Friday after Easter
Scripture: St. Luke 24:36-49 (NKJV)
24:36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”
37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the 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 to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
In the third article of the Apostles’ Creed we confess that we believe in “the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” We confess that we believe in the resurrection of our bodies. Our bodies will be raised again from the grave.
As Christians, we say that we believe this is our future. This resurrection of the body that we believe in finds some interesting support in our gospel reading. Jesus’ appearing to His disciples after the crucifixion gives us some information as to what this resurrection of the body might be like. It is likely that many people in our society do not properly understand or believe in the bodily resurrection. Many people would no doubt think that after they die they become a spirit of some sort, invisible, ethereal.
It is no problem for most people to believe in life after death, but what sort of existence they will have is something little understood. The tired and wasted bodies, the diseased flesh that we carry around, would be an intolerable burden to us if we were stuck with them as they are. But these tired, wasted bodies will be renewed and made like Christ’s resurrected body. We will know health and vigor. When Job said, “…and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God,” he meant that the corrupted body of this world will be renewed when we see our Lord face to face.
We pray: Lord, make us faithfully confess, “I believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.