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Summary: This is an inductive study of the resurrection narrative as recorded in the gospel of Luke. It examines the major themes and structure of the narrative.

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Luke Resurrection Narrative

I. Divide and Title

A. Segmental Divisions

24.1-35 The resurrection and Jesus’ first appearance

24.36-53 Jesus with the disciples

B. Paragraph Divisions

24:1-12 The Resurrection

24:13-35 The Emmaus road

24:36-49 Jesus appears to Disciples twice

24:50-53 The Ascension

II. Structural Analysis

A. Recurrences

1. Appearances of Jesus: Luke goes into some serious detail about the various resurrection appearances of Jesus to His disciples. This shows the testimony of the early church and that they were witnesses of the risen Lord. It is this fact that Luke attempts to communicate to the readers because they are expected to believe in Jesus without having seen Him.

Evidence: 24.13-35,36-49,50-53

2. Disciples: One of the key sets of characters in the entire book of Luke is the disciples of Christ and they play an important role in this final section of the book. The disciples are the first witnesses to the fact of the risen savior and it is their task to share this news with the world.

Evidence: 24.1-12, 36-49,50-53

3. Testimony: Luke shows how those who saw or heard about the risen Jesus immediately went to share the good news with others. It is the fact of this strong and empowered sense of sharing allowed for the early church to become united under the banner of the risen Lord. The people were overjoyed by the news and could not wait to tell others about the resurrection.

Evidence: 24.9-10

4. Fear: Luke communicates a sense of fear and awe in the understanding of what God had done through Jesus in the resurrection. This fear seems to stem from a lack of understanding about what had happened to Jesus and from a general wave of emotions that would have been a part of this experience.

Evidence: 24.5,37

5. Supernatural Aspects of Jesus: Luke records the fact that Jesus seemed to appear and disappear at will and He was lifted into heaven at the ascension. These were not the normal types of miracles that Jesus had performed before the death and resurrection. Luke reports that Jesus could do these kinds of things because of His resurrected body.

It would seem that there is a supernatural aspect to the person of Jesus after the resurrection that was not a part of His life before the event. The power of God was indeed with Him and was clearly a part of His being.

Evidence: 24.1-12, 31,36,50-53

B: Relationships

1. Climax: The main climax of the section and the book is found in the event of the resurrection. This is the key event of this section and it shows how the Resurrection plays the most significant role in the narrative of both the section and the whole book. The resurrection is the main message of this passage and it completes the work of Jesus.

Evidence: 24.1-12

2. Completion: The resurrection brought the message and work of salvation to its proper point of completion. Luke builds the whole narrative to this point and brings the ministry of Jesus to its logical completion in the resurrection and the Ascension. All that we must do is to have faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sin and the restoration with God. The ascension of Jesus into heaven has made His work of ministry complete, at this time, and His work will set the church into motion. It is at the ascension that the disciples are fully reunited and from there they return to Jerusalem and await the coming of a comforter.


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