Third Sunday of Easter 18th April 2021
Readings: Acts 3 12-19 and Luke 24 36b-48
it seem like we have a very similar reading to last week, so it is a very good time to take a look at a synopsis. Sadly I do not have a real synopsis of the four gospels so I have to make do with my school book; however my teacher was very good. It
is a great help at times like this, so that we can see what the gospels had to say about Jesus side by side. John mentioned that the disciples were behind closed doors, he says that Jesus showed his hands and side; whereas Luke talks about his hands and feet.
John also tells us about Jesus breathing on them in order to receive the Holy Spirit and giving them the power to forgive sins.
This Sunday we look at Luke’s account who as a Dr. would be
interested in things of the body and of health. Much like in John’s Gospel, Jesus gives the disciples a greeting of peace, this may not seem to be a very large thing, but being at peace is very healing. You may have had a special experience of a wave
of peace coming over you at a time when you are disturbed, it is such a blessing and the word ‘Shalom’ the Hebrew for peace actually means a lot more it is a desire for wholeness for someone. In our dear English society this is often accompanied
by encouraging someone to sit down and putting the kettle on for them. I would imagine that our own Queen has experienced this a lot recently and been brought numerous cups of tea. In the case of Jesus he came among them and ate fish and Luke is showing by
writing this that he wants to make it clear that Jesus is not a ghost. Some people however, would automatically expect something special for a resurrection body and not just mere flesh like us and there are some folks who see bodies as negative things which
entrap the spirit of a person and hold it back. The thinking for this may be that for Christians worship and prayer are the most important aspects of life and we do not need our bodies for those. Some people even say that our bodies are a hindrance because
they can get bored, fidget and cause a distraction. This could have been part of the thinking that we should pray with our eyes shut, so that we are less aware of the things of earth. But on the other hand, Christianity is very physical, it is all about God
becoming flesh and walking among us, therefore this flesh and blood in which we live is Holy stuff and St Paul reminds us our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Despite differences in details the gospel all agree that Jesus’ resurrection was a physical
one and this would have been especially difficult for Jewish people as they did not believe that resurrection bodies would be physical. Jesus’ body now had special features as he could appear and disappear. It is also apparent, that on a number of occasions
people did not recognise Jesus straight away and as we do not know what he looked like, it is not possible to say why this was. David Runcorn makes the interesting observation that Jesus had left the grave clothes in the tomb, so did he have any clothes at
all! (It puzzles me that he offered to show the scar in his side In John’s gospel, so how did he do this?
Also from what we know about ghosts, they are the unsettled departed, that
certainly does not fit with Jesus, he was not unsettled and he brought a greeting of peace. It is more the case that Jesus’ resurrection body could do things that we cannot comprehend, CS Lewis says about this agility, that the life Jesus has entered
in our flesh is actually more real and solid than ours, not less.
So like Luke and John; and Mark and Matthew, we as Christians aim
to introduce people to the real Jesus, but none of us would say exactly the same things or report and event in exactly the same way. It is likely that we would emphasise what is interesting and important to us. We all need to tell people about Jesus
in our own unique way and words. It is no good trying to copy someone else as it will not come across as sincere and genuine. Luke and John are different in some ways, but because they stuck to what matters and did not copy each other, they both show us something
of the authentic risen Jesus. From what they shared belief grew, and Jesus clearly says how blessed his believers are.