Luke Chapter 24
Luke 24:1 “Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them.”
“Bringing the spices”: The women were not expecting to find Jesus risen from the dead; their only plan was to finish anointing His body for burial.
One of the very last things in last lesson was that the women prepared these spices to bring to the tomb at the very first moment possible. This would be early Sunday morning when these women come to the tomb.
Luke 24:2 “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.”
“The stone rolled away”: (Matthew 28:2-4), records that an earthquake occurred and an angel rolled the stone away. The Roman guards fainted with fear. Mark, Luke and John make no mention of the guards, so it appears they fled when they awoke to find the empty tomb. The women must have arrived shortly after.
This was a very heavy stone that would have taken several men to move. It has been opened.
Luke 24:3 “And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
This part of the account of the resurrection is in all four gospels. It is very important that He rose from the grave.
Luke 24:4 “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:”
“Two men”: These were angels. Only Luke mentioned them both. Mark was concerned only with the one who spoke for the duo. Such minor differences in the gospel accounts are all reconcilable.
Here’s a summary of the events of the resurrection, assembled from all 4 evangelists’ accounts: Finding the stone rolled away, the women entered the tomb, but found it empty (verse 3). While they were still in the tomb, the angels suddenly appeared (verse 4; Mark 16:5).
The angel who spoke reminded them of Jesus’ promises (verses 6-8), then sent them to find Peter and the disciples to report that Jesus was risen (Matt. 28:7-8; Mark 16:7-8).
The women did as they were told (verses 9-11). The disciples were skeptical at first (verse 11), but ran to where the tomb was, John arriving first (John 20:6). They saw the linen wrappings intact but empty, proof that Jesus was risen (verse 12; John 20:6-8). They left immediately (verse 12; John 20:10).
Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, and was standing outside weeping when Christ suddenly appeared to her (John 20:11-18). That was His first appearance (Mark 16:9). Sometime soon after that, He met the other women on the road and appeared to them as well (Matt. 28:9-10).
Later that day; He appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (verses 13-32), and to Peter (verse 34).
It really doesn’t matter how many angels were there. Different people see different things. These women were first disturbed that His body was not there, and then they beheld the two heavenly beings. By two a thing shall be established.
Luke 24:5 “And as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
They said also, in another account, He is risen. Both messages mean the same, Jesus is alive. They were not sure at first what they saw because of the shiny white clothes. They did know they were heavenly beings and bowed their heads. This was wonderful news. Their Lord is alive.
Luke 24:6 “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,”
“How he spake unto you … in Galilee” (see the notes on Luke 9:22 and Luke 18:31-33).
Luke 24:7 “Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
He had told the twelve apostles over and over that this was to happen to Him, but they (not wanting to believe it), had shut it out of their minds. Now these angels are reminding them that Jesus had told them this before, and now He is risen from the tomb.
Luke 24:8 “And they remembered his words,”
Now that they have been reminded, they do remember what He had said, they are overjoyed.
Luke 24:9 “And returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.”
“All the rest”: I.e., the other disciples, mostly from Galilee, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover.
You know that they just could not get to the eleven fast enough. The others here are Jesus’ other followers.
Luke 24:10 “It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”
“Mary Magdalene”; Mary of Magdala. She had a special cause of attachment to the Savior, having been relieved by him of a most dreadful calamity and restored to her right mind, after being possessed by seven devils. She was the first to see Jesus alive.
“Joanna”: Her husband was Herod’s steward (See the note on Luke 8:3).
“Mary the mother of James”: Mary the mother of James and Joses: the same with the wife of Cleophas, and sister to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Instead of Joses, the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read Joseph: “Jose”, in Hebrew, is the same with “Joseph”, the last letters being cut off; the Arabic version reads Mary, the mother of James, and the mother of Joses (John 19:25).
And the mother of Zebedee’s children. That is, of James and John (Matthew 10:2). Her name was Salome (Mark 15:40).
These women had been faithful. They were the last at the cross and first at the tomb. And now, the first to tell Jesus had risen.
Luke 24:11 “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”
It is striking to me, how little some of these disciples believe. Perhaps, they didn’t believe because the women brought the message.
Luke 24:12 “Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.”
