reading from the World English Bible because it is the only modern English translation that is copyright free, and I can read the entire bible on video without legal entanglements.

    After the meeting today, or sometime this week, please take the matching quiz that I have prepared for you on the website. Having to answer questions about the subject will help reinforce and retain what you have learned. Thanks to everyone that has participated so far. Let’s get started:

    First, let’s set our location and characters: We will be resuming in Luke 24, verse 28. Jesus was crucified and laid in a tomb, then God resurrected Him on the third day. An angel came down and rolled away the stone that covered the entrance of the tomb, so that people could go in and see that it was empty, not so that Jesus could get out, as He was already gone. The faithful women came to the tomb, saw the angels there, then went to tell the eleven apostles, who did not believe them.

    Peter and John ran to the tomb and found it empty, like the women had said. Later that day, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road and they discussed all that had recently happened in Jerusalem. The original location of the city of Emmaus has been lost to history, but many believe it to be here:

    Jesus and the two disciples are walking down the road together from Jerusalem, to the town of Emmaus, but they did not recognize Him. As Jesus explained the scriptures to them, they began to see why the things had happened, the betrayal, the mocking, the crucifixion, and the resurrection were all told of in the Old Testament, but they had not taken them literally. Now they began to understand why the tomb was empty. I think they were divinely kept from recognizing Christ so that they would base their understanding of the Resurrection squarely on the Scriptures, and not because He had told them.

    Verse 27 tells us that Jesus “expounded” the Scriptures to them. This describes how Jesus taught them. The idea of expounding is to simply let the text speak for itself, exactly what a Bible teacher should try and do. The ancient Greek word for expounded (diermeneuo) has the idea of sticking close to the text. Jesus didn’t go off on speculative ideas, or out on a limb. He expounded the Scriptures to them, He told them about important scriptures they were missing, and then let them understand it themselves. Like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces came together and they reached their own conclusion that could never be taken away from them. There is a huge difference in repeating what someone else said, and sharing what you have discovered yourself.

    We begin our study today with them walking on the road to Emmaus together:

    Luke Chapter 24 beginning in verse 28, reading from the World English Bible: They came near to the village where they were going, and he acted like he would go further. 29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” He went in to stay with them.

    As they came near to Emmaus, they probably arrived at their home, and Jesus was going to leave them, but they insisted that He come in and stay with them. The word carries the idea of force. They insisted, and we can understand why. He had opened their minds to the scriptures like no one ever before. Who is this man? They did not know that He was Jesus, but they wanted to spend as much time as possible with Him before He moved on. The two disciples shared a common home, so they were probably husband and wife. One of them made them something to eat, and they all sat down together at the table.

    30 When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, then he vanished out of their sight.

    Jesus broke bread and gave thanks many times in the presence of the disciples, like when He fed the 5,000, and then then the 4,000, and at the last supper. The disciples were certainly familiar with His style of breaking bread and blessing it. They may have simply recognized Him through this, though many believe that the moment of recognition came when, as He broke the bread, they saw His nail-pierced hands. Either way, their eyes were opened, and Jesus vanished out of their sight.

    This was a supernatural disappearance. Jesus did not just get up and walk outside, He vanished into thin air right in front of them while they sat at the table together. Jesus no longer had to walk from one place to another. He could transport Himself right into the center of a room full of people at will.

    32 They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?”

    Their hearts burned within them. The presence of Jesus and His interpretation of the Scriptures felt like a fire burning within their hearts. We will see more of the fire of the Spirit as we get into the book of Acts.

    33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

    All the arguments they had used to get Jesus to stay with them at Emmaus, “it is so late”, “the road is dangerous”, were now all thrown out. The disciples left the same hour and made the trip all the way back to Jerusalem to tell the others in the dark. They told the disciples of their walk with Jesus, and how He had become known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke does not tell us the details, but apparently Jesus also appeared to Simon Peter around the same time (1 Corinthians 15:5).

