Questions after the Lord's Resurrection
Luke 24 presents a most interesting account of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection when he appeared to believers. Some believed the reality of a risen Christ, others doubted. But He did appear and various persons in this wonderful account ask questions which are worthy of our careful reflection.
The first occurred when the angels (two) appeared to the women when they had gone to the grave of Jesus. There they found it already open and two men in white sitting there with a soul searching question that it is well for each soul to answer in the truth, before God.
A Divine Question of Conscience
The dear women (Luke 24) understandably were frightened by the two men standing there in shining garments. It was these two angels who asked the women a question: "Why seek ye the living among the dead". Of course we understand the actual reference was to the resurrection of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. They explained how that He had told them that He would rise again from the dead in three days. Remembering what the Lord had told them they quickly went to the eleven apostles and told them what had happened. But, sadly, the apostles did not believe them even though they were telling the truth. Jesus was alive and risen from the dead!
We can interpret this obvious answer in a very helpful moral way to our own lives. Our Lord is risen, in glory and has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and guide us through this world, which at best is a barren wilderness. But morally thinking about the verse we might well ask ourselves, "why do we seek the living among the dead"?
This is a ruined, dead world because of man's sin. Even the green fig tree cannot produce fruit acceptable to God. Only His beloved Son did that. Yet must we not admit that there are not a few times when we turn to this Christ rejecting world seeking for something that will satisfy? In other words, do we not at times, also seek for the living among the dead. This morally dead world (dead in sin) has nothing to offer even though it may look ever so nice and exciting and satisfying. The green, seemingly living fig tree, can produce no fruit to satisfy the Christian's heart, and thus it becomes a dry fruitless, unsatisfying piece of dead wood.
Believers soon find this out as well when they seek the world to find satisfaction for their heart's desires. The world may look good, exciting, and satisfying. But when becoming involved to find satisfaction all that can be found in the world is an empty, dead, tree. Nothing here can satisfy the heart of the believer but Christ alone… alive, seated at the right hand of God the Father, there on the throne of grace to which we may come boldly at any moment. It is there we will find what truly satisfies, and only there. May we ever seek the presence of our blessed risen Savior, there to find the only place where our hearts can be truly satisfied.
A Question of Divine Sympathy
Two were on an approximately seven mile walk from Jerusalem where Jesus had been crucified and was now risen from among the dead. A third Person joined their company, One they did not recognize, the blessed Lord Jesus Himself! As He joined this couple He asked a sweet and sympathetic question. "What manner of communications are these as ye walk and are sad?" The couple, not realizing who this third Person was, were amazed that He had not heard of the awful spectacle that took place three days earlier in Jerusalem. But it was because they did not recognize the Divine Person walking with them. "Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to past there in these days?" Now the blessed risen Savior embarks on a course to bring the glorious truth to the couple. He asks them a very simple question to begin to open to them Who He really is. "What things"? Only our blessed Lord Jesus Christ has the divine ability to open the truth to searching, sad souls with such simple Divine words, such a simple question. It is as if this question from the risen Savior opened the flood gates of the couple's hearts. They spend quite a bit of time explaining the awful crucifixion and the story they themselves really didn't know what to believe. The Savior was indeed risen from among the dead. Others had gone to the tomb, found to opening stone rolled away and the body of Jesus Gone. They told how they had received a message from angels… sadly none of this was really believed and those who heard assumed the women had just seen a vision. They were true believers for they said "But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and besides all this, to day is the third day since these things were done". Even to lovers of Jesus and believers in Him it all seemed impossible to believe. Even though a disciple or two from among the group had run to the grave and not found him, knowing the dear women were not strong enough to roll back the stone, though it was rolled back and the empty grave opened, all was marked as misunderstood visions. What had really happened was beyond their belief or understanding. Now the question "what things" the Lord asked opening the truth to this sorrowing couple. They answer Him doubtless He did not know what they spoke of. He did know! He was opening their heart of unbelief for they still thought the women had seen a vision. Yet when Peter and John went to the empty tomb and gave the same report, none of them seemed to realize what had truly taken place. None, that is except the dear women who would have been unable to roll back the stone which sealed the tomb.
Yet after all this, they did not know what to make of an empty tomb that even Peter and John had testified to. Starting on their sad journey to their home they had no thought that the Stranger who seemed to not know what had taken place, was the very One they were sorrowing over. Yet His question opened their hearts and they told Him all that He already knew.
