Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall begin to consider 24:1-53. This portion of the Gospel of Luke covers the crucial matters of the resurrection and ascension of the Man-Savior. Concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, each of the four Gospels has its own point of view. Writing from his viewpoint, Luke speaks in particular of the Man-Savior’s walking and talking with two disciples on the way to Emmaus (vv. 13-35).
Before coming to Luke 24, I would like to give a word concerning Christ’s resurrection. After the Lord lived on the earth for thirty-three and a half years, working in His ministry for three and a half years, He was crucified and buried. If He had remained in the tomb, that would have meant that God did not justify what the Man-Savior was and what He did. However, the Man-Savior was resurrected.
According to the New Testament, the Lord’s resurrection is mentioned in two ways. First, we are told that the Lord Jesus resurrected Himself, that is, that He raised Himself up. Speaking of His life, He said, “No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again” (John 10:18). In John 2:19 the Lord said that He would raise up His body in three days. The Lord Jesus had the power to die and to rise up from among the dead. Therefore, in one sense, He raised Himself up from the dead. On the other hand, the New Testament tells us that He was raised up by God. Concerning this, the Lord Jesus told the disciples that He would “be raised on the third day” (Matt. 16:21). Elsewhere the Lord said of Himself, “On the third day He shall be raised up” (Matt. 17:23). Acts 2:32 says, “This Jesus God raised up,” and Acts 3:15 speaks of the Lord as the Author of life, “whom God raised from the dead.” Furthermore, in Romans 6:4 Paul says, “Christ was raised from among the dead through the glory of the Father.” On the one hand, the Lord raised up Himself; on the other hand, He was raised from the dead by God.
The Lord’s raising up Himself shows His life power, the ability in His resurrection life. But God’s raising Him from among the dead was a sign that He was justified and vindicated by God. God raised Christ from the dead as a proof that He justified what the Lord was and what He did on earth.
The Man-Savior lived in a way that others thought strange. His way of living was absolutely different from religion, culture, and society. He lived and worked in a very unusual way. If God had not come in to raise Him up from the dead, this would have meant that God did not justify Him. But God’s raising Christ up from the dead was a sign of God’s justification and vindication.
Romans 4:25 says that Christ “was delivered because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification.” The death of Christ fulfilled and satisfied God’s righteous requirements so that we may be justified by God through His death (Rom. 3:24). Christ’s resurrection is a proof that God was satisfied with His death for us.
If Christ had died on the cross, having been judged there by God, but had not been raised from among the dead, there would have been no justification or vindication rendered to Him by God. That would have affected our salvation because, in such a case, His death would not have been followed by God’s vindication. But God judged Christ in death and then raised Him up from the dead. God’s raising up Christ from the dead was His justification and vindication of what Christ was and did. From this we may have the assurance that God has accepted what Christ did for us on the cross. We are justified by God because of Christ’s death, and in Christ, the resurrected One, we are accepted before God.
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