Per the ESV Study Bible: Written by Luke around A.D. 62 (30 years after Jesus’s Resurrection), an Antiochian physician (Col 4:14) and traveling companion of Paul, the third Gospel was intended for both “Jews and Gentiles alike.” In the twenty-fourth chapter we are told that Jesus’s body was not found in the tomb. This is a fact predominantly agreed upon by both Christian and non-Christian historians. Where historians part ways is in response to the miracle of Jesus’s Resurrection.
The four gospels provide eye-witness testimonials with specific names and locations so that readers at the time of their writing could talk with the individuals mentioned, if still alive. With more than 500 eyewitness of Jesus appearing bodily after his historically documented crucifixion, there would be ample opportunities for confirmation of testimony.
Along with eyewitness accounts, we have the Old Testament Scriptures to attest to Jesus’s identity and mission as the promised Messiah (Christ)…from Genesis 3:15 (“protoevangelium”) to the “Law and the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). Jesus knew His mission as Messiah from eternity past as the 2nd Person of the Triune God. Saving us from our sins and reconciling us back to God was the purpose for which Jesus lived a perfect life in human flesh, died upon a Roman cross, and rose bodily from a grave.
The mission God had lovingly planned from eternity past was conceived by His grace, carried out by His grace, and fulfilled solely by His grace. It is all a gift…Unearned favor and true unselfish love on display. And this plan was written down for us. Jesus had fulfilled approximately 300+ prophecies about Himself as written in the Old Testament. Not only does God keep His promises but He does so with steadfast love and holy Justice! He knew the perfect time to sent His Son into the world and He knew we would need to anticipate this Rescuer! The Scriptures remind us that we belong to God (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24), that we rebelled and went our own way (Genesis 3), and that God promised to save us (Genesis 3). Jesus is the one who came to save…and He reminded the disciples of this (Luke 24:44-49).
“Christ’s view of Scriptures can and should still be the Christians view of Scripture.”John Wenham, Christ’s View of the Bible
It’s my prayer that we never stop losing the awe of what God has done on our behalf. Let’s therefore continue to think upon the words He gave us and to alert in prayer with thankfulness (Col 4:2). The words written down for us were given by God in His love…we need them more than food (Mt 4:4).
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they[a] came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayedinto the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8 And they remembered his words.
9 Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. 11 But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women. 12 Peter,however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths.[b] So he went away, amazed at what had happened.
13 Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles[c] from Jerusalem.14 Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. 15 And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. 16 But they[d] were prevented from recognizing him. 17 Then he asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having[e] with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged.
18 The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked them.So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophetpowerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow[f] to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.28 They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.30 It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.36 As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave him a piece of a broiled fish,[g] 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.44 He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written:[h] The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for[i] forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And look, I am sending you[j] what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city[k] until you are empowered[l] from on high.”50 Then he led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 And while he was blessing them, he left them and was carried up into heaven.52 After worshiping him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple praising God.[m]Footnotes24:1 Other mss add and other women with them24:12 Other mss add lying there24:13 Lit about sixty stadia; one stadion = 600 feet24:16 Lit their eyes24:17 Lit “What are these words that you are exchanging24:25 Lit slow of heart24:42 Other mss add and some honeycomb24:46 Other mss add and thus it was necessary that24:47 Many mss read repentance and24:49 Lit upon you24:49 Other mss add of Jerusalem24:49 Lit clothed with power24:53 Other mss read praising and blessing God. Amen.