But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.
They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside.
So they went in, but they couldn't find the body of the Lord Jesus.
They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed low before them. Then the men asked, "Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?
He isn't here! He has risen from the dead! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?"
Then they remembered that he had said this.
So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples -- and everyone else -- what had happened.
The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several others. They told the apostles what had happened,
but the story sounded like nonsense, so they didn't believe it.
However, Peter ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
References for Luke 24:12
That same day two of Jesus' followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem.
References for Luke 24:13
As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.
Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them.
But they didn't know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.
"You seem to be in a deep discussion about something," he said. "What are you so concerned about?" They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.
Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, "You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn't heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days."
"What things?" Jesus asked. "The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth," they said. "He was a prophet who did wonderful miracles. He was a mighty teacher, highly regarded by both God and all the people.
But our leading priests and other religious leaders arrested him and handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him.
We had thought he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. That all happened three days ago.
Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report.
They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive!
Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, Jesus' body was gone, just as the women had said."
Then Jesus said to them, "You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.
Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?"
Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on,
but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So he went home with them.
As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God's blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them.
Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, "Didn't our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?"
And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem, where the eleven disciples and the other followers of Jesus were gathered. When they arrived, they were greeted with the report,
"The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter!"
References for Luke 24:34
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.
And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. He said, "Peace be with you."
References for Luke 24:36
But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
"Why are you frightened?" he asked. "Why do you doubt who I am?
Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it's really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do!"
As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his feet.
References for Luke 24:40
Still they stood there doubting, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
and he ate it as they watched.
Then he said, "When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true."
Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures.
And he said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day.
With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.'
You are witnesses of all these things."
"And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven."
Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them.
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven.
References for Luke 24:51
They worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.
References for Luke 24:52
And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.