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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Luke 24:36-40 And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. (Also See Mark 16:14; John 20:19-20)

The two disciples from Emmaus witnessed the appearance of Jesus, walked and talked with Him, and sat and dined with Him. And after His departure, they immediately went back into Jerusalem and told everything that had taken place in their meeting with Jesus to His apostles. Afterwards Mark wrote this about the meeting and what these two disciples from Emmaus revealed to them about Jesus. According to Mark the apostles: neither believed they them (Mark 16:13b). The lesson text begins at this point.

And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them. In John's record, he tells us that Jesus appeared to them even though the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews (John 20:19). Although Jesus' apostles desired to remain together, they did so as secretly as possible - they met behind closed doors for fear of being persecuted or even brought to trial before the Sanhedrin because of their known association with Christ Jesus. Even with closed doors, Jesus miraculously appeared to them without the doors being opened. Both Luke and John record this salutation of Jesus after appearing in their midst: Peace be unto you. The apostles were terrified and affrighted, and because of the manner of His miraculous appearance, they supposed that they had seen a spirit.

Indeed, Jesus knew their lack of understanding and the anxiety they had about the events that had taken place, including this appearance before them. He desired to ease their uneasiness and misgivings over these things - in His love for them, He desired their peace of mind. He asked them why they were troubled and having such anxious thoughts. We know assuredly that Jesus knew the reasons for their worry about the things that were taking place, so without their answer to His question, He removed all doubts about His resurrection from death. His hands and feet were proof that He was their Lord and Savior; they were the evidence of His crucifixion. No doubt the wounds that were made by the nails used to secure His body to the cross were still open and could be seen by all disciples that were present at that time.

As further proof, Jesus asked them, not only to look upon His wounds, but to touch and handle them if any doubt remained. Jesus knew that they thought Him to be a spirit - a being that has been totally separated from the physical body. To help remove doubt of this belief, Jesus assured them that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. It was well known that only the spiritual body, or the soul of mankind, can enter heaven and enjoy eternal life. The apostle Paul gave us proof of this in his letter to the church at Corinth when he wrote that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption (1 Cor. 15:50). The fact that Jesus' body still had all of its earthly features, such as flesh and bone, which they could readily observe, He assured them that He had not given up His human body and had not, as yet, taken on the spiritual body suited for entry into heaven.

And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. John adds that He also showed them His side, which was pierced, and out of which flowed both blood and water (John 19:34b). Three days previous Jesus gave up the ghost (Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30); He ceased breathing; His heart stopped beating and supplying life-giving blood to His body - He died. Now He stood in their midst, having overcome death, His human body was now functioning as it had in the past - He was now, once again, alive. Jesus opened His hands that they may have full view of His wounds; He bare His feet to disclose their scars; He showed them His spear-pierced side. These were proofs that He was Jesus, the one that was crucified on the cross of Calvary. He now stood before them as the resurrected Son of God, the promised Messiah, and the Savior of the world. Although the complete mystery of salvation through Christ Jesus had been revealed, John tells, then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord (John 20:20b).