SUMMARY.--The Women at the Sepulcher. Peter Sees the Empty Tomb. The Lord Appears to the Two Disciples. Jesus Appears in the Midst of the Eleven. The Commission to Preach to All Nations. The Ascension.
1-12. See notes on Matt. 28:1-10. Upon the first day of the week. The Lord's day, our Sunday. The women had "beheld the tomb and how his body was laid" on Friday, then "prepared spices and ointments" in accordance with Jewish burial customs, and "rested on the Sabbath day (Saturday) according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56), but early Sunday morning came to the tomb on their mission of love. They came. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses (Matt. 28:1), Salome (Mark 16:1), and Joanna (verse 10). The stone rolled away. See notes on Mark 16:3. They knew nothing of the Roman guard that had been placed there. Behold, two men. Angels (Matt. 28:5). Remember how he spake . . . in Galilee. See Matt. 16:21; 17:22; Mark 8:31; 9:31; John 2:22. These women were of Galilee and had heard, or heard of, these words. They remembered. They had not before comprehended his words. Seemed to them as idle tales. To the apostles. They seemed to have not the slightest expectation of a resurrection. Then arose Peter. John was with him (John 20:1-10). At the tomb John believed.
13. Two of them were going that very day. This account is given in detail by Luke only. Cleopas was one of the two (verse 18). Emmaus. Six or eight miles west of Jerusalem.
15. While they communed. About Jesus and his death. Jesus . . . drew near. When our thoughts are upon him we are likeliest to enjoy his presence.
16. Their eyes were holden. This was their explanation of not knowing him. Mark says (16:12) that he was "in another form."
18. One of them named Cleopas. This was one of the names of the husband of the mother of James and Joses (John 19:25). Dost thou alone sojourn in Jerusalem and not know? Cleopas is surprised that any one in Jerusalem should be ignorant of the marvellous events.
19. What things? Christ asked this, only that they should declare what they believed, had hoped, and their disappointment.
21. We hoped that it was he which should redeem Israel. They hoped. They did not now hope. Their hopes were buried.
25. O foolish men. Because "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."
36-43. He himself stood in the midst of them. Though the doors were shut (John 20:19). See my hands and my feet. Thomas, who was not present, referred afterwards to these tests (John 20:25). His body retained the marks of his suffering. While they still disbelieved for joy. They felt it was too good to be believed. He took it, and did eat. As a proof that it was his bodily presence.
44-49. And he said unto them. Between verses 43 and 44, Luke passes over an interval of weeks, and many appearances of the Risen Christ, to come at once to the event of his Ascension. The Lord, about to send them forth to preach, "opens their mind that they might understand the Scriptures," and then repeats the Commission, before given in Galilee. He requires that (1) Repentance, (2) Remission of Sins, (3) Shall be Preached in his Name, (4) Unto All Nations, (5) Beginning at Jerusalem. This was literally obeyed on the day of Pentecost. The promise of my Father. Of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Tarry ye. They were not to begin the great work until the endowment from on High came.
50-53. He led them out . . . over against Bethany. For other accounts of the Ascension, see Mark 16:19, 20 and Acts 1:1-9. Blessed them. The last act of the Savior upon the earth was a blessing. Returned . . . great joy. Their Lord not only lived, but had ascended to his throne. Were continually in the temple. Worshiping and teaching. See Acts2:46. Verse 53 is a link between Luke's Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles.