While they were talking about Jesus visiting with Simon and with Cleopas and the other disciple, Jesus shows up again! It seems like He just suddenly appears in the locked room with them all, without warning. This time He proves to them that He is physically there, showing them the wounds His body still bears, and eating some fish. I really like the phrase Luke used, “they still disbelieved for joy” (v. 41) A lot of them had seen Jesus raise other people from the dead, but this is the only time anyone has ever raised themselves, so their disbelief is understandable. But even when they can see Him there, they are so happy they can’t really believe it.
Next, Jesus lifts the veil on their minds that kept them from fully understanding the words He spoke about Himself concerning His death and resurrection. He explains to them as He did on the road to Emmaus how so many things in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and even the Psalms are about Himself. Not only passages like Genesis 3 and Isaiah 9, but like Psalm 22 and 2 as well.
Jesus commissions His disciples to be His witnesses of these things, that Christ has suffered and died, but rose again. Therefore, they are to call the people to repent and gain forgiveness of their sins in the name of Jesus. They are witnesses of a factual account, not a made-up story for the accolades of man. God has done wonderful things in their lives, and now they should tell everyone about them. The first place they should start is Jerusalem. Jesus tells them to stay there in the city until power from Heaven comes down on them.
“Then”, that is forty days later (as Luke tells us in the sequel), Jesus takes them a couple of miles from Jerusalem, prays over them, and ascends into Heaven. The disciples respond with worship and great joy.
Stir up our hearts and move us to respond to Your great message to the world.