“Peter … ran”: John ran with Peter, but reached the tomb first (John 20:4).
“Linen clothes”: I.e., the empty shell of wrappings that had contained the body.
Peter has an awful lot to reflect on. He possibly thinks Jesus might not want him as an apostle anymore, because he denied Him. Peter must be thinking back to the things Jesus had said about His death and resurrection.
Luke 24:13 “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs.”
“Two of them”: These evidently were not any of the 11 apostles. According to verse 18, one was named Cleopas.
This “two” here is speaking of two disciples. This town was a little over six miles from Jerusalem. “Emmaus” means bath or wells. It was probably a place where you could go, like to a hot springs for your health. Jesus Himself, had sent them out by twos on many occasions.
Luke 24:14 “And they talked together of all these things which had happened.”
They had been among the group the women had told about Jesus’ resurrection, which they did not believe. Now they are talking it over as they go down the road.
Luke 24:15-16 “And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.” “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”
“Their eyes were holden”: I.e., they were kept by God from recognizing Him.
We see here a reality of the Scripture that says, “where two or three are gathered, there He is in the midst of thee”. Jesus had shed His earthly body and was now walking in His heavenly body.
In some ways, like the holes in His hands, it was the same; but there was enough difference in appearance, that they did not recognize Him. Neither will the fishermen immediately recognize Him.
Luke 24:17 “And he said unto them, What manner of communications [are] these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”
It is apparent that they do not quickly recognize His voice, as well. He asks why they are so sad.
Luke 24:18 “And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?”
“Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem”: The crucifixion of Jesus was already such a well-known event around Jerusalem that they were shocked that He seemed not to know about it.
These two men are very much like many who proclaim to be Christians today. They are walking with Him, looking on His face, and still do not know who He is.
Luke 24:19 “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:”
Their answer gives them away. They did not understand the person of Jesus. They thought He was a man, a prophet like Isaiah. They did not realize He was God the Son.
Luke 24:20 “And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.”
This appearance of Jesus to the two disciples going to Emmaus happened the same day that he rose from the dead. It is well the disciples of Christ to talk together of his death and resurrection; thus they may improve one another’s knowledge, refresh one another’s memory, and stir up each other’s devout affections.
And where but two together are well employed in work of that kind, he will come to them, and make a third. Those who seek Christ shall find him: he will manifest himself to those that inquire after him; and give knowledge to those who use the helps for knowledge which they have.
Though Christ is entered into his state of exaltation, yet he notices the sorrows of his disciples, and is afflicted in their afflictions. Those are strangers in Jerusalem, that know not of the death and sufferings of Jesus. Those who have the knowledge of Christ crucified, should seek to spread that knowledge.
Luke 24:21 “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.”
“We trusted”: They had been looking for an immediate earthly kingdom. With Jesus crucified, they were probably struggling with doubt about whether He was the Messiah who would reign. But they still regarded Him as a true prophet (verse 19).
“The third day”: There may have been a glimmer of hope in these words. They had heard rumors of His resurrection already (verse 22-24).
Perhaps Cleopas recalled the Lord’s promises of (9:22; 18:33). More likely however, it seems this was his way of expressing surprise that this Stranger did not yet know the news everyone else in Jerusalem had been discussing for the past three days.
Luke 24:22-23 “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher;” “And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.”
The problem with these two all along, was they had perceived Jesus wrongly from the beginning. They had thought like so many others that His reign would be political in nature. They had never seen Jesus as God the Son who would redeem the whole world. Their vision of Jesus had been way too small.
They thought only Israel would be blessed. They thought Jesus would take Jerusalem back from the Romans and rule in David’s stead. Now these women have seen a vision which indicates this is a spiritual matter and not a physical, and they can’t believe it.
They had known Jesus on the surface, but had really never truly seen Him nor known Him.
Luke 24:24 “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.”
“Certain of them which were with us”: I.e., Peter and John (see the notes on verse 12 above).
How much evidence do they want? The women believed, but these disciples did not believe even with all this evidence.
Luke 24:25-26 “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:” “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”
“To have suffered these things”: Old Testament prophecies spoke often of a suffering servant of Jehovah.
