– Chapter 24 of Luke Says It All –
I usually learn something new each time that I read a passage in the Bible. Even if its a passage that I’ve read before. When I read a passage, something new stands out; a sentence, a word, or a message that I didn’t pick up on before.
Chapter 24 of Luke
Such was the case during a recent Bible study that I attended during Easter week. During this study, we were reading and discussing one chapter in Luke. It was chapter 24, which describes the resurrection of Jesus. I’ve read this passage a few times prior to the study.
It describes how four women went to Jesus’s tomb, found it was empty, encountered two angels, and then went back to tell the other disciples what they saw. Then it describes two disciples walking to Emmaus and encountering Jesus. The final passages describe Jesus appearing to his disciples and later ascending to heaven.
When I read it this time, there was a similar message that stood out in each of the settings that I mentioned above. When the women go to the tomb, they are expecting to find Jesus’s dead body. When they encounter the angels, one says “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” And then in verses 6 and 7, he reminds them what Jesus told them – “Remember how he told you, ……. that the Son of Man must be handed over to the sinners, and be crucified, and then rise again.”
Later during the walk to Emmaus, the two disciples are discussing what happened to Jesus and lamenting the loss of him as a redeemer. Later in the discussion, Jesus chides the two for not remembering when he says – “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” He then interprets for them all the things about him that are foretold in the scriptures and ” their eyes were opened”.
Then Jesus joins a larger group of disciples in a room. They are overjoyed to see him. He reminds them -“..everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” In verse 46, he says to them – “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise again from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations,.. “.
When you read this chapter, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the statements and reactions of the other characters (the women, the disciples). But if you focus on the angels and Jesus, we are reminded three times why Jesus came to earth. Jesus was fulfilling what was prophesized in the Old Testament. He came as the Messiah to save us. Not as a warrior or like one of the kings that we read about in the Old Testament, but to pay the price for our sins. He came to forgive us. He gives us the opportunity to join him in his kingdom where he ascended and sits at the right hand of his Father.
That’s the main message of the New Testament and it’s summarized right there in Chapter 24 of Luke.