Feasting with God #20
See My Hands and My Feet
Text: Luke 24:36-43
36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See 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.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Easter Sunday we Christians rejoice in our risen Savior, because he not only died to take the punishment that our sins deserved, but he rose to life to prove that God had set his seal of approval on Jesus’ sacrifice. Therefore we know that we, too, will rise again to new life through our faith in him.
Of course, that fact means little if we never heard about it. It could have easily been left as a mystery in the ages what happened to Christ’s body. He could easily have become just one more idealist who died for his beliefs. But the plain fact is that he didn’t stay dead. And we know this because he appeared to his disciples alive again, proving to them that their sins were paid for.
Think of the progression: Jesus rose from the dead, then he appeared to a few on Easter Sunday. Those few told others, and Jesus himself appeared to others in the days that followed. Then the message spread from those who saw him to others, who told others, who told others, until, 2,000 years later, you and I heard about it. Hearing this message should bring us such joy! Hearing that our Savior rose from the dead should give us confidence to go through life, because we know that only joy and blessing await on the other side.
At Jesus’ resurrection we commonly talk about the beginning of his “exaltation.” While he lived on earth, from his conception until his death and burial, we speak of his “humiliation.” That was the time that Jesus humbled himself, brought himself down to our level, was “born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:5). But at his resurrection he returned fully to his Godly power. Now that the work of redemption and salvation was complete, he could come into his power once again to attend to the work of preserving the world, of exercising God’s power and authority in heaven. And yet, even after his humiliation was complete, Jesus demonstrated some of that humiliation again.
The almighty God needs no food. The Creator of the universe doesn’t need something cooked up by men in order to survive. And yet, Jesus asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” He ate not for his own nourishment, but for the benefit of his disciples. He showed a little bit of humility once again, stooping down to do something as simple and base as eating. By this he proved two things: 1) He wasn’t a ghost, but real, flesh-and-blood, alive; and 2) He is still a human being. This is comforting to us on two accounts. First of all, we see the proof that our Savior has really risen from the dead! He has come back to life so we know that the price he paid has been accepted, and there’s nothing more we need to add. Second, that Savior, our God, who sits in heaven, shares still in our human nature. He still eats and drinks with us, and he understands the weaknesses, frailties, sorrows, and even joys of our humanity. We have a God and a mediator who knows all we go through in life, and he promises to hear us and care for us through it all.
As the season of Easter progresses, rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord, and see what it means for our comfort and our salvation!
Dear Jesus, who suffered even the torments of hell in our place, we rejoice today in your resurrection. Help us to rejoice in that event ever after. Keep us from growing bored or tired of hearing the message of your resurrection, and lead us to acknowledge its truth. Each time we sit to eat, remind us that you are there as well, as a human being the same as we are, and that you are also true God who hears our prayers and works for our benefit. In your name and on account of the pure merits of your life, give us those blessings you have promised us of forgiveness, new life, and salvation. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.