Jesus reprimands them here for their unbelief. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. He says why don’t you read and understand your Bible? All of this is in your Bible. Then He says this was right for Christ to do. Now He, Christ, is in His glory.
Luke 24:27 “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
“Moses … all the prophets”: Verse 44 gives the 3-fold division, this expression is merely a shortened way to say the same thing.
“In all the scriptures”: In the inscrutable wisdom of divine providence, the substance of Christ’s exposition of the Old Testament messianic prophecies was not recorded. But the gist of what He expounded would have undoubtedly included an explanation of the Old Testament sacrificial system, which was full of types and symbols that spoke of His sufferings and death.
He also would have pointed them to the major prophetic passages which spoke of the crucifixion, such as (Psalms 16:9-11; 22; 69; Isa. 52:14 – 53:12; Zech. 12:10; 13:7).
And He would have pointed out the true meaning of passages like (Gen. 3:15; Num. 21:6-9; Psalm 16:10; Jer. 23:5-6; Dan. 9:26), and a host of other key messianic prophecies, particularly those that spoke of His death and resurrection.
He gives them a Bible lesson in the Old Testament of all of the prophecies written about Him. They must have been like some ministering today, who are not very familiar with His Word.
Luke 24:28-29 “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.” “But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.”
It is almost unbelievable that they could have been with Him this long and not realized who this stranger is. Is Jesus a stranger to you? Have you taken time to really get to know Him? The day is far spent for all of us as well.
The thing that stands out in this to me, is if the Holy Spirit does not reveal the person of Jesus to us, He is a stranger.
Luke 24:30 “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them.”
“He took bread”: A simple expression meaning to share a meal (verse 35).
Luke 24:31 “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”
“Their eyes were opened”: I.e., by God. They had been sovereignly kept from recognizing Him until this point (verse 16).
His resurrection body was glorified and altered from its previous appearance and this surely explains why even Mary did not recognize Him at first (John 20:14-16). But in this case, God actively intervened to keep them from recognizing Him until it was time for Him to depart.
“He vanished out of their sight”: His resurrection body, though real and tangible (John 20:27), and even capable of ingesting earthly food (verses 42-43), nonetheless possessed certain properties that indicate it was glorified, altered in a mysterious way (1 Cor. 15:35-54; Phil. 3:21).
Christ could appear and disappear bodily, as seen in this text. His body could pass through solid objects, such as the grave clothes, or the walls and doors of a closed room (John 20:19, 26). He could apparently travel great distances in a moment, for by the time these disciples returned to Jerusalem, Christ had already appeared to Peter (verse 34).
The fact that He ascended into heaven bodily demonstrated that His resurrection body was already fit for heaven. Yet it was His body, the same one that was missing from the tomb, even retaining identifying features such as the nail-wounds (John 20:25-27). He was no ghost or phantom.
Jesus must be our companion, and we must commune with Him to truly have our eyes opened, that we might see Him for who He really is. They had been with Him, and yet did not know Him, until they took of His body.
To truly know Jesus, we must partake of His body and His blood. He must live within us.
Luke Chapter 24 Questions
1. Who is the “they” in verse one?
2. Where did they go?
3. When did they go?
4. What did they find in verse two?
5. When they entered the tomb ________ ______ ________ _______.
6. When they were much perplexed, who did they see?
7. What were they wearing?
8. What did the women do when they saw them?
9. What did the angels say to the women?
10. What did the angels remind them of?
11. Where did the women go when they left the tomb?
12. Who were some of the women?
13. Did the men believe them?
14. What did Peter do?
15. Who was walking to Emmaus?
16. What were they talking about?
17. How far was Emmaus from Jerusalem?
18. Who came and walked with them?
19. Why did they not recognize Him?
20. What reality of Scripture do we see fulfilled in verse 15 and 16?
21. What question did Jesus ask them?
22. What was one of their names?
23. These two are like many who proclaim to be Christians today. They were walking with Him, looking on His face, and do not know what?
24. Who did they say Jesus of Nazareth was?
25. What had they believed He would do?
26. What reprimand did Jesus say to them?
27. What did Jesus expound from the Scriptures to them?
28. When were their eyes opened?
29. What can we learn from this?