The risen Jesus (3)
We have already meditated on “The risen Jesus” twice [“The risen Jesus (1)” centered on John 20:1-10, “The risen Jesus (2)” centered on Matthew 28:1-15]. Today, I would like to receive grace by meditating on the third word under the title of “The risen Jesus (3)” centered on Luke 24:1-12.
In today's text, Luke 24:1-3, the Bible says, “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.” Here, “the first day of the week” refers to Sunday, the first day after Saturday, which is the Sabbath day. Also, “they” refers to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women who were with them (v. 10). When these women went to the tomb of Jesus with the spices they had prepared on Sunday morning, they saw the stone rolled away from the tomb. If we look at Matthew 28:2, we can find out in more detail: “And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.” Because the angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone that was blocking Jesus' tomb (Mt. 28:28), these women saw the stone rolled away from the tomb (Lk. 24:1-2). Why did an angel come down from heaven and remove this stone from the tomb? The reason is not to make the resurrected Jesus come out of the tomb. Jesus, who was resurrected and put on a glorious body, could come out of the tomb even if stones were blocking it. For example, the resurrected Jesus suddenly appeared to the disciples on Sunday evening, the day after the Sabbath, when the disciples were gathering with the doors locked because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be with you” (Jn. 20:19). The reason why the angel came down from heaven and moved the stone covering Jesus' tomb was to testify that Jesus was resurrected.
In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John, we find the words that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, whom He loved. One thing we need to point out here is that the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead is not “resurrection” but “revival.” The reason is that His resurrected body is not glorified. The reason why Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus and said, “Remove the stone” (Jn. 11:38-40) was that the stone had to be moved so that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus could come out of the tomb. Jesus looked up to heaven and said to Heavenly Father, "I know that you always hear me. But I am saying this for the sake of those around me, that they may believe that you sent me." And then He called, “Lazarus, come out” (vv. 41-42). Then, the dead Lazarus came out of the tomb with his hands and feet wrapped in linen (v. 44). But Jesus' case is not like Lazarus. The reason why the angel came down from heaven and moved the stone that was blocking the tomb was not so that the resurrected Jesus could come out of the tomb, but to testify of the resurrection of Jesus.
When these women (Lk. 24:1, 10) saw that an angel came down from heaven and rolled the stone away from the tomb (Mt. 28:2), they entered Jesus’ tomb (Lk. 24:2- 3). These women entered the tomb of Jesus but were “perplexed” because they did not see the body of Jesus (v. 4). The women took the prepared spices to the tomb of Jesus (v. 1) and tried to pour the prepared spices on the body of Jesus. But they were perplexed because they could not see the body of Jesus. They were perplexed because they didn’t know what happened. The reason why the women had no choice but to be perplexed when they entered the tomb of Jesus and saw that there was no body of Jesus was because they had seen that the body of Jesus had been placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea before. Look at Luke 23:55 – “Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.” So, they went home and prepared spices and ointments (v. 56). And at dawn on the first day after the Sabbath, they brought the prepared spices to the tomb of Jesus (24:1) and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. So, they went in, but did not see the body of the Lord Jesus (vv. 2-3). So, they were perplexed because they did not know what had happened (v. 4). As they were perplexed, “two men” or two angels, stood near them in dazzling clothing (v. 4). Then the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground (v. 5). If we look at the Bible, there are many people who saw angels and were afraid. One of them is Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. As he went into the temple to burn incense to perform the duties of high priest before God according to his turn, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and stood to the right of the incense altar. At that time, Zacharias was startled and was gripped with fear when he saw the angel (1:8-12). Likewise, Zechariah, the high priest, was afraid when he saw the angel, but it is only natural that the women who saw the two angels at Jesus' tomb were terrified (24:4-5). Then the angels told them: “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee” (vv. 5-6). Here, the words of the angels to “Remember” are to remember what Jesus said when He was alive. So, what did Jesus say when He was alive? Look at Matthew 16:21, 17:23 and 20:19 – “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day” (Mt. 16:21), “and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day. …” (17:23), “and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up” (20:19). In this way, Jesus said three times that He would suffer, be crucified, die, and rise again on the third day. The angels told the women to remember these words of Jesus (Lk. 24:6).
Jesus took on my sins and our sins and died on the cross instead. Jesus died on the cross to save us from the punishment of sin and hell, and rose again on the third day. This is the gospel of gospels. In other words, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the core of the gospel. The gospel is about Jesus Christ, “his Son,” the Son of God (Rom. 1:3). Jesus was killed for our sins and rose again to justify us (4:25). The only way to save us from sin is through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The only way to save us from sin is through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The only way to justify us (the way of justification) is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the angels said, “Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee” (Lk.24:6), the women who came to the tomb of Jesus (vv. 1, 10) remembered Jesus’ three words (Mt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19) [(Lk. 24:8) “And they remembered His words”]. In other words, they remembered the words of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. In other words, they remembered the gospel of Jesus. We must also remember the gospel of Jesus. We must remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, we must remember that Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin and was resurrected to justify us.
The women remembered and returned from the tomb and reported all this to the eleven apostles and to all the others (Lk. 24:9), but the apostles who heard what they said did not believe what they said as nonsense (v. 11). But Peter got up and ran to Jesus' tomb and had to bend down to look inside the tomb. What he saw was linen wrappings only. Peter went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. (v. 12). If we look at John 20, the Bible says it in more detail. The Bible says that Simon Peter went into Jesus' tomb and saw the linen wrappings and the burial cloth, and Apostle John, who went to the tomb first, also went in and saw and believed (Jn. 20:3-8). In this way, even though Apostle Peter and Apostle John saw the linen cloth and the burial cloth of Jesus in Jesus' tomb and believed [They did not remember and believe the words Jesus spoke while He was alive. We can know by looking at John 20:9 – “They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead”], but the women who came to Jesus' tomb remembered the three words Jesus spoke (Mt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19), just like the angels said, and believed in the resurrection of Jesus. Like these women, rather than seeing the evidence and believing in the resurrection of Jesus like Apostle Peter and Apostle John, we must remember the word (gospel) of Jesus and believe in the resurrection of Jesus. We should not say, like Thomas, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (Jn. 20:25). Rather, we must become believers without seeing according to the words of Jesus. Look at John 20:29 – “Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."’” And we, like these women, must share the gospel of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose from the grave with the thrill of the resurrection of Jesus.