Luke 24: 35-48
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus 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 had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
The disciples who encountered Jesus on their way to Emmaus have returned in haste to tell the disciples in Jerusalem what they have heard and seen. Jerusalem has long been a city special to God. It is the Holy City. The Church of Christ is described, in the New Testament, as the Jerusalem above, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the new Jerusalem. It is here that Christ suffered. It is from here that the Kingdom of God begins to spread.
When Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem, they are in hiding behind locked doors. They are afraid of the Jewish authorities; the threat of death hangs over them. They are also afraid when they see Jesus because they think they are seeing a spirit, no matter Christ’s first words of reassurance: Peace be with you.
Through these verses, we are brought to understand something more about the nature of Christ’s glorified body and of our own resurrection. Christ’s nature is not now incorporeal. He can be touched. He reassures his disciples further by asking them to give him something to eat. And yet he is not bound by the limitations of time and space. His body is totally subject to his soul. He is free to enter within locked spaces. The resurrection is of flesh and spirit.
It is a beautiful scene, as Jesus offers his body to his disciples again, to assist their belief, so that they may recognize the risen Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, whose hands and feet are pierced. Contrary to all that the disciples have feared, given the shame of death by crucifixion, which indeed was held as a sign of having been cursed by God, Jesus their Lord has returned to them.
Just as he spoke to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, so now Jesus teaches those present to understand the Scriptures anew. He opens the disciples’ minds and they understand. They see now how the Old Testament pointed toward Christ, telling of what must happen to him and of how he would rise. Their minds are illuminated. And, through this, there is the injunction once again to spread the good news, to teach repentance and the forgiveness of sins through Jesus. For the time to come, the disciples are to be witnesses of Jesus’ teaching and of his glorious resurrection which makes our life possible.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8: 10-11)