3rd Sunday of Easter – You Are Witnesses of These Things! Recap…
Scared Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection, as found in Luke. Yes, scared. Not sacred… What’s that about? The resurrection is not some nice deal. Jesus startles the disciples because it bodes the end of their self-righteous and self-hating rebellion!
Luke 24:36f While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled [ptoeo] and terrified [emphobeo] and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Jesus had to open their minds to all the scriptures so that their fear (of the end that was already come in Jesus’ resurrection) might not lead them to deeper rebellion.
Luke 21:8–10 And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. 9 “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be startled; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
Ezekiel 2:5&7 Whether they hear or refuse [are terrified] to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them… 7 You shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse [are terrified] to hear; for they are a rebellious house.
The disciples were terrified when they saw Jesus because his advent meant the coming of the new age of peace and freedom.
Acts 10:1–4 In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. 2 He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. 3 One afternoon at about three o’clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” He answered, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
The disciples were full of fear! The day of destruction was upon them and they anguished like a woman in labor because their rebellion was coming to an end!
Luke 24:36f While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Isaiah 13:6–8 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty! 7 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt, 8 and they will be dismayed. Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.
Lamentations 1:20 See, O Lord, how distressed I am; my stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death.
So, have a listen! –roc,sj