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He Is Risen Indeed!

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The Duh-Ciples Strike Again

The text for this the Third Sunday of Easter is Luke 24:36-48.  This starts out with the disciples going along and Jesus appearing to them.  This startles and terrifies them.  They thought they were seeing a ghost.  Jesus is curious as to why they are frightened.  It is a relevant question for us today when we see Christ in our world.  Many of us are indeed afraid to be in the presence of the Son of God.

The disciples are no worse than any of us when it comes to recognizing Jesus and being frightened when we see Him in our world.  The thing that marks the disciples is how human they are.  They are ordinary, they are uneducated, they were not chosen by the temple authorities for a life of Jewish teaching.  Even after they faithfully answer Jesus’s call and follow Him, they make mistakes and do not fully understand what is going on.  Who are we to say that we would respond any differently?  We know how the story ends, they had no such advantage.  More importantly, if these ordinary folks can reach such heights of ministry, we can as well.

A Graceful Response

The notable thing about all this is the patient way Jesus responds.  Jesus loves the disciples, the way He loves all.  Because of this love Jesus responds most patiently and gracefully.  He offers the disciples the opportunity to see His hands and feet and He encourages the disciples to touch Him, and to see that He is flesh and bone.  Then He asks for some fish.  An old adage says that if you read the Gospels without getting hungry, you are not paying attention.

All of this response by Jesus is to make clear to His followers, and to us, that He is indeed risen.  It is not a ghost, or apparition that is standing before the disciples.  It is the real flesh and bone Jesus.  He is there as fully human as He was before the crucifixion.  So human in fact that He wants to eat. 

As He does all of this, He is opening up their minds to a greater understanding of the Scriptures, the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.  This understanding leads them to grasp that what has occurred was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.  He was to suffer and to rise again.  This visit to the disciples by the risen Jesus is a means to show them (and us) that He is truly risen.  Because of the resurrection Jesus has placed in the disciples (and us) the faith to understand that their sins are forgiven and that they should proclaim this to all nations.

This text is for us the clarion call to trust that God’s word is true, the Resurrection is real, and that Jesus Christ is Lord.  He is really risen, flesh and blood and appetite and all.  This gives us the faith that makes us confident in our salvation.  We may at times be unclear on that call, as the disciples were.  Yet, like the disciples we can gain an understanding of God’s word (maybe not all at once, we might have to study). And take that good and gracious word into the wider world and proclaim the Kingdom of God to all whom God places in our lives.

In the end, this text is a reminder that Jesus is our risen Lord and that we take our faith in this reality forward in all that we think, say, and do.  That is, this text, like so many others prompts us to believe and obey.

Praise Be to God

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