April 22, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Easter
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:35-48)
Can you imagine seeing someone killed in a horrible way right before your eyes–and then several days later seeing that very same person walk into the group you are in and begin to talk to you! No wonder the apostles were amazed, indeed terrified. I know I would be! But Jesus is a very gentle person, so loving to these men who would carry his word of peace and gentleness around the world–even though when they first knew Jesus they never knew that he was God. This moment was no doubt the most important moment in their lives–one that set up for them the work of the rest of their lives.
Probably no one of us will ever experience anything like these men experienced. But try, if you can, to feel what it would be like to see Jesus appear like this. Walk into that group yourself and see Jesus. Imagine what he looks like. Then begin to talk with him. At first it may seem strange to talk with a person who had been killed and now was alive again. But find a way to ask him what you want to know about him. Then listen to him quietly, and do whatever he suggests to you.