Jesus is alive
Jesus rises from the dead1 At first light on Sunday morning, the women who had been following Jesus went to his tomb. They brought scented spices they had prepared to use in anointing his body for burial. 2 When they got to the tomb, they found that the stone used to seal the entrance had been rolled away.
3 They stepped inside. They couldn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 They stood there bewildered, wondering what was going on. Suddenly two men appeared beside them, wearing clothes that had a dazzling shine.
5 Terrified, the women bowed their heads and looked to the ground. The men asked them, “If you’re looking for someone who’s alive, why come to a place for the dead? 6 He’s not here. He has come back from the dead. Remember what he told you when he was back in Galilee? 7 He told you that the Son of Humans had to be arrested by evil people and crucified. And he told you that on the third day he would come back to life.”
8 The women remembered what Jesus had said. 9 They left the tomb and told the 11 disciples of Jesus and all the others what had just happened to them. 10 The women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James along with some other women. These ladies kept trying to convince the apostles, 11 but as far as the apostles were concerned, this was crazy talk. They did not believe one word of it.
12 Peter, however, got up and took off running to the tomb. When he got there, he bent down and looked at what was left: nothing but the strips of linen that had been wrapped around the body of Jesus. He walked away wondering what on earth was going on.
Dead man walking to Emmaus13 On that very day, two followers of Jesus were walking to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along, they were talking about everything that just happened.
15 As they were talking with each other and trying to make sense of it all, Jesus caught up and started walking with them. 16 Somehow, they weren’t able to recognize him.
17 Jesus said, “Pardon me, but could you tell me what you’re talking about?” The two men stopped walking. For a moment they just stood there looking sad.
18 Then one of them finally spoke. It was Cleopas. He said, “Are you the only traveler visiting Jerusalem who has left town without knowing what just happened?” 19 Jesus said, “What are you talking about?” They said, “We’re talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a great prophet who performed incredible miracles. He was a wonderful teacher, too—in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 Our top priests and other religion leaders arrested him, condemned him to death, and crucified him. 21 We had hoped with all our heart he was the one who would save Israel. 22 And that’s not all. Some women in our group shocked us with news. They went to the tomb early this morning. 23 But they didn’t find his body. They came back telling us they had seen a vision of angels who told them Jesus was alive. 24 So some of the people in our group went to the tomb. Sure enough, they found it empty, just as the women had said. But they couldn’t find Jesus anywhere.”
25 He said to them, “This is foolish of you. You are slow learners when it comes to believing what the prophets said. 26 Didn’t they say the Messiah would have to suffer like this before he could sit at the right hand of God?”
27 Then he taught them a prophecy lesson. Starting with Moses and continuing on through all the prophets, he pointed out the prophecies that were written about him in the Scripture. 28 When the men got to the village, Jesus gave the impression he was going to keep walking. 29 But the two men strongly protested. They said, “You’ve got to stay with us tonight. We’re already into the evening and the day is too far gone.” So he went inside to stay with them. 30 While he rested with them at the table, he took some bread, said a prayer over it, broke it, and gave the pieces to them.
31 In that moment, they finally recognized him. But then he vanished before their eyes. 32 They said to each other, “Didn’t we feel a fire inside us as he talked about the Scriptures?”
33 They got up and on the road again that very hour, headed back to Jerusalem. There they found the 11 disciples along with others staying with them. 34 The disciples told the two men, “The Lord has in fact come back from the dead and has appeared to Simon Peter!” 35 The two told the group what happened to them as they walked along the road, and then later, how they finally realized it was Jesus after he broke the bread and handed it to them.
Jesus eats a fish dinner36 While the two men were still reporting what happened to them, Jesus himself suddenly appeared right there in the middle of the group. He said, “Peace to you.” 37 Well, that was a shocker. And scary, too. The people thought they were looking at a ghost.
38 He said, “Why are you so upset? And why are you doubting what your eyeballs are seeing? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. You can see that it’s me. Touch me. Go ahead. A ghost doesn’t have skin and bones. But I do." 40 As he told them this, he extended his hands and feet so they could look.
41 It seemed too good to be true. As the stunned group stood there marveling at what was happening, he said, “Do you have anything to eat here?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish. 43 He ate it right there in front of them.