    36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

    As they were talking about this, Jesus suddenly appears in the room and said to them: “Peace be with (to) you.”  In Mark 6:49 the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and thought that He was a Spirit, now here they thought they had seen another.

    38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39  See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

    Jesus was not a ghost, but had a physical body bearing the nail marks. He could appear and disappear at will (Luke 24:31), and pass through locked doors (John 20:26). All I can say is that He is God, and He does what He wants. Before the crucifixion, Jesus walked on water and raised the dead. Now that He is walking in resurrection power, the question is what can He not do? Jesus wanted the disciples to know that He was real flesh and bone and not a spirit. They needed to know that the resurrection was real.

    41 While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 He took them, and ate in front of them.

    The disciples felt that it was too good to be true and “disbelieved for joy.” Thomas was not with them when Jesus appeared and when he heard about it, he said that unless he put his finger into the nail marks, that he would not believe. Eight days later, Jesus appears to the disciples again and Thomas is with them (John 20:26). He tells Thomas to put his fingers into the holes and place it in His side where He was pierced, and believe.

    Jesus took a piece of fish and honeycomb and ate it in front of them to show them that He was not a spirit. A spirit does not have flesh and bones, nail marks, or eat food. Jesus appeared various times over the next forty days and sometimes He ate with them.

    Peter told Cornelius in Acts 10:40: “God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

    This appearance was preceded by several events: the Eleven Apostles had gathered together behind closed doors in Jerusalem (John 20:19), where the Apostle Peter had amazed them by relating that he had personally seen the risen Lord Jesus. Then the couple from Emmaus came in with the report of their astounding encounter with Jesus, their burning hearts, and the grand moment of recognition when He broke the bread. “While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’

    44 He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”

    The Hebrew Bible is divided into three major parts: The law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One, is mentioned in all of them.

    45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47  and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48  You are witnesses of these things.

    Jesus was not interested in making them an elite group with a special knowledge of Him. Building their faith on a single miracle was not His goal. Jesus wanted them to know that this had been a long time coming and well established in scripture. The Old Testament they had read and listened to for so many years, pointed to this day and to what had happened. No longer were they waiting on the prophecies of the Messiah to be fulfilled, for they had been. This was the beginning of a new day.

    The New Testament is built on the Old Testament, not a replacement for it. The cross of Jesus is the joining point of the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament is to be interpreted through the cross of Jesus. Some things are abolished, some things pass through unchanged, some things are changed to a higher order. If it changes, then the New Testament has to tell you about it. We do not have two completely separate Bibles, we have one Bible with an Old and New Testament authored by God and interpreted through the cross of Jesus. When something changes, then the New Testament has to tell us that it did, or else it did not change. Here are some examples:

    1. Some things that ended: Animal sacrifice began in the Old Testament (Genesis 31:54) and was abolished at the cross by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus (Hebrews 10:12).

    There were many laws concerning food and unclean animals in the Old Testament, but Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:27 WEB: “But if one of those who don’t believe invites you to a meal, and you are inclined to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for the sake of conscience.” God told Peter in Acts 4:10 WEB: “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.” These Old Testament laws were abolished.

    2. Some things that continued on: Praise and worship began in the Old Testament (2 Samuel 6:14). David danced before God with all his might. It came through the cross unchanged. The New Testament is silent on it. Praising, worshiping, and dancing before the Lord with all of your heart is still the same, whether Old Testament or New.

    Incest, having sex with your sister or immediate family members was prohibited under the Old Testament (Dueteronomy 27:22) but the New Testament is largely silent on it. Yes, there are many references to the blanket statement of sexual immorality (porneia) but people choose what they want that to cover, usually every sexual sin but the one they like.

    When Paul heard about a man that “had his father’s wife” in 1Corinthians 5:1, he became furious. Who told Paul that was wrong? Where was it written? Paul knew the scriptures from the Old Testament. They were relevant then, they are relevant now. The rules about incest had not changed at the cross. It was still sin.

    Things like tithing, fasting, don’t sleep with your sister, or animals, continue on through the cross, as they are unmentioned as being changed in the New Testament.