It was not until they were in their home, having invited this Divine Stranger to stay with them (how could they send away One who seemed so interested in their sorrow?), that He became known to them in His true Divine character. Leaving them after breaking the bread, they go back to Jerusalem with confirmation that the women were telling of something they actually observed. Yet still they knew not what to think except that the journey they made back to the disciples in Jerusalem to tell them what had taken place was surely faster then their journey from Jerusalem to their home! What a wonderful difference between their previous sorrow and their present joy! May we ever be found searching the Holy Scriptures for His Divine Glories. That which will grant us the wonderful difference between sorrow and joy!
A Question of Divine Glory
It was the Lord Himself lovingly rebuked them for their lack of understanding of what must take place at Jerusalem three days prior to these events. "Then He said unto them, O fools, (here the thought seems to be a rebuke towards their inability to understand what had to take place three days prior to this moment) 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?" He then opens to them all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. What a wonderful teaching they heard. So much so, that they could not allow this Divine Stranger to go any further. Inviting Him to stay with them He graciously accepts and after breaking of the bread, disappears. Leaving the awe struck disciples to ask each other yet another important question. The Lord had used their inability to enter in to what had taken place to show them how He was glorified in all that took place. How good if we can in some small and weak measure do this in our lives. That is, consider carefully all that Divine, Holy Scripture has given us as to the glory, completed and yet to come, of our blessed Savior. The blessed Son of God who believers love and follow, however weakly, is full of the glory of the very One who wrote the Scripture through the use of the Holy Spirit. Do we read it carefully and believe ALL that it has recorded? What loss we must suffer when reading, yet not meditating, on the glories of that blessed Savior! Here it was enough to constrain the blessed One to stay with them for the night. Yet He had still more to show to others who loved and sorrowed over Him. He disappeared from their sight and for the first time their were those who now began to understand what had really taken place. Oh! How wonderful is the profit of carefully meditating on what we read in Scripture! Let us never quickly pass over a Scriptural account given by the Holy Spirit for our enjoyment and learning!
A Question of Stirred Hearts
What a question was asked by those dear awe-struck believers. "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures"? What is especially wonderful is that even as they gave their report to the eleven and those with them, the Lord Himself appeared to them. He did not come with any kind of sarcastic, stinging rebuke nor with anger or frustration at their refusal to believe. He came in loving gentleness with quite another message for all those gathered there. "Peace be unto you". What a glorious, divine message from that blessed One now fully alive, risen from among the dead and loving His dear disciples!
A Question of Satisfaction and Food
The blessed Lord Jesus then asks another question of those who were so frightened when they saw Him. "AND He SAID UNTO THEM, WHY ARE YE TROUBLED? AND WHY DO THOUGHTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS?" Shewing them His hands and His feet was proof that the Person standing in front of them was no Spirit, but One with flesh and bones. There was no blood because that had been fully shed once forever at the cross. God was satisfied and never again would blood be shed to atone for our sins. They are gone and we believers have a new life… eternal life. To prove the reality of Who He was He asked one final question listed in Luke 24: "Have ye here any meat". What a question from the Son of God risen forever from among the dead!
They did have some food, gave it to Him and realized this was no apparition or spirit, it was a real flesh and bones Man. Risen from among the dead.
But we might ask ourselves if we have any meat? If the blessed Savior were to come to our home would we be found feeding on the meat of the Word of God as newly born again believers?
What a searching questions! What do we eat. The unsatisfying fare the world offers or are we like Daniel and refuse to partake of the idolatrous food, tasty though it might be, that would ruin our appetites for what our blessed Lord would desire to give us.
How often we must hang our heads in shame realizing that all too often we try to find satisfaction in what this Christ-Rejecting world feeds on. But we very quickly find there is no satisfaction to be found in this world's fare. We must spend our time feeding on Christ. That is meat that lasts AND NEVER DISAPPOINTS those who feed on Him. Let us make sure that in our spare moments we are feeding on Christ. If He were to come to our home would there be food we could enjoy together with our Savior? Oh! May it be always so. The world has nothing that can remotely compare with the divine feast available to us and with the joy of sharing with our blessed Savior the "meat" we have been eating… His meat. It was enough to satisfy Him and it should be enough to ever satisfy our heart from the hunger this Christless world tries to enjoy. Are you and I able to offer Him the sweetness of an honeycomb and the satisfaction of a fish. May it ever be so with us! Amen!