Luke 24:1-49

Tomb - Enseñanza (audio)

The women started early because they wanted time to cherish the memory of Jesus, who had died two days earlier, before they moved on to other things.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James were part of a group who traveled with Jesus and the twelve disciples (Luke 24:10). They had heard Christ speaking about what would happen on the third day, but it is quite clear that on this first day of the week, they did not expect anything unusual to happen.

Their journey to the tomb was motivated by love, but it was absolutely devoid of faith. Whatever faith they had in Christ had been overwhelmed by the darkness of Calvary. Faith was gone; all that was left was love.

Many people have a deep affection for Christ, but find it hard to believe. They were drawn to Christ and began to follow Him, but then they experienced great darkness in a personal tragedy, or in some evil that was done, and somewhere in the darkness they stopped believing.

Lost for An Explanation

When the women arrived, they found that the rock in front of the tomb had been moved. When they went inside, they found that the tomb was empty. The women had absolutely no idea what to make of this. The empty tomb left them “wondering” (24:4).

It is important to notice that they did not immediately jump to the conclusion that Jesus had risen from the dead. The first visitors to the empty tomb were quite lost for an explanation.

It was not that when they found the body was missing Mary said ‘I have this feeling that he must have risen from the dead,’ and Joanna replied ‘You know I have that feeling too. I think you must be right.’ The thought did not even occur to them.

So how did they know what happened? God told them.

God Gives the Explanation

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men1 in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (24:4-6).

God called two angels, and said “go and tell them what I have done. These women love my son, but there is no way in the world that they are ever going to work out what happened. Go tell them.”

Christian faith rests on believing God’s explanation of what He has done.

When the virgin Mary conceived a child, there was no way that she could have known what was happening to her. So God sent the angel to explain what was about to happen.

It was the same with the shepherds and the wise men. How could they possibly have known that the child in a manger was the God in human flesh? Without God’s explanation through the angels and the star, they would never have known what was happening.

It is the same when Jesus was crucified. Many people saw him die, but few understood the significance of the Cross. God tells us that on the cross, Christ bore our sin, endured our hell, and laid down His life down as a sacrifice.

The women would never have worked out what had happened for themselves. God told them. Christian faith does not rest on feelings, impulses, or personal insights. It is believing God’s explanation of events, given to us in the Scripture.

“He has risen.”

Risen Means That Death is Defeated

Throughout the Bible story, death had been like a tyrant exercising a reign of terror over the human race. Nobody could escape it. Death reigned (Romans 5:14,17). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David all believed God’s promise, but death got every one of them.

When they died, they continued in a shadowy existence, separated from this life, but not able to move forward into the presence of God. Death brought them to a place where there was a way in but no way out.

When I was around kindergarten age, our school class had a pet mouse.

One weekend, I was playing with the mouse along with a few toys in our home. The mouse was intrigued by my bright red, double decker London bus, and after sniffing around, climbed inside.

This was tremendous entertainment, until the mouse reached the front of the bus. Then we had a problem. The mouse couldn’t move forward, and it couldn’t climb back. It was completely stuck.

I remember my father saying, “there’s only one thing to do son. We’ll have to destroy the bus!” He took a knife and cut the roof open. The mouse was free.

I can’t tell you what a relief that was. But my bus was never the same. It really was rather curious; a bright red London bus with half of the roof missing. Of course, this made things even more interesting for the mouse.

Before, the bus had a way in but no way out. Now, the mouse could go in the door, climb up the stairs and come out through the roof! There was all the difference in the world.

From the time of Adam to the time of Christ, death had a way in but no way out. But when Jesus Christ died, he cut a hole in death itself. For Christ’s people death is no longer a prison, but a passage that leads right into the presence of God. There’s all the difference in the world.

Risen means the whole person will be redeemed: The message of Easter is not that Jesus is alive, but that Jesus is risen! It is worth thinking about the difference.

The Son of God was alive in heaven before He ever took human flesh. So why did he not simply leave His crucified body in the tomb and return to the Father. After all it was only flesh, and bone. Why did He bother with it?

The angels could still have appeared on Easter Sunday morning and said, “His body is here in the tomb, but don’t worry, His Spirit is with the Father in heaven.” After all, is this not precisely what we say at the funeral service when a Christian dies?

The message of Easter is that Christ is risen! It was not just the spirit of Jesus that was delivered from death—it was his body.

God has joined the body and the soul together. Death separates them. That is why it is such a terrible enemy. It is the undoing of our nature. Death would not be defeated by the survival of the soul. Victory over death would only be achieved if the body and the soul were reunited in the power of a new life. That’s the good news of the resurrection.

Taking a Virtual Vacation

Suppose that you have planned the vacation of a life-time in Hawaii, but just before you are due to take the trip you fall down the stairs and break just about every bone in your body. In good cartoon style, you wind up in hospital bandaged from head to toe, with a thermometer sticking out of your mouth.

A friend, who is a computer wizard, offers to take you on a virtual tour instead. He sets up his laptop, and sure enough you see wonderful views of Honolulu. “It’s so beautiful you say, I just wish that I had been able to go.”

“But, you have,” says your friend. “You have been there on a virtual tour.”

Your friend is a computer geek, so you humor him and let him go. Whatever he says in his fancy world of computers, you know that as long as your body is stuck in the hospital, you haven’t been to Hawaii. Going there in your mind, or via the internet, simply is not the same.

The life God promises to His people in heaven is not some like a virtual tour. It is not a spiritual experience or a mind game. God has sent Christ to redeem the whole of you, and bring you, body and soul into His presence. The good news is that Christ is risen. The resurrection of the body is the glorious future that lies ahead of every Christian believer.

Risen Means We Will All Be Changed

When the body of Jesus was raised, it was also changed. This was something that had never happened before.

Jesus had brought Lazarus back from the dead. It was a wonderful miracle, but Lazarus came out of the tomb exactly as he had gone into it. He carried on the process of aging at the point where he had left off, and then at some point the poor fellow had to go through the whole miserable business of dying all over again.

But when Christ was raised, his body was no longer subject aging or sickness. His flesh was transformed and adapted for eternity. That’s why Christians can look forward to heaven. The greatest delights of body and soul in this life are only a hint of what God is preparing for those who love Him.

Pause for Prayer

Almighty Father

Thank you that when Jesus died, he changed the nature of death for all His people. Thank you that He is risen and that, by faith in Him, I will also rise.

Thank you that when Your people die, what lies ahead is far greater than what lies behind. Help me to live in the joyful anticipation of all that is to come through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.


1. Matthew tells us that they were angels (Matt. 28 v5). Luke tells us what they looked like.

Tomb - Escritura (audio)

Luke 24:1–49

The Resurrection

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 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, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 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.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then 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 the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”


Use these questions to further engage with God's Word. Discuss them with another person or use them as personal reflection questions.

1God’s explanation of the empty tomb is that Jesus rose from the dead. Do you believe this? Explain your reasons.
2Some people are drawn to Jesus, but find it hard to believe. What keeps you from coming to faith in Jesus?
3Jesus “cut a hole in death,” so we have a whole eternity in front of us. What implication does this have for how you live your life today?
4Have you thought much about death? Does it scare you? What difference does the death and resurrection of Jesus make?


ESCRITURA Luke 24:1-49

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