Teachings from Moses and the prophets

Luke 24. 36b-49

There are five appearances on the day of the Resurrection:

First to Mary Magdalene, (John 20) another to the women who visited the tomb, (Matthew 28) by Peter alone, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15, although there is no actual narrative about this. Then he appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus,(Luke 24) and finally at night in this account to the eleven.

Mary Magdalene was overwhelmed and tried to hold onto Jesus, the women were too, they reached out and grasped his feet and worshipped him. The disciples on the road to Emmaus, reported that their hearts had burned within them, and they travelled all the way back to Jerusalem. John’s account says that the eleven disciples were overjoyed to see Jesus; (John of course would have been) but this passage from Luke records that the disciples were startled and terrified!

Wouldn’t you be startled and terrified, if someone you had denied or deserted, or let down ‘big time’ came back from death. Wouldn’t you feel guilty, ashamed, afraid or even all of these.

But Jesus keeps repeating gently to them, Peace be with you!

First of all…

1) He comes to give them reassurance and comfort. He doesn’t even mention to them their shortcomings, he brings his peace.

This scene reminds me of the exact kind of peace Joseph brings to his eleven brothers, in the OT story, when he was in a position to destroy them or condemn them. He says, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt, and now do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.!’…..to save your lives by a great deliverance!’

Does Jesus speak to us today to our minds and our troublesome thoughts, to put them out of our minds, to set aside our doubts. We’ve got everything to be happy about!

2) He comes to show them that his resurrection is a reality through their sight and their touch, saying in effect:-It is I myself! It is the same body that was crucified. Look at my hands and my feet! See the nail prints, this is no borrowed body! It’s the one that died! This is no hallucination, you can’t touch a ghost, a ghost does not have flesh and ones…bring me something to eat….a ghost does not eat! This is a real and true body!

Does Jesus speak to us today to rediscover the joy of the resurrection, with all its implications for our future into eternity?

3) He comes to show them that the cross was part of God’s plan for the world. He tells them that everything that was written about him in the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms had to be fulfilled. And he begins to teach them. These comparisons were considered important enough to be threaded into and throughout the gospels by the gospel writers and these have been handed down to us. (Provide leaflet of some of these quotations, set out for us alongside the Holy Week readings, as handouts…SEE BELOW)

Jesus shows here that his was not just another death, but one that was central to God’s plan for all people. The cross was necessary. OT Scripture looked towards it, NT writings give a graphical account of it.

Imagine the narrowest point of a giant eggtimer, this is for me the cross! The culmination of God’s plan for his people, the main focal point of history which speaks of God’s love for us, the entry point of salvation, a narrow position that only one person could hold up and offer.

What went before is the Promise, what comes out is the Fulfilment of the Promise. He was opening their minds to understand all this. We too are called to help others understand this too

Jesus comes to reassure us today that we too are part of God’s plan for the world, and that we too, need a clear understanding of the importance of the cross.

4) Jesus came to tell them to tell others, not to remain forever in the comfort and safety of the upper room, but to let others know too.

The message of repentance and forgiveness needed to be taken into the whole world taken.

The task was urgent, they were his witnesses, and they were to begin telling others in Jerusalem, where all this took place, the same city where his enemies who had crucified him were, the place he wanted God’s forgiveness to first be demonstrated, and also the place Scripture dictated it should be heard.

‘The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem!’ (Isaiah 2.3) Their work had begun. The day of sorrow was past.

Jesus urgent words then are just as urgent now, if not more so as the day of his Second Coming gets nearer.

But finally they needed to be equipped first, as do we! And in verse 49, the last verse of this chapter, (which has been missed out today) is one, which gives Jesus’ final instruction in this appearance.

5) Jesus came to tell them not to go out immediately, they needed to be equipped with power.

‘Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high!’ He told them.

Action without thought, preparation and empowerment must surely fail!

Pentecost would become their springboard, their starting block and as such they were told to wait upon God and pray, not to go anywhere or do anything, until the power had fallen on them.

How many times do we act in our own strength, within the framework of our own timetables with great haste and using a lot of energy into tasks God has not put our way?

So let us pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to fill us again, for all that God has planned for each of us in his service.

Old Testament PROPHECIES concerning the Messiah (see point 3)

Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look your king is coming, riding on a donkey. Zech 9.9

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel. Psalm 118.25-26

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone Psalm 118.22

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting Isaiah 50. 6-7

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbours, an object of dread to my acquaintances…..

They scheme together against me, and plot to take my life.

Psalm 31. 11-13

I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open eyes that are blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those that sit in darkness. Isaiah 42. 6-7

Your lamb will be without blemish….

When I see the blood I shall pass over you…Exodus 12. 5 &13

In Isaiah 52 alone….all these…

He shall be exalted and lifted up….

They were astonished at him, so marred was his appearance…

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity.

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases, yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

…the Lord has laid on him, the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter…

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

He poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

From Psalm 22 alone:

My God, my God why have you forsaken me?

All who see me laugh to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let him deliver him, let him deliver him if he delights in him!’

I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint, my heart has become like wax, melting in the depths of my body. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaves to my gums.

…the pack of evildoers close in on me, they pierce my hands and feet.

I can count all my bones;

They all stand staring and looking upon me. They divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

Not a bone of his will be broken… Exodus 12.46

I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has punished me sorely, but has not given me over to death. Psalm 118. 18

The gospel writers often quote these words from the Old Testament, as well as these below, in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus but there are many others which they quote to do with his life, his ministry and also his birth.

I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

Zechariah 13. 7

They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel. Zechariah 11 12-13.

You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. Psalm 16.10

The kings of earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. Psalm 2.1-2

Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look your king is coming, riding on a donkey. Zech 9.9

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel. Psalm 118.25-26

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone Psalm 118.22

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting Isaiah 50. 6-7

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbours, an object of dread to my acquaintances…..

They scheme together against me, and plot to take my life.

Psalm 31. 11-13

I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open eyes that are blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those that sit in darkness. Isaiah 42. 6-7

Your lamb will be without blemish….

When I see the blood I shall pass over you…Exodus 12. 5 &13

In Isaiah 52 alone….all these…

He shall be exalted and lifted up….

They were astonished at him, so marred was his appearance…

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity.

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases, yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

…the Lord has laid on him, the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter…

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

He poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

From Psalm 22 alone:

My God, my God why have you forsaken me?

All who see me laugh to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let him deliver him, let him deliver him if he delights in him!’

I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint, my heart has become like wax, melting in the depths of my body. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaves to my gums.

…the pack of evildoers close in on me, they pierce my hands and feet.

I can count all my bones;

They all stand staring and looking upon me. They divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

Not a bone of his will be broken… Exodus 12.46

I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has punished me sorely, but has not given me over to death. Psalm 118. 18

The gospel writers often quote these words from the Old Testament, as well as these below, in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus but there are many others which they quote to do with his life, his ministry and also his birth.

I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

Zechariah 13. 7

They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel. Zechariah 11 12-13.

You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. Psalm 16.10

The kings of earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. Psalm 2.1-2