The final chapter of Luke’s Gospel account is so chock full of richness. Of course, every chapter is, but particularly as we consider all the implications of Jesus’ resurrection, Luke does a masterful job of helping us to begin to realize them.
That first Easter, while we celebrate and look back on it with amazement, wasn’t quite the celebration that we tend to impose on it. The first events are full of confusion and doubt on the part of the disciples. It took the prompting by an angel for the women to remember His words (vv. 5-9), and then the Apostles didn’t believe their testimony, at least at first.
The account of the two unnamed disciples on the road to the town of Emmaus is such a wonderful account. Again we notice the use of “divine passive”, where the passive voice is used to give us the clue that it’s God at work. The disciples’ eyes “were kept from recognizing Him” (v. 16), and then later on their eyes “were opened” (v. 31).
24:26 Notice also the continuing theme that “it was necessary”. Jesus expounds the major theme of the whole Old Testament (“Moses and all the Prophets” - verse 27): it was necessary that all this should happen, and it was all about Him! (Even though they didn’t recognize it at that point.)
24:30 This isn’t necessarily the Lord’s Supper as we know it, but notice the sacramental language here, used also at the feeding of the many thousands, as well as that Last Supper (see also Paul’s description of it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
23:32 What a wonderful description of the effects of God’s Word working on us! That our hearts would “burn within us” as we hear God’s Word expounded is such a great way of thinking about it.
24:35 An interesting note that he “was made known to them” (another divine passive!) in the breaking of the bread! We have a picture here of the ministry of the Word as well as a sacramental picture - Word and Sacrament do go together.
Though Jesus is bodily resurrected—He makes a point of proving that to them (vv. 38-43)—He now makes use of His full divine powers and enters and leaves places as He wills, in supernatural ways. And, since His divine and human natures are inseparable, it’s proper—though a great mystery—to say that Jesus is now omnipresent (present everywhere) according to both His divine and human nature!
24:47-49 This is the promise both of the Ascension and the day of Pentecost.
This closing section of Luke’s Gospel account overlaps with the beginning of Acts (really, that overlap begins in verse 46). It’s a great “bridge” to what can properly consider “volume 2” in one book of Luke-Acts, which we transition into next!