Resurrection Faith – Rev Andrew Fitzgerald – Luke 24:36-53

“He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’” (Luke 24:38-39)

Concluding our series on the Gospel of Luke, we read in Luke 24 about the appearance of Jesus to His disciples before ascension. There are two important questions raised by this passage. First, do we believe in the resurrection? Despite His prophetic teaching in Luke 9:22 and 18:31-33 disciples doubted the resurrection of Jesus. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 pleads that believers hold resurrection faith. Why? Because this faith is in accordance with the scriptures and because the death and resurrection of Jesus is of first importance. If we believe in Jesus, His death and resurrection, then we will share in that death and resurrection ourselves. Second, what does the resurrection body look like? Jesus was different after resurrection. The disciples mistook Him for a ghost. Followers on the Emmaus Road did not recognise Him and yet He had flesh and bones and ate broiled fish. Paul, again in 1 Corinthians 15, writes that believers will be resurrected and in this resurrection will rise to a new body – sown perishable, raised imperishable; sown in dishonour, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body. One Bible commentator writes, God will make a body that is fit to live eternally with Him. Until then, Jesus advises, in Luke 24, that we must use our earthly bodies to live in holiness, to live lives of worship and to live as His witnesses that others will repent and inherit the Kingdom of God.