March 30, 2012

How Jesus Patiently Loves, Part II

Part I here.

Let's walk in the disciples' sandals for awhile...

... returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (Luke 24:9-11)

... they (the two disciples on the road to Emmaus) rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:33-35)

The women visit the tomb, find it empty except for angels announcing the risen Christ. The women return to tell the apostles and other disciples, who do not believe it. He appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who then come back and tell the others. How patient He is. How He loves them. Appearing again and again, the patient love of Jesus is evidenced. He understands how hard it is for the disciples to believe He has risen, even though He told them about this before His crucifixion.

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43, ESV)

"He showed them His hands and His feet.” You are seeing the good news of the grace of God in Jesus' resurrection. Jesus condescends to show them His pierced hands and feet, to prove it is truly him standing alive before them. He is their risen Messiah and He will stop at no ends to ensure they believe in Him.
While their doubts continue, He says,“Have you anything here to eat?” Oh, the patient love He shows for His disciples here. He is not asking for something to eat because He is hungry. He is eating in front of them to destroy their unbelief and renew their faith in Him. Their doubt is like a great rock wall they cannot scale or break through. It even blocks out the light of the risen Son standing before them. He destroys the wall of unbelief with hammer-blow after hammer-blow as He presents himself alive to them.
He saw and exposed the doubts in their heart to the full light of reality.
  • See! 
  • hands 
  • feet 
  • touch me! 
  • flesh and bone 
  • eat 
They must know it is truly Him, truly alive, truly risen from the grave. See how the hammer falls again and again on the great rock wall, crushing their unbelief through his patient love.
To Be Continued...
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