The Lord Appears
Key Verse: “He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
THE 24TH CHAPTER OF Luke details the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, and his various appearances to those to whom he had ministered during his earthly life. In verses 1-10, we read that two angels, appearing as men in shining garments, spoke to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James at the door of the open sepulchre, saying, “He is not here, but is risen.” (vs. 6) Shortly following this, Peter came to the sepulchre, and finding it empty, departed, “wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.” (vs. 12) The risen Lord later encountered two disciples walking toward Emmaus. After finding out how upset they were that their Master had died, he spoke to them, and “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”—vs. 27
While he appeared after his resurrection to many of his followers (see I Cor. 15:6), Jesus was especially mindful to clearly establish the fact of his resurrection to his eleven chosen apostles. They were being prepared as his special witnesses to bear record to the entire church of the truth concerning his death and resurrection. Before his death he had given them the testimony of the prophets concerning him, saying, “They shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”—Luke 18:33
Jesus knew that the prophets had not only declared the coming glories which would be his, but also the sufferings and death which he had to experience prior to his resurrection and glorification. We are told in Jeremiah 11:19, “I was like a lamb … that is brought to the slaughter.” Jesus willingly, as a lamb, offered himself as a sacrifice for the Adamic sin of the world. (John 1:29) He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”—Phil. 2:8
The finest animal offering could not take away sin. A perfect man had sinned, and only a perfect man—Jesus—could redeem the sinner. “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” (Ps. 40:6-8) Our Lord made a covenant of sacrifice and suffering at the age of thirty when he offered himself as the antitypical bullock of the sin offering. The above words, “the volume of the book,” make reference to the “books” of the Law and the prophets. These books foretold, through various types and shadows, his death and resurrection.
When Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, the words that he spoke to them were designed to remind them that those things he had earlier declared of himself were still true, such as his assertion, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) He also continued to give them words of comfort and assurance, “Peace be unto you” (Luke 24:36), and the account further states that he “opened … their understanding.” (vs. 45) The importance of his words would later compel the Apostle Paul to tell us, “Fulfil the law of Christ.”—Gal. 6:2