April 4 – Luke 24:36-53


Happy Easter everyone! This week concludes our series in Luke; next week we’ll kick off a ten week series in the book of Acts, meaning we’ll pick back up right where the Gospel of Luke leaves off. We’ll start discussion this week catching up on each other’s experience of Easter. This makes the second Easter we’ve lived under pandemic conditions, but we’re hopeful that each of your group members has unique stories about how God met them through Holy Week.

Turning to Luke 24:36-53 we meet the disciples holed up in Jerusalem, hearing from two of their members who just met Jesus on the road to Emmaus. These two disciples were right in the middle of telling their story when Jesus suddenly appearing in the room. Don’t miss the humor here, it’s a joy-filled, goofy sort of moment. Jesus brings a one-man surprise party, saying out of the blue, “Peace be with you!” which, rather than giving anyone peace, scares the mess out of these grown men and women. And reasonably so—their whole world is being turned upside down! They’re so convinced he’s a ghost that he makes them touch his hands and watch him eat a snack so they can see he’s a real, flesh and blood person. (Which, as funny as that is, it provides an incredibly important theological statement: the risen Christ was no spirit or ghost but a full, complete human, so when we think about the resurrection of believers at the end of time we have to think in terms of Jesus’ resurrected being, not in superstitious or ethereal misconceptions.)

After taking the time to prove he’s an actual human, Jesus also takes the time to connect his death and resurrection with his past teachings and the teachings of the Old Testament (remember, at this point that’s all they had). He reminds them that this was what he said would happen and actually, what dozens of other authors had been saying would happen for thousands of years. In fact, this was the plan all along, from time immemorial, that God himself would come and make a way for salvation. Jesus sovereignly opened his disciples’ minds to keep making these connections, in order that 1. they would stand convinced of the truth and necessity of Jesus’ death and resurrection and 2. they would be prepared to proclaim this same truth to all nations, starting in Jerusalem (24:47). AndJesus still uses the Old Testament to do those same two things for us too, and his Spirit provides illumination into the scriptures that we would similarly be convinced and prepared.

Towards the end of discussion we’ll take a moment to talk about how we typically think about Jesus’ resurrection, and what a passage like this means for our day to day life. Often we pen truths like the resurrection in and treat them like facts. “Jesus rose from the dead.” That’s all. And yet if Jesus isn’t dead, if he is in fact alive and seated on the throne beside the Father, then it changes everything. It means all he said was true, that meaning can be made out of misery, that Jesus’ presence is here with us, and that we’re caught up in the greatest story that’s every been told. So no matter what kind of world we keep waking up to, if Jesus is alive, we can take heart and take courage, knowing he’s going to keep turning the whole world upside down.

Questions for Discussion

• What was celebrating Easter like for you this year?

• Would someone read Luke 24:36-53 for us?

• What stood out to you in this passage?

• Why do you think Jesus visited his disciples like this?

• Why do you think the disciples were so startled?

• Why do you think Jesus took the time to make the connection between the scriptures and his death?

• When you think about Jesus’ resurrection, what comes to mind for you?

• How do you think this passage affects the way we live our day to day life?