Luke 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.
We marvel at Luke's account of our Lord's post-resurrection appearances, for Luke is very careful to emphasize the wonderful truth that the Savior was not merely a "resurrected spirit," as if that even made any sense. From the very beginning of Gospel proclamation, the physical resurrection of Jesus is at its heart and center. Although many heretical ideas about His resurrection have been in circulation from back then up to now, the eyewitness accounts refute all of them.
Consider first that when Jesus appeared suddenly in the midst of His disciples He reassures them. They were thinking they had seen a ghost, but the Person standing before them was a real, living person in a physical body! He invites them to touch Him. He shows them His hands and His feet—scars from His crucifixion--to prove it was really Jesus! Can anything be clearer: For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have (Luke 24:39). The same thing is reiterated in John when Jesus invites Thomas to look at and touch His hands and side (John 20:27-28).
Second, consider another very compelling proof. He eats! They set before Him broiled fish and honey comb, "And He took it and ate in their presence" (Luke 24:41-43). This is perhaps the most powerful evidence of all. Ghosts don't eat! This act of eating shows that this Person was the same Jesus as before. He was really alive! Luke says the same thing in Acts, To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
Skeptics are at a loss to explain this. Some say that the early church developed the doctrine of the resurrection over a period of time and inserted these stories into the Gospel accounts. The problem with this is that the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus goes as far back as Peter's preaching and was part of an ancient creed scholars accept as in circulation no more than a couple of years after His resurrection:
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Verses 3b-4 is universally recognized by New Testament scholars as being part of an ancient creed with a very early history, not made up by Paul. The Greek word translated delivered in v3 has this very important meaning: "to pass on to another what one knows, of oral or written tradition, hand down, pass on, transmit, relate, teach." (Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich, or BDAG--one of the leading Greek lexicons). This was something Paul himself had received (this Greek word means, receive by tradition) and was now passing on to them!
And so this is not something made up by the church! It was the central part of the church's preaching and teaching from the very beginning.
The resurrection of our Savior is the most powerful doctrine in all of Scripture and proves the existence of God and the deity of Christ. It is the rock, no, the boulder, upon which our faith rests! This is what accounts for the otherwise inexplicable courage of the disciples in Acts. Their fear of death was gone!
Let this great truth change your life also!