It strains credulity that all of Luke 24 occurs in a single day…and Luke presents it exactly like that! Whew! And hey, since we have 50 days of Eastertide I don’t mind pacing us through these magnificent resurrection passages! Today let’s reflect upon Luke 24:36-43, the “shelter in place” resurrection story!
The two Emmaus-bound disciples return with their riveting story about meeting Jesus on the road. And as they are excitedly stammering out their story, Jesus (trans-physically) appears in the room! Bishop Tom Wright coined this term to describe the resurrected Jesus’ proclivity to showing up in locked rooms at distance; Wright admits the descriptor’s philologic precision but awkward construction. (He’s British after all) Luke’s church heard Jesus say “Peace be with you” here as He surprises his astonished disciples, a clear evolution of the earlier Markan and Matthean “Don’t be afraid.” (Can you guess what the Johnannine risen Christ might say to His disciples then?!) Luke remembers that they were all terrified (copy that!) and some, like Matthew’s disciples, doubted, but here Jesus upbraids them all! Then the Lukan Jesus invites them to examine the clear evidence it is truly Him…his wounds are real (no “place your hand in my side” here because no spear in Luke’s crucifixion sequence!) and still present even on His resurrected body. He also eats in front of them, confirming in Luke’s opinion this is no specter, phantom or apparition. Resurrected Jesus is corporeal in every respect.
Why these details from the master storyteller? Perhaps to dispel the growing objections to the evolving late 1st century Christian message, objections like master hysteria, delusion, Jesus being a golem of some sort, and other slanderous charges easily presented to overburdened, understaffed Roman magistrates throughout the Empire. The gospels’ resurrection narratives, almost as transparently obvious here as Luke’s personal signature, provided clear exculpatory evidence in literary form. And beyond that, the simple truth of resurrection….Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead to new life.
- Have you ever considered the evidence for the resurrection versus the historically recorded objections? Have you ever examined these stories in this level of detail?
- Have you ever explained our Christian message of resurrection to another person? If so, how?
- Are you drawn more towards the CSI elements of this story or more to the supernatural, trans-physical elements of the resurrected Jesus?! Why?