44 Then he said, “I told you this was going to happen. While I was still with you I told you that I had to fulfill everything written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” 45 Then he gave them a refresher course, so they could understand those Scriptures from a new point of view.
46 He said, “So you can see now that it was written a long time ago that the Messiah had to suffer like this and rise from the dead on the third day.
47 It was written, too, that there’s a message to deliver to people all over the world, starting in Jerusalem. The message comes with the Messiah’s authority: Stop sinning, express regret for sins committed, and accept forgiveness. 48 You are the witnesses of what has happened here. 49 Look, I’m going to send you what my Father promised. But you need to stay in the city until you have been equipped with heaven’s power.”
Jesus rises into the sky50 Jesus led the group to Bethany. There he raised his hands and offered a prayer of blessing and encouragement. 51 He was still talking when he left them, carried up into the sky.
52 The group worshiped him and then went back to Jerusalem, happy as all get-out. 53 They spent much of their time at the Temple thanking God and saying wonderful things about him.
Literally, “the first day of the week,” which Jews would have known as Sunday – the first day after the Sabbath day of rest.
Usually translated Son of Man. This is a title Jesus used a lot to describe himself. In the Jewish Bible the phrase contains hints of divinity in some passages and humanity in others – perhaps a perfect phrase for describing someone Christians would say was fully God and fully human. Hint of the divine: the prophet Daniel saw someone like a son of man coming from heaven (Daniel 7:13). Hint of the human: God often described Ezekiel as a mortal by using the phrase “son of man” (Ezekiel 2:1).
By then, Judas was dead. He had hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).
Literally, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.”
Literally, “enter into his glory.” Bible experts debate what that means. Some say it’s talking about his resurrection. Others say it’s talking about his place of honor beside God the Father.
There’s no other record in the Gospels of Jesus appearing to Peter on the day of the Resurrection. However, Paul did say that Jesus appeared to Peter first, and then to the other disciples (1 Corinthians 15:5).
More literally, “repentance and forgiveness of sins.”
“He’ll baptize you with fire and the Holy Spirit” (3:16). See also Acts 1:4.
After the women saw the empty tomb and heard the two angels tell them that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as he had said he would, the women found it difficult to convince the disciples about any of this. “They did not believe one word of it” (24:11). If Jesus had told his followers this was going to happen, what do you think made it so difficult for them to believe it?
If the disciples didn’t believe what the women had said, why do you think Peter got up “and took off running to the tomb” (24:12)?
What do you think the followers of Jesus thought happened to the body of Jesus after Peter confirmed what the women had said, that the tomb was empty?
Jesus walked with two of his followers to the village of Emmaus. But “They weren’t able to recognize him” (24:16). That seems pretty strange. What do you make of that?
Jesus called the two men on the road to Emmaus “slow learners when it comes to believing what the prophets said” (24:25). Isaiah 53 is one of the most famous prophecies that many Bible experts agree refers to Jesus. It’s called the Suffering Servant. Take a read of it. Where do you see Jesus in that passage, if at all?
Bible experts debate what Jesus meant when he said he had to suffer before he could “enter into his glory” (footnote for 24:26). Does this mean his resurrection? Does it mean getting to sit beside God in heaven? Those are two guesses Bible experts make. Given the setting in which Jesus says it, what do you think might be the best way to understand it?
When Jesus appeared to the disciples, they were shocked and terrified (24:37). Instead of running to give him a hug, they stood frozen with fear. What do you think about that?
After the resurrection, Jesus seemed to have had a body that was physical and yet it could instantly disappear and reappear. You could call it a hybrid body—physical with something added. Do you think that might be an indication of the kind of body people will have in the afterlife?
LIFE APPLICATION. One of the men on the road to Emmaus described what it was like when Jesus taught them: “Didn’t we feel a fire inside us as he talked?” (24:32). When have you felt a fire inside you when it comes to matters of faith and God?
LIFE APPLICATION. Jesus left his followers with a message he wanted them to deliver to everyone: “Stop sinning, express regret for sins committed, and accept forgiveness” (24:47). Do you think that’s a message most people feel comfortable giving to others? In what kind of circumstances do you think a message like that would be best received?