devotion 4-6-15

Good Morning! I pray you all had a blessed Easter! We enjoyed beautiful services here on Big Pine, at sunrise, at 10 AM, and at Coffee House at 6:30 PM! Happy Day After the Resurrection!But in our study of Luke, Jesus is still on the way to Jerusalem:

Luke 18:31-34

31Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” 34But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

Luke leaves behind the conflict with the Pharisees, for a time, and once more predicts his own coming death. He takes the twelve aside and once last time tells them that when they reach Jerusalem all the prophecies will be fulfilled.

He gives details of his coming betrayal and persecution – he will be handed over to the Gentiles (he is handed over to Pilate and the Roman soldiers with an accusation of treason); he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon (both the soldiers and followers of the high priest Caiaphas and the soldiers of Pilate will fulfill this dreadful prediction – even on the cross they mocked him); after they have flogged him – and indeed the Roman soldiers flog him almost to the point of death; they will kill him – they crucified him on a Roman cross. And on the third day he will rise again – he did rise, as we celebrate Easter Sunday – Christ Jesus lives today!

But the disciples could not understand what Jesus was saying. Luke says that understanding was hidden from them – how could they understand all that Jesus’ death and resurrection implied? But they did remember, even though they puzzled over the words, and did not understand at the time, they remembered. If Jesus spoke to the twelve, one of them had to have told Luke, or someone from whom Luke received the information, about it. They will understand later, by revelation, by the Spirit, what they cannot understand at the time.

The early church would struggle even many years later to understand – and as they worked it out, would put aside rumors and claims, that someone else was crucified instead (the Muslims and Jews believe that today), that Jesus was given a drug that made him appear to be dead, etc. But the truth is – Jesus Christ died on the cross, and on the third day rose from the dead. The early church developed creeds to affirm that fact – the Apostles Creed, the Nicean Creed, and others, as they clarified over time what had happened.

Jesus’ words here emphasized that he would be persecuted, he would suffer, and he would die. When he was crucified, the disciples remembered this. They did not remember that he had also said he would rise!

“He arose a victor o’er the dark domain, and he lives forever with his saints to reign! He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose!”

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