We can always trust the Bible to explain Jesus’ place in God’s plan as well as our own place in God’s plan.
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 Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the 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.”
We can always trust the bible to explain Jesus’ place in God’s plan as well as our own place in God’s plan.
The disciples were confused about how to make sense of a once dead and now risen Jesus. In verses 33 to 43, we are told that the disciples had just witnessed Jesus appearing among them and eating! Talking to a once dead person would have been quite the experience, quite shocking to the senses, breaking almost every known rule about life in this world! It raises the question – where should the disciples turn to understand what has gone on?
Jesus does not delay in taking the disciples to the scriptures (verse 44), the Bible of their time (the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms). It’s quite instructive that Jesus, God’s Messiah, God himself so quickly takes the disciples to the scriptures rather than just using his own words. Jesus takes the time to show the disciples how “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me…” It was central to God’s plan that Jesus should fulfil was said about him centuries before he arrived in history, from Genesis through to the Prophets. The scriptures explain how central Jesus is in God’s plan to redeem his people.
Jesus then goes on to place the disciples in God’s plan. In verse 47, Jesus describes the disciples starting the process of preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name to all nations. And to achieve this, Jesus promises the disciples power from on high. In Luke’s account of Jesus and the disciples in the book of Acts, we learn that the power Jesus is hinting at in these verses in the Gospel of Luke is in fact the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In Chapter 2 of Acts, we see all of Jesus’ words regarding the declaration of forgiveness and repentance, starting at Jerusalem and then to all nations, empowered by the Holy Spirit fulfilled (e.g. Acts 2:5; 2:21; 2:38-39).
These verses are a reminder that we can trust the Bible and should turn to them quickly, just like Jesus did. We also see in these verses the call to be a part of God’s plan – announcing Jesus’ death and resurrection to all nations, the need for repentance, the offer of full forgiveness and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Head: Think about Jesus’ claim that everything said about him in the scriptures has been fulfilled. How high has the bar been set? What does it say about Jesus and the Bible to know that everything has been fulfilled?
Heart: What events in life do I find confusing? Where do I turn to find my answers?
Hands: Which people around me are going through confusing times? How can I pray today for them? How can I use stories, experiences, parables in the scriptures to bring a level of greater understanding, centred on Jesus?
Thank you Father for the gift of Jesus – that he came to this world, died and rose again to bring forgiveness of sin. Thank you for the gift of the Bible, that in the Bible we find expectations about Jesus that are fulfilled centuries later. Help me to trust Jesus, through the Bible today to make sense of my confusing life. Help me to be a part of your plan in announcing everything that Jesus has accomplished.
A song to listen to: Amazing grace
Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina