The two disciples Jesus met on the road and revealed Himself to return to Jerusalem to tell the eleven apostles all that had happened.
Earlier in this story, in verse 29, the two had asked Jesus to stay with them for the night: “for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” Now they go back to Jerusalem (a seven mile walk) to tell the apostles. What was the urgency? Why not wait till morning? What does this tell us about how important this was or how excited they were?
To the two men who were confused, sad, and disappointed, Jesus says “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe”. He then explains how Moses and the Prophets had spoken about Him. Then, while breaking bread with the two men Jesus is revealed to them and then vanishes from their sight.
Before revealling himself in person, Jesus revealed the Christ from scripture. Imagine sitting in on this teaching by Jesus concerning the prophecies of the Christ! What in particular did they need to understand that the Old Testament had foretold about the Christ?
Today we join in on the conversation of two men making a seven mile journey from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. Jesus joins them (they do not know it is Him) and asks them about their sad conversation. They are surprised that He does not know about all that has happened regarding Jesus.
The two tell Jesus, “But we were hoping that it was He (Jesus of Nazareth) who was going to redeem Israel”. What did they mean by this? What else does their conversation tell us about their possible relationship with Jesus and His followers?
The guards from the tomb of Jesus report to the chief priest about what happened in the early morning hours on the first day of the week. The Jewish leaders ask them to lie and say the disciples stole the body. They pay them a large sum of money and promise to appease Pilate should he hear that the body they were guarding was no longer in the grave.
As a result of this deception a rumor began to be spread that Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, but His body was stolen by His followers.
This is another display of the stubborn dishonesty of the Jewish religious leaders. In the face of the greatest demonstration of the truth concerning Jesus, all they can think about is how can we discredit what happened?
What might this teach us about how some people will not accept God no matter how much evidence they have?
In Matthew’s account, after the angel announced the resurrection to Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary”, while the women are on their way to tell the disciples, they meet Jesus – alive and well!
Again, “rejoice” and “do not be afraid”, are the words spoken to the followers of Jesus!
What are some of the things that we do not have to be afraid of any longer because Jesus has been raised from the dead?
Piecing together the resurrection accounts can be a challenge but Mark confirms that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9) and we read about that today.
Mary is distressed over the events of the morning and thinks someone has taken the body. Jesus seeks her out and asks her why she is weeping. In one of the most emotion packed moments in the Bible He addresses her by name and Mary knows that it is Jesus.
Is there any special significance to the fact that Jesus chose to appear to Mary Magdalene first?
What does Jesus say in verse 17 that shows His attitude toward those who had forsaken Him when His hour of trial had come?
Note: Everyone is invited to an “in classroom review” of this week’s readings. We will meet Wednesday night at 7 at 1796 Old Middleburg Road North, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Johns’ testimony of the resurrection morning tells us Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark and found the stone rolled away. She goes and tells Peter and John who immediately run to inspect the tomb.
John outran Peter, but did not go in. Peter goes in and sees the burial garments and then John went in also and verse 8 says “he saw and believed”.
There is some debate as to what is meant by the statement that John “believed” (v8). Does it mean he believed that Jesus had been raised (which would make him the first to believe), or, many commentators say, it means he believed the words of Mary that someone had taken the body. The latter view is based partially on how you understand verse 9.
What do you think? Was John the first to believe Jesus had been raised from the dead, and did he believe without seeing Jesus alive?
Luke’s account tells us the women came to the tomb of Jesus with spices they had prepared. Mark (16:1) tells us they were coming to anoint the body of Jesus. They find an empty tomb and then meet two angels who announce the resurrection with the exciting words: “Why do you seek the living among the dead!” The women return from the tomb and tell the apostles.
The angels tell the women to remember what Jesus had told them, and then it says in verse 8, “then they remembered His words”.
The way the angel announces it (Why do you seek the living among the dead?) seems almost like he is saying they should know He is not dead.
Jesus’ promise to rise from the dead would seem like a difficult thing to forget! The only ones who seemed to remember were the chief priests and Pharisees (Matthew 27:62).
Why do you think none of the followers of Jesus seems to have expected Him to be raised from the dead?
Matthew tells us an earthquake took place in the dawn hours after the sabbath.
The women coming to anoint the body with spices meet an angel who announces that Jesus has been raised from the dead. They are instructed to go tell the disciples that he has risen!
After meeting the angel it says the women departed and went their way “with fear and great joy”, an interesting combination of emotions. The joy seems pretty obvious, having heard that Jesus had risen from the grave, but why did they fear?
The chief priests and Pharisees remember that Jesus had said he would rise from the dead in three days. In order to ensure the disciples do not steal the body and then claim a resurrection they again go to Pilate, this time requesting that he make the tomb secure.
Pilate agrees and the tomb is secured by sealing the stone that covers the entrance and assigning soldiers to stand guard.
It is interesting that the Chief Priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus statement about rising the third day but none of His followers seemed to remember it or expect it. Also interesting that Pilate agrees to do this for the Jewish leaders.
This is the last event recorded before the resurrection morning. At this point in the story, who does it seem has won?