James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.Luke 24:1-53
FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK
The order of our Lord’s appearances on this day was given in the comment on Matthew 28, and need not be repeated. Indeed all of the events in the chapter were dealt with there, except the walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Three score furlongs represent nearly eight miles (Luke 24:13). Cleophas, one of the two on this journey is not met with elsewhere, and is to be distinguished from the Cleophas of John 19:25. Luke has sometimes been identified as the other, but this is conjecture. The story runs on smoothly and requires little explanation; but, following Stuart, we remark on the wisdom Christ displayed in dealing with the men. He brought them to the written word, and He left them there (Luke 24:25-27), furnishing no flesh revelation, but expecting them to rest on the old one. What He expected of them, He still expects of His disciples, and the sooner we realize and act on it, the sooner will we have peace.
Another interesting item is the reference to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34) which no other evangelist mentions, but which Paul records later (1 Corinthians 15:5). The reason for silence concerning it was the question of communion with His Lord that had to be settled for Peter. Could he again enjoy it after what he had done? That visit settled it. We say visit because evidently it was the Lord who sought him out. He “hath appeared unto Simon.” The effect of this interview on Peter is seen in John 21:7.
Luke is very definite concerning the evidences of Christ’s resurrection. “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (39). There is no mention of blood, for that is the life of the flesh (Leviticus 17:14), and was poured out when He died for guilty men.
Luke’s version of the commission to the disciples is new, in that “repentance and remission of sins” were to “be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). This is “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), and is to be distinguished from the gospel of the Kingdom which our Lord Himself and His disciples preached throughout His earthly life. That gospel will be preached again as we have seen (Matthew 24:14), but not until after the translation of the church, and Israel takes up her mission once more among the Gentiles.
Power was needed for the preaching of this gospel, and it is promised (Luke 24:49), but our Lord must first ascend ere it can be “shed forth,” hence the record following (Luke 24:50-51). This reference to the ascension in Luke makes his Gospel the most complete outline of the four, for it begins with the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist as none of the others do, and closes with this event which Matthew alone alludes to but in the briefest manner. Speaking of Luke 24:51, the Scofield Bible says very beautifully, the attitude of our Lord here characterizes this age as one of grace, an ascended Lord is blessing a believing people with spiritual blessings. The Jewish, or Mosaic age was marked by temporal blessings as the reward of an obedient people (Deuteronomy 28:1-15). In the Kingdom or Millennial age, spiritual and temporal blessings unite.
1. Have you reviewed the order of our Lord’s appearances?
2. How was Christ’s wisdom displayed on the walk to Emmaus?
3. What reason for silence is suggested in regard to our Lord’s appearance to Simon?
4. Why is the mention of blood omitted in the testimony to Christ’s bodily resurrection?
5. What is the distinction between the two “gospels” mentioned?
6. In what sense is the third Gospel the completest?
7. Distinguish among the three ages, the .Jewish, Christian and Millennial.