VIII. THE RESURRECTION NARRATIVE#The resurrection narrative in Luke consists of five sections: (1) the women at the empty tomb (Lk 23:56b–24:12); (2) the appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk 24:13–35); (3) the appearance to the disciples in Jerusalem (Lk 24:36–43); (4) Jesus’ final instructions (Lk 24:44–49); (5) the ascension (Lk 24:50–53). In Luke, all the resurrection appearances take place in and around Jerusalem; moreover, they are all recounted as having taken place on Easter Sunday. A consistent theme throughout the narrative is that the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus were accomplished in fulfillment of Old Testament promises and of Jewish hopes (Lk 24:19a, 21, 26–27, 44, 46). In his second volume, Acts, Luke will argue that Christianity is the fulfillment of the hopes of Pharisaic Judaism and its logical development (see Acts 24:10–21).
The Resurrection of Jesus.
1#a. [24:1–8] Mt 28:1–8; Mk 16:1–8; Jn 20:1–17. But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.#b. [24:4] 2 Mc 3:26; Acts 1:10. 5They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?#c. [24:5] Acts 2:9. 6He is not here, but he has been raised.#He is not here, but he has been raised: this part of the verse is omitted in important representatives of the Western text tradition, but its presence in other text types and the slight difference in wording from Mt 28:6 and Mk 16:6 argue for its retention. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”#d. [24:7] 9:22, 44; 17:25; 18:32–33; Mt 16:21; 17:22–23; Mk 9:31; Acts 17:3. 8And they remembered his words.#e. [24:8] Jn 2:22. 9#The women in this gospel do not flee from the tomb and tell no one, as in Mk 16:8 but return and tell the disciples about their experience. The initial reaction to the testimony of the women is disbelief (Lk 24:11). #f. [24:9–11] Mk 16:10–11; Jn 20:18. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. 10The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,#g. [24:10] 8:2–3; Mk 16:9. 11but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. 12#This verse is missing from the Western textual tradition but is found in the best and oldest manuscripts of other text types. #h. [24:12] Jn 20:3–7. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.
The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus.
#This episode focuses on the interpretation of scripture by the risen Jesus and the recognition of him in the breaking of the bread. The references to the quotations of scripture and explanation of it (Lk 24:25–27), the kerygmatic proclamation (Lk 24:34), and the liturgical gesture (Lk 24:30) suggest that the episode is primarily catechetical and liturgical rather than apologetic. 13Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles#Seven miles: literally, “sixty stades.” A stade was 607 feet. Some manuscripts read “160 stades” or more than eighteen miles. The exact location of Emmaus is disputed. from Jerusalem called Emmaus,#i. [24:13] Mk 16:12–13. 14and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. 15And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16#A consistent feature of the resurrection stories is that the risen Jesus was different and initially unrecognizable (Lk 24:37; Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14; 21:4). #j. [24:16] Jn 20:14; 21:4. but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. 17He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,#k. [24:19] Mt 2:23; 21:11; Acts 2:22. 20how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21#l. [24:21] 1:54, 68; 2:38. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22#m. [24:22–23] 24:1–11; Mt 28:1–8; Mk 16:1–8. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. 24#n. [24:24] Jn 20:3–10. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 25#o. [24:25–26] 9:22; 18:31; 24:44; Acts 3:24; 17:3. And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer#That the Messiah should suffer…: Luke is the only New Testament writer to speak explicitly of a suffering Messiah (Lk 24:26, 46; Acts 3:18; 17:3; 26:23). The idea of a suffering Messiah is not found in the Old Testament or in other Jewish literature prior to the New Testament period, although the idea is hinted at in Mk 8:31–33. See notes on Mt 26:63 and 26:67–68. these things and enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.#p. [24:27] 24:44; Dt 18:15; Ps 22:1–18; Is 53; 1 Pt 1:10–11. 28As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. 31With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”#q. [24:34] 1 Cor 15:4–5. 35Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
The Appearance to the Disciples in Jerusalem.
36#The Gospel of Luke, like each of the other gospels (Mt 28:16–20; Mk 16:14–15; Jn 20:19–23), focuses on an important appearance of Jesus to the Twelve in which they are commissioned for their future ministry. As in Lk 24:6, 12, so in Lk 24:36, 40 there are omissions in the Western text. While they were still speaking about this,#r. [24:36–53] Mk 16:14–19; Jn 20:19–20. he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”#s. [24:36] 1 Cor 15:5. 37But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.#t. [24:37] Mt 14:26. 38Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 39#The apologetic purpose of this story is evident in the concern with the physical details and the report that Jesus ate food. Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40#u. [24:40–41] Jn 21:5, 9–10, 13. And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of baked fish;#v. [24:42] Acts 10:41. 43he took it and ate it in front of them. 44He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”#w. [24:44] 18:31; 24:27; Mt 16:21; Jn 5:39, 46. 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.#x. [24:45] Jn 20:9. 46#See note on Lk 24:26. And he said to them,#y. [24:46] 9:22; Is 53; Hos 6:2. “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.#z. [24:47] Mt 3:2; 28:19–20; Mk 16:15–16; Acts 10:41. 48You are witnesses of these things.#a. [24:48] Acts 1:8. 49And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father#The promise of my Father: i.e., the gift of the holy Spirit. upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”#b. [24:49] Jn 14:26; Acts 1:4; 2:3–4.
#Luke brings his story about the time of Jesus to a close with the report of the ascension. He will also begin the story of the time of the church with a recounting of the ascension. In the gospel, Luke recounts the ascension of Jesus on Easter Sunday night, thereby closely associating it with the resurrection. In Acts 1:3, 9–11; 13:31 he historicizes the ascension by speaking of a forty-day period between the resurrection and the ascension. The Western text omits some phrases in Lk 24:51, 52 perhaps to avoid any chronological conflict with Acts 1 about the time of the ascension. 50#c. [24:50–51] Mk 16:19; Acts 1:9–11. Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. 51As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. 52They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,#d. [24:52] Acts 1:12. 53and they were continually in the temple praising God.#The Gospel of Luke ends as it began (Lk 1:9), in the Jerusalem temple.