Doctor Luke, the Historian and man of God, used by God to pen two important and vitals Books in the New Testament, applied meticulous scrutiny of all materials received and compiled the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles … under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. Although I mentioned yesterday that we would start Luke’s second volume (The Acts of the Apostle) today … we need to start in Luke 24. Without seeing repetition or duplication, we need to see continuity.
1) Jesus was crucified, dead and buried and rose again on the Third Day. After His meeting with the two disciples on the Emmaus Road, the Eleven heard this message
Lk 24:34 “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Luke’s flow is easy to follow … so, let’s read:
Lk 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
2) Jesus reminded the Eleven that every prophecy about Him in the Old Testament needed to be fulfilled (24:44). Like us, without understanding Biblical Theology, we would not be able to understand that the Old Testament is all about Jesus AND that everything that would happen to Him is recorded there. This is why …
3) Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (24:45). That is, to understand that the Scriptures are all about Him. He needed to remove the spiritual cloud preventing them from understanding He is Messiah and He is the fulfillment of all the Messianic prophecies. Remember they were expecting a Messiah to come and deliver them from the “iron claw” of the Roman Empire, who would restore the economy, create employment and fight their wars. They wanted a return of a type of king David. God however gave them a Messiah that fitted His salvific plans, not their localized political and military needs. Nowhere in the Old Testament did God promise them a Messiah they wanted! Like so often today, they superimposed their will upon the will of God …and failed! They needed to grasp that Jesus was the final High Priest, who offered Himself as the final sacrificial offering on the final altar, the Cross. They needed to understand that Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself was “a once for all sin” offering. They needed to grasp that Jesus was the final High Priest, who offered Himself as the final sacrificial offering on the final altar, the Cross. They needed to understand that Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself was “a once for all sin” offering, never to be repeated again. They needed to understand that the Old Covenant was now obsolete and to now sacrifice an animal as a sin offering would negate what Jesus had already done for them.
Heb 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
4) Jesus reminds them of His purpose, which was accomplished (24:46). It might be good here to clarify a few issues.
(1) The Gospel is not … The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. One needs to grasp why the need for the Christ. It is because of sin. This takes us to God’s goodness in creation, meaning the first parents were good, sinless and imaging God perfectly. But it did not remain like this. Man fell into sin, losing his innocence and became a sinner. He was banished from God’s sight and presence. Then one needs to grasp what the Christ would be. The Christ would be sinless and only God could be and is sinless. This means the Christ would be God Incarnate! As prophesied, He would come into this world as a human, born of a virgin without a human father so that the sinful nature would not be transferred to Him. He would minster, preach and teach coupled to doing the miraculous … all building up to what He would do. He would suffer! A clear understanding of what “suffering” would be is needed. Everything from being deserted (disciples) and denied (Peter), to the arrest, court cases, being mocked, beaten, whipped, insulted and crucified must be highlighted. But all that would be useless unless there is an understanding as to why this was needed and what it means to God and to the believer. You see, God is holy and hates sin. Sin must be punished. God wrath must fall upon sin to deal with it fully and finally. Jesus as the sacrifice was, substitutional, penal and final. God the Father accepted His Son Jesus’ offering because this sacrifice, unlike that of bulls and goats, met His full legal requirements. For the one who believes, he or she is forgiven of all sin and guilt as the Blood of Jesus is applied to this one’s account. He or she is adopted into God’s eternal family being redeemed and owned by God as the Eternal Parent of the adopted child. This child is now credited with the righteousness of Jesus, seen as God’s saint and guaranteed a place in heaven at death. Although the whole process is one of love, it is legally binding by God and the believer.
(2) The Gospel offer requires two fundamental issues. The first is repentance. This presupposes faith in God, in the Blood Sacrifice, confession of sin leading to new life which is repentance. That is what the believer needs to do! The second is what God does … forgives sin. When God forgives it is very different to when man forgives. Because God the Father receives Jesus’ sacrificial offering on behalf of the believer, forgiveness is full and final. All sin and all guilt, past, present and future are covered and dealt with never to be raised again. This does not mean we can relapse into wicked living because that would prove “no repentance”. We will return to this tomorrow.
Father, thank You that Your Son satisfied Your legal requirements through His once time offering of Himself. Lord, thank You for a perfect, eternal salvation. Amen.