    3. Some things that changed:  In the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was behind a thick veil and only the high priest could enter into God’s presence, and then only once a year. In the New Testament it tells us that this veil was torn in two from top to bottom, making a way for everyone to come into God’s presence (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38). The way of entering into the presence of God changed and the New Testament records that it did.

    Circumcision (Genesis 17:10) began in the Old Testament, but at the cross, it was changed to circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29) and Paul wrote about it. Circumcision was changed to a higher order. Paul called the ones that practiced the old rule “Mutilators of the flesh” and said he wished they would go all the way and emasculate themselves (Galatians 5:12). The Old Testament law was changed to a higher order after the cross.

    The authors of the New Testament believed that the Old Testament was authored by God as one book and that it still had meaning for their day and time. They referenced the Old Testament extensively when writing. The New Testament contains at least 343 quotations directly from the Old Testament, and at least 2,309 allusions. Every New Testament book except Philemon and 2nd and 3rd John contain references back to the Old Testament. It was written for our instruction (Romans 15:4) and is God breathed (2Timothy 3:16).

    Jesus was teaching the disciples that all of this was established in the Old Testament hundreds of years before it happened. He rebuked the disciples for cherry picking what they wanted from the Old Testament. Basically they read and kept the “Messiah will deliver us from the Romans” part and ignored all of the suffering Servant parts. We tend to do the same today.

    If we were to ignore the Old Testament, what about everyone’s favorite scriptures and blessings contained there? Like: “For I know the plans that I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11). “Delight yourself in Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). Psalm 91, Psalm 23, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What about the ten commandments? All these were ancient writings given to the Jews. Are you willing to throw all of that out and say that it is not relevant for Christians today, or can we just use the Bible like a buffet and pick and choose what we like?

    The New Testament is an extension, not a replacement Bible. The Bible is one book authored by God and we are adopted into His family, grafted into His vine. Teaching that the Old Testament is not for Christians today, is not sound doctrine, and not what Jesus taught His disciples. On the road, or in the house, Jesus opened their minds to the Old Testament scriptures, because that is all that existed then. When the Apostles preached the gospel, it was always framed by the rich background of the Old Testament as when Stephen preached from Abraham to Solomon in Acts chapter 7.

    49  Behold, I send out the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”

    The apostles had been taught, taught, taught, and sent out on missions, but they were still missing something. They lacked the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that when He left, He would send the Holy Spirit to them.

    John 16:7 WEB “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away, the Counselor won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

    So Jesus would ascend to heaven, and the Holy Spirit would descend and continue on the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Where Jesus could only be in one place at a time, the Holy Spirit would live inside of His people and could be everywhere at once. We will cover this extensively in our coming study of the book of Acts but a short summary is this:

    After the resurrection, Jesus was on earth for forty days and appeared to many people, talking, teaching, and eating with them. He ascended to heaven on day 40 and told the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high, and they did. 10 days later, on the day of Pentecost (which means 50), the Holy Spirit descended on them in the upper room. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. They were now clothed with power from on high, they went outside and began preaching about Jesus and 3,000 people were added to the church on the first day (Acts 1 and 2).   

    50 He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 

    Jesus led the disciples out to Bethany, which was on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, and He ascended from there. Bethany was a small quiet hamlet where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. Before Jesus ascended the other gospel accounts record several things happening:

