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.
– Luke 24:36-43
The resurrection of Jesus is greater good news than we realize – especially for the disciples 2000 years ago. The implications Jesus’ failure: of a life without God, place, forgiveness, hope, or salvation are far-reaching and severe. To have seen Jesus do the miracles he did, to have heard the teachings he espoused, to have experienced his presence – only to have seen him betrayed, arrested, scourged, crucified, and laid in a tomb! His death was indelibly etched on their hearts.
The news of Jesus’ resurrection was initially beyond belief. It meant that their hopes pinned on Jesus were not in vain. It meant that their sins were forgiven. That meant that Jesus’ words were neither imagined or mere wishful thinking.
But still, even though Jesus had told them all this would happen, they didn’t believe. Or at least they didn’t fully believe. There would be more occasions of Jesus’ appearances in order to prove the reality of his victory and his resurrection. And just so they would know they are not imagining things, Jesus appears again. He offers a greeting of peace so that they would know his intentions were toward their favor. He asks for something to eat to convince them that they are not seeing a ghost.
Sometimes we need the little extra proof of God’s goodness and favor. We know from his word that God is good. We know that his promises are true. We know that Jesus died for our sins. We know he rose from the dead. But sometimes we need the little extra conviction. It may come in the form of an answered prayer. There may be a moment of divine intervention at just the right time. It might be as simple as a call from the friend. A new insight from the Holy Spirit may come to mind.
God offers these morsels of grace to us because he knows we need them. He wants us to believe. He wants us to love him. God wants these things from us because they bring us closer to him, and offer the peace Jesus bestowed on his disciples 2000 years ago. And he’s still at it.