Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day, this gift from God, we are in the 23d Chapter on Luke on our read a Chapter of Luke each day Challenge.
We will focus on the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the central facto of Christian history. On it, the church is built, without it , there would be no Christian church today. Jesus' resurrection is unique. Other religions have strong ethical systems, concepts about paradise and the afterlife, and various holy scriptures. Only Christianity has a God who became human, literally died for His people and was raised again in power and glory to rule the church forever.
Because Christ was raised from the dead, we know that the Kingdom of Heaven has broken into earths history and our world is now headed for redemption, not disaster. God's mighty power is at work destroying sin, creating new lives and preparing us for Jesus' second coming.
We know because of the resurrection gives authority to the church's witness in the world. It was the most important message the apostles shared that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
It gives great meaning to the church's sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The Resurrection helps us find meaning in great tragedy. It assures us Jesus is alive and ruling His Kingdom. God's power brought Jesus back from the dead and is available to us so that we can live for Him in an evil world.
Luke 24:1-8 reads:
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn't find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, "Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He is risen 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 that he would rise again on the third day." Then they remembered that he had said this.
Don't you just love "the women" and their example of faithfulness? Their faithful commitment to the Lord enabled them to discover God's incredible miracle with Jesus — they were the first to learn of his resurrection! However, the most powerful insight in this passage to me is the simple sentence at the end: "Then they remembered that he had said this." Jesus' resurrection changes everything. One of the most important areas of change, however, was in the memory of his most faithful disciples. After the resurrection, things Jesus had said in his ministry came flooding back into their minds with understanding, excitement, and conviction. Promises that seemed obscure were suddenly made clear. Prophetic words that seemed undiscoverable were uncovered and seen in their full glory. Their insight is to be our insight as well. All of Jesus' ministry, his healing, and his teaching can now be more fully understood on this side of the resurrection. As we approach the end of this year's journey through the Gospel of Luke, let's be reminded that Jesus' actions and words were validated and empowered by the resurrection.
Father, as we study your Son's life on earth, please never let us never forget that He died for our sins and was raised back to life with power. Help us feel the conviction that His promises are true, hHs teaching is proven, and His service is worth our all because it is demonstrates to be the way that we should live our lives here and the way that leads to eternal life. In Jesus' name, we ask this. Amen.