Read Luke 24
In his book Lament for a Son, Christian philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff has explored the grief of losing his adult son in a mountain-climbing accident. “It’s the neverness that’s so painful,” Wolsterstoff says. “All the rest of our lives we must live without him. . . . A month, a year, five years—with that I could live. But not this forever.”
Death is not what God intended for His creation, and the Bible describes death as humanity’s great enemy. If we have suffered the grief of losing someone we have loved, we know the searing pain, suffering, and tragedy of death. Thankfully, we also know the good news of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, which reverses the curse of death. The day will come when we will not seek for the living among the dead. The dead will be raised to life, and Jesus’ resurrection is proof that our hope for death’s defeat is certain (see 1 Corinthians 15).
Luke closes his Gospel by returning to some themes we have seen since the beginning of his account. The angels were present to announce the good news of Jesus’ birth to Mary and to the shepherds, and they are now posted as sentries at the empty tomb. The disciples throughout Luke’s Gospel have been slow to grasp the understanding of Jesus’ identity, and they continue in their obtuseness even after His resurrection. It would take multiple eyewitness testimonies and finally a shared meal to begin believing that the apparition before them was not a ghost but the resurrected Jesus (vv. 36–43).
Luke began with reminders about God’s faithful promise-keeping, and the Gospel ends by reminding us that the resurrected Jesus fulfills all that has been written in the Law and the Prophets (v. 44). Jesus is the final Word of God.
APPLY THE WORD
Luke wrote this Gospel for Theophilus (which translated means “lover of God”) to have certainty of the things about Jesus. What new aspects of Jesus’ ministry did you see in our study of Luke? What new hope did you gain? Will you, certain of the crucified and resurrected Christ, share the good news of His salvation?