    • In John 21:3 Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John and two other disciples were together. Peter was a broken man after denying that he even knew Jesus three times, and he decided that he was going to return to his old way of life, as a fisherman. Peter said “I’m going fishing.” And the other disciples said “We will go with you.” They all saw their time in ministry as finished. It had been a wild ride but now it was over.
    • So together they went fishing and fished all night but caught nothing. As the day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore but again, they did not recognize Him. He told them to cast on the right side of the boat and when they did so, they were not able to haul the net in due to the large number of fish. Peter jumped into the water and swam to Jesus on the shore.
    • The other disciples brought the boat and the fish. When they got to the shore, they found a charcoal fire burning with fish and bread laid out on it. Then they had breakfast with the Lord Jesus on the beach. Charcoal grilled fish and bread is apparently the breakfast of champions. This tells me that food is probably best when grilled over charcoal, instead of propane. The disciples had caught 153 large fish, but the net had not broken. If there is symbolism in the number of 153, I do not know it and it may be simply used to demonstrate a miracle catch of large fish.
    • John mentions that this is the third time that Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. The first time was without Thomas in John 20:19. Then a second time with Thomas present in John 20:26. This third time was here on the shore of the sea of galilee in John 21:14.
    • Matthew 28:16 tells us that the eleven disciples went to Galilee, saw Jesus, and worshipped Him. There Jesus gave them the great commission (Matthew 26:16, Mark 16:15). Paul wrote that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time in 1Corinthians 15:6, then to James, then all the apostles, and to Paul as well.

    51 While he blessed them, he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven.

    Acts 1:11 tells us that while the apostles stood staring into the heavens in amazement, two angels appeared beside them and asked why they stood staring into the sky, and that Jesus would come back in the same way as they saw Him leave. Jesus was carried up to heaven in a cloud of the shekinah glory of God.

    52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen

    The disciples returned to Jerusalem in great joy as He had told them. The ascension of Jesus marked the end of the old way and He would not appear to them as He had previously. Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father, His work completed (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33). The work on earth would now continue with the Holy Spirit working through His disciples daily.

    That concludes our Bible study on Luke Chapter 24. We will continue our adventure into the book of Acts next. Thank you for watching and being a part of Refreshing Hope!

    Click here to take the quiz on Luke 24 or scroll down for the text version!

     

    Quiz Questions on Luke 24:

    1. On the _____ day of the week, at early dawn, the faithful women and some others came to the tomb of Jesus, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
    2. When they arrived, they found the _____ rolled away from the entrance of the tomb.
    3. The women entered the tomb, but didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. While they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, _____ _____ stood by them in dazzling clothing.
    4. Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth. The angels said to them, “Why do you seek the _____ among the dead? He isn’t here, but is risen.”
    5. The angels said: “Remember what He told you when He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the _____ day rise again?”
    6. The women remembered the words of Jesus, they returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the _____ and to all the rest.
    7. Now they were Mary Magdalene, _____, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles.
    8. But _Peter_ got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.
    9. Two of the disciples were going that very day to a village named _____, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened.
    10. Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” One of them, named _____, answered Him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”
    11. Jesus said to them, “What things?” The disciples said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the _____, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.
    12. The disciples were hoping that it was Jesus who would redeem _____. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.
    13. Jesus said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” Beginning from _____ and from all the prophets, He explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
    14. They came near to the village where they were going, and Jesus acted like He would go further. They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” He went in to stay with them. When He had sat down at the table with them, He took the _____ and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave it to them.
    15. The disciple’s eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus, then He vanished out of their sight. They said to one another, “Weren’t our _____ burning within us, while He spoke to us along the way, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
    16. As the disciples talked about these things, Jesus Himself stood among them, and said to them, “__________.” But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
    17. While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered if it was Jesus, He said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some _____. He took them, and ate in front of them.
    18. Jesus said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the _____, concerning Me must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.
    19. You are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send out the promise of My Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with _______.”
    20. Jesus led them out as far as _____, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. While He blessed them, He withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven.

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4 comments
  • 2
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Pastor Dion, I have to say this bible study is one of the most compelling and spirit-filled bible studies that I had ever attended!  I'm learning so much that I cannot put it into words! Keep on preaching and teaching, for this is truly your calling! Thank you!!!

 

Mar 12
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Thank you Liesel. I enjoy it and learn a lot myself  :)

Mar 18
  • 2
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

PRAISE THE LORD AND THANK YOU LORD.  thank you Pastor Dion for this Bible Study.  Fully appreciated.  Learning a lot from it.

Mar 19
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Pastor Dion, please keep these studies live and do not delete them as we move forward! I will return to them again and again, may the Lord be praised, they will be my source of reference again and agin! GOD bless You!!!

Mar 22