Luke 24: Christmas Eve

We made it. Luke 24. Christmas Eve. The last day of Advent. Advent in this sense means expectation. We look at it in the past and we wait expectantly for Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We look at Advent in the future for Christ’s return where He will turn our upside-down world right-side-up once and for all.

It is appropriate for us to greet this day and reflect upon how the women who went to Jesus’ borrowed tomb had an expectation to find a large stone blocking the entrance. They expected to try and find help to enter. Once they entered they expected to find His lifeless body lying there. They expected to be reminded of the horror from Friday and the darkness of Saturday. They expected to confront their dashed expectations. They expected the fullness of death. What they found, though, was an emptiness that wasn’t indicative of death, but life. They found the borrowed tomb vacated, returned, and unnecessary.

“He isn’t here! He is raised from the dead! 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 then He would rise again on the third day.”

Then they remembered. Their expectations changed. A whole new Advent!

You can read Luke 24 by clicking here

As you read today, think about your own expectations…expectations for the celebration of Christmas; expectations for life because Jesus came; and expectations for eternity because there is salvation that comes from the forgiveness of sins.

Reflection Questions

1. How do you think the women felt as they remembered what Jesus told them about His betrayal, death, and resurrection?

2. We read that the disciples didn’t believe what the women told them. Why do you think they didn’t believe?

3. What do you think Peter was thinking and feeling as he raced to the tomb? What do you think were his initial expectations?

4. Why do you think God kept the travelers to Emmaus from recognizing Jesus?

5. Why did Jesus call the travelers on the road to Emmaus foolish people?

6. What were the travelers doing when they recognized Jesus (see verses 30-31 and 35)? Why is this significant?

7. Why did Jesus ask for something to eat when He appeared to the remaining disciples?

8. Why does Luke go to the effort of including the prophecies explaining what was to happen to Jesus three separate times? How does He include the disciples now as you read in verse 48?

9. Luke teases his sequel to Jesus’ story with verse 49. What does Jesus promise? Why does He tell them to wait? How do you think they should wait? (Hint: it has everything to do with the meaning of the word, Advent, as previously explained.)

10. Luke’s Gospel ends with Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Where did the disciples go next? They knew they would likely be in trouble because of the religious leaders trying to end the Jesus movement, so what changed? Why were they filled with joy despite the circumstances? How can this transform your celebration of Christmas?

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for this journey. It is not lost on me that Luke’s Gospel ends with a journey theme. From the women to the tomb, then back to the remaining disciples; the walk to Emmaus; to Bethany for the ascension; and back to Jerusalem. This journey isn’t just a physical one, because it is also spiritual. Thank you for helping me see that I am a sinner in need of saving. Thank you for revealing to me that I cannot save myself, and I need Jesus. Thank you for the Holy Spirit and the help I receive as a result. Help me to remain joyful despite my circumstances, and face my future faithfully and unafraid. I pray all this in the name of our Risen Lord Jesus, who we celebrate His birth and expectantly await His return. Amen.