Along with many others, I saw various challenges put out to read the Gospel of Luke during the month of December. One chapter a day, finishing on Dec 24th. Since our church has been going through Luke’s Gospel for sometime, I thought it a great plan to read familiar passages each day.
Like the other Gospels, Luke ends with the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Yesterday, the 23rd, I was reminded of the cruel cross and the evil plot of the enemy to silence once and for all the Son of God. That move by hateful people was superseded by the very gracious plan of God all along.
Jesus was born to die. So that when we die, we live.
Repeatedly in Luke, we’re told why He came and what would come of His journey to Jerusalem.
Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:6-7, 44
I love the story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus. The best part was when the men realized who they’d been listening to along the way. Later that same day Jesus appeared to the other disciples and the same thing happens. Here’s how Luke says it:
30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:30-31, 45–47
By the telling of the story of Christ through all the Scriptures, by the breaking of bread (how familiar that must have seen!) and the prayer of Jesus, He opened their eyes. When Jesus again articulates His complete mission in vs 46, He then leaves them with the commission to carry it forward. Our eyes have been opened.
Are we helping others see Jesus?
Imagine, watching the Son of God ascend into the heavens.
Reading that on Dec 24th as we gather to celebrate His first coming reminds us of the mission. To look for His coming and tell everyone about repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Merry Christmas, with eyes wide open for His return!