Luke, a Gentile follower of Christ, records his conclusions about the resurrection of Jesus after conducting extensive interviews of those who were eyewitnesses of the event.
Like Matthew and Mark, Luke tells of the visit by a group of women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James along with others) to the tomb “at early dawn.” Anticipating Jesus to be in the tomb, the women found two men inside the tomb who asked them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen.” After being reminded of the prediction Jesus made about His resurrection, the women went back to the apostles, who upon hearing the women’s testimony, considered it as “nonsense and they would not believe them.” However, Peter and others went to the tomb and after their own personal investigation marveled at their findings.
The first of two personal bodily appearances by Jesus is to two sad men who were walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. After hearing from them about what had happened, Jesus explains from the Old Testament Scriptures all the things pertaining to Him. Once in Emmaus, the men invite Jesus into their house. When they see Jesus taking bread, blessing it and giving it to the people in the house, the two men recognize their fellow traveler as being Jesus. These two men rush back to Jerusalem and tell the “eleven and those who were with them” about their encounter with Jesus.
The second bodily appearance is to the group in Jerusalem who, upon seeing Jesus, are “startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.” To remove this thought, Jesus offers His hands and feet for their personal visual and physical inspection. To further prove He is actually in “flesh and bone” form, Jesus eats a piece of fish.
To this group, Jesus also explains from “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” how the things said about Him “must be fulfilled.” They now have a clear understanding of God’s message.
Maybe the most powerful proof, in the lives of the apostles, is them watching Jesus ascend into heaven after blessing them. Instead of being sad over His departure, they go back to Jerusalem with great joy and spend the following days “continually in the temple, praising God.”
Like us, Luke did not personally see all of these events, but he was able to establish the fact of the resurrection with all of these proofs. Today his gospel can be read and upon accepting these proofs we can have hope in our own resurrection after faithfully spending our lives living God’s way.
Carlton G. McPeak is an evangelist working in the Florida Gateway region. All Scriptural quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, unless otherwise stated. He may be contacted at email@example.com.