Monday, April 16, 2007

The Risen Christ and Scripture

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day . . .

Luke 24:44

This was one of the passages I taught my Sunday School yesterday. It wasn’t until I was preparing the session that the import of these verses hit me, something very basic I’ve missed before.

This is from the Risen Christ’s first appearance to His disciples as a group (if I have the chronology right. Upon further study, it seems possible that Luke may be summarizing a lot here that occurred between the Resurrection and the Ascension. Any thoughts on that?). Yet he spends much of the time teaching the scriptures to them.

Think about that. Christ Himself is with them. It may be His first time with them after the Resurrection. And he doesn’t have long to be with them, the Ascension being no more than 40 days away. Yet he spends a lot of time digging into the scriptures with them.

That says volumes about the priority Jesus gave the scriptures and about the weight he placed on their authority.

People of all church backgrounds would do well to take note of this neglected aspect of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances (which can also be seen on the Road to Emmaus, a favorite passage of mine, in Luke 24:27).

Liberals insist Jesus is their Lord. Yet most of them don’t share His priority of the authority and teaching of scripture. That’s not right.

People of a more conservative bent likewise insist Jesus is their Lord and do believe the Bible is authoritative. Yet how many of them make the lamest excuses (to themselves mainly) to neglect reading the scriptures. That’s not right.

Yesterday, I taught on our response to the Resurrection. A big part of our response must be to place the same priority on the scriptures that Jesus did and to dig into them!

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