It Is True! The Lord Has Risen

Luke 24:33-35 and First Corinthians 15:5

About 7 pm on Sunday the seventeenth of Nisan

DIG: Why did the two disciples go the extra mile to reach the apostles in Jerusalem? Who was missing from the group? Why did say there was eleven talmidim, while Rabbi Sha'ul claimed that there was twelve? Why was it important that Jesus see Peter first?

REFLECT: Have you ever gone the extra mile, literally or figuratively, to tell someone about the risen Lord? If you had to explain four facts of the Gospel to an interested friend, what would you say? When you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, was it something slow and gradual or was it quick and dramatic?

Despite the fact that it was now dark, when people didn’t normally travel, and the City was several hours away, the two disciples who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. They felt compelled to share the news that Messiah had risen from the dead. There they found eleven talmidim, minus Thomas the Twin, and those with them, assembled together and saying: It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon. Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how they recognized Yeshua when He broke the bread with them at their table (Luke 24:33-35). The apostles now had four separate reports of the resurrection: Mary Magdalene, the women, Peter, and Cleopas and his traveling companion.

And sometime earlier that day, Jesus had appeared to Simon. This was the fourth appearance of Jesus after His resurrection. Among the apostles, Simon Peter was the first to see the resurrected Messiah. Paul tells us: For what I received I passed on to you as first importance: the Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, the He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the TaNaKh, and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve (First Corinthians 15:3-5). Rabbi Sha’ul says the Twelve because the twelfth apostle had already been chosen to replace Judas by the time he wrote First Corinthians.

The Lord’s appearance to Simon in Yerushalayim should not to be confused with Messiah’s later meeting with Peter later in Galilee. The reference to Simon rather than Peter points us back to Luke 22:31-32, where Jesus said to him: Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, so that your faith may not fail. And when you have repented (see Lk – Peter Denies Jesus Three Times) and turned to Me again (see Mn – Jesus Reinstates Peter), strengthen your brothers, the other apostles.

Jesus had given Peter the keys to the Kingdom (see Fx - On This Rock I Will Build My Church). Whenever the words key or keys is used symbolically in the Bible, it always symbolizes the authority to open or close doors (Judges 3:25; First Chronicles 9:27; Isaiah 22:20-24; Mattityahu 16:19a; Revelation 1:18, 3:7, 9:1 and 20:1). Peter will be responsible to open the doors of the Church. He will have a special role in the book of Acts. In the Dispensation of the Torah, humanity was divided into two groups, Jews and Gentiles. But in the Dispensation of Grace, because of what went on in the intertestamental period, there were three groups of people, Jews, Gentiles and Samaritans (Matthew 10:5-6). Peter would be the key person (pun intended) in bringing in the Jews (Acts 2), the Samaritans (Acts 8), and the Gentiles (Acts 10) into the Church by receiving the Ruach HaKodesh. Once he opened the door it stayed open.

Therefore, it was important that Peter actually see the risen Lord and verify that fact to the other talmidim. Kefa was their leader and if he believed it, it would go a long way substantiating what Cleopas and his companion had said. Now the unbelief, with its resulting sorrow and fear, had given way to the joy of faith in the resurrection of Christ.

 

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