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You are witnesses: 'It's really me!"

April 21, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 24:33-49

33 They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.

36 While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 37 They were terrified and afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost.

38 He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones like you see I have.” 40 As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 Because they were wondering and questioning in the midst of their happiness, he said to them, “Do you have anything to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish. 43 Taking it, he ate it in front of them.

44 Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 46 He said to them, “This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 Look, I’m sending to you what my Father promised, but you are to stay in the city until you have been furnished with heavenly power.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

After recognizing Jesus alive, the two disciples rushed to tell the news. As they spoke, Jesus stood in the room. Luke, a first-century physician (cf. Colossians 4:14), noted details showing Jesus was no ghost, but alive in the flesh. “24:43 he took it and ate it. Many Jewish sources doubted that angels ate human food.” * Jesus clarified the Scriptures to all the disciples and appointed them to share his life-changing forgiveness. “You are witnesses,” he said. God would empower them for their mission.

  • Jesus’ summary of his message in verse 47 was “the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations.” In what ways does believing that Jesus rose from the dead change your heart and life? How does the resurrection make credible for you Jesus’ claim to have the divine authority to forgive your sins?
  • Pastor Bruce Larson noted that Luke was “familiar with the Greek philosophy that the body and its appetites were evil. The soul and mind were good. The Greeks believed that in death the mind and spirit were freed from their bondage to the body….Luke, in spite of his Greek background, underscored the Hebrew theology…of the unity of body, mind, and soul.” * Later the Apostles’ Creed said, “I believe in the resurrection of the body.” Do you believe in that, and count on it?
Prayer

King Jesus, I am so grateful that you conquered death and offer me the hope of resurrection! Help me rejoice in that hope and be your witness to share that hope with others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

I once attended a masquerade ball my friends threw for their wedding reception. Everyone got all dolled up and I decided that since it was a special occasion, I would completely change my hairstyle. So I donned my mask and fancy attire and arrived at the event with a few of my friends. A few minutes into the festivities, I saw my parents from across the room and my group went to say hello. I greeted my father, and he politely smiled, returned my greeting…and turned to walk away. Flabbergasted at my father’s lack of a familiar response, I called out, “Dad!” He whirled around, eyes like saucers behind his own mask and said, “Little One, is that you???” Apparently, a fancy outfit and a new hairstyle behind a mask was enough to make me unrecognizable to my very own father! It’s a story we laugh about to this day.

In Luke 24, we see Jesus reveal himself to a room full of some of his closest friends and at first, they don’t know it’s really Him—they think He’s a ghost! After all, it couldn’t be Jesus who had been crucified, dead, and buried standing right in front of them! But it was in fact the Savior. He told them that they were now witnesses of the Scripture fulfilled—witnesses who must do what the Scripture says and “preach in his name to all the nations” about a “change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins!”

Unfortunately, as current witnesses of that very Gospel message, too many Christians tend to take the term “preach” to mean…bash people over the head with the Bible or make it our job to call people out on every sin we spot in someone else’s life. But that’s not what Jesus did—just imagine if Jesus treated other people the way some Christ followers treat people!

Instead, Jesus entered a room full of people He had invested a significant amount of time building relationships with. He blessed them with an offering of peace—He laid out proof of who He is and He ate with them even in the midst of their confusion and disbelief. He shared the Gospel with them and then tasked them with sharing that message as well.

Imagine if back at that masquerade ball my dad had realized it was me and yet still treated me like a stranger with whom he had no close relationship. That’s essentially what we as Christians do when we misconstrue our task of preaching the Gospel with…waging war against other image bearers or passing judgement on fellow sinners. We ignore the Christ who revealed Himself with patience and kindness. We ignore the Christ who built relationships with people over time and shared the greatest hope He could give them. We ignore the Christ who highlighted heart change and forgiveness.

May we see Jesus in the way He reveals Himself to us and as He did all those years ago—and may we preach His message with the blessed offering of peace He shared with His followers then, and shares with us even now.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 234651-234653).