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The Gospel Of Luke An Exposition by Charles R. Erdman

M. Jesus Appearing To The Apostles. Ch. 24:36-43

36 And as they spake these things, he himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they beheld a spirit.38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and wherefore do questionings arise in your heart? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having.40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.41 And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish.43 And he took it, and ate before them.

The incidents of the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, as recorded by Luke, form not only a sequence in time, but also move in logical order. The empty tomb can be explained by no other theory than that of a resurrection; but this was only negative proof. To it was added the actual appearance of Jesus to two disciples on their way to Emmaus. Yet this was not evidence enough. Some persons might believe that such an appearance had been a mere vision, a phantom, a ghost; therefore, as Luke relates the appearance of Jesus to the eleven disciples in the upper room, after night had fallen, he lays stress upon the fact that Jesus appeared in bodily form. When the disciples saw him they thought that they did see a mere specter, an apparition, a spirit, just as many persons have thought, even to the present day; but to forever dispel such a false impression, Jesus, by every possible appeal to the senses, made it evident that he possessed not an |immaterial,| or |spiritual,| or |celestial| body, but the identical body of flesh and blood which on Friday had been crucified and laid in the tomb; in that actual body, scarred by the cruel nails, a body capable of eating food, a material body which could be touched and felt, he appeared to his disciples. Moreover, he solemnly declared that he was not a disembodied spirit; he showed them the wounds in his hands and feet; he declared that a spirit does not have flesh and bones which they saw he had; and finally, to remove every lingering doubt, he took |a piece of a broiled fish| and |ate before them.| The appearances and disappearances of Jesus after his resurrection may have been mysterious or miraculous as was his walking upon the sea in the days of his previous ministry; but he gave his disciples to understand by every conceivable, sensible sign that he had risen from the dead in his actual, physical, human body. The theory that the resurrection can be explained as a hallucination, a vision, or an apparition is forever silenced by the testimony of Luke, the careful historian, the intelligent physician. Upon the foundation of the established fact of a literal, bodily resurrection, this superstructure of our Christian faith firmly stands.

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