Manna for Today

 

Jesus is Found in the Old Testament (Luke 24:13-35)

 19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  (Luke 24:19-32)

Learn it:

            The scene changes and we are following two followers of Jesus who are walking back home after an intense weekend.  Jesus comes up along side them, keeps his identity hidden, and asks them what they are talking about.  They are shocked that this person has not heard about what has happened in Jerusalem!  They recount everything and are shocked that the tomb where Jesus was buried is empty and that is what they are processing.  What does this empty tomb mean? 

            At this Jesus speaks directly to them and begins to walk through all of Scripture.  He gives them a Bible lesson about what the Old Testament said about the coming Messiah.  The Messiah was going to suffer to fulfill the prophecies.  Throughout all of this they still don’t recognize who this teacher really is.  It is not until they sit down and have dinner with Jesus do, they recognize who he is.  When that happens, he disappears! 

Live it:

            On Monday we were talked about an empty tomb.  The disciples are a little skeptical about what happened to Jesus.  We now have the first eyewitness of Jesus being alive!  What’s interesting is that the disciples did not recognize him right away because they were not expecting a resurrection!  Since they were not expecting that, Jesus gave them a Bible lesson about why they should have been expecting it.  From this passage we learn the importance of God’s word and how all of it points to Jesus.  This should give us more confidence in our faith, and it should draw us closer to studying the Bible.  Even the Old Testament!  It all is good for learning about Jesus. 


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The Impossible Happens (Luke 24:1-12)

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.  (Luke 24:1-12)

Learn it:

            The resurrection of Jesus is hard for many people to believe.  It causes many people to reject Christianity because they do not believe a person can come back to life.  For a person to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead, the Spirit needs to work in their heart.  When the women went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body, they were shocked when he was not there.  The angel told them, “Remember how he told you?”  He’s essentially telling them, “Don’t you remember all the times Jesus told you he was going to die and then come back to life?”  It goes to show you that sometimes when God promises us things, we do not always understand what the promise is! 

            When the women go back to share the incredible news with the disciples even they don’t believe them!  They are skeptical for two reasons.  One, is that culturally back them women were not always trusted as reliable witnesses.  Two, this story would have been hard to believe no matter the gender of the witness.  Peter was the only disciple that had an inkling that what they had said was true and he ran to look for himself.  It led to him being shocked and wondering what had happened.

Live it:     

            What we should take away from this section is how the disciples did not believe in the resurrection when it first happened.  They had to be convinced, a couple of times, and given more evidence.  We can probably relate to them in some of our situations in life.  God has promised us many things.  For example, he would never leave us (Heb. 13:5), he will give us strength (Isaiah 40:29); and we have eternal life (John 3:16). These are just a few!  We must remember that when things look hopeless and impossible God will make a way.  Just like the disciples thought all hope was lost and Jesus abandoned them.  He was still with them.  They just had to be patient a little longer and cling to what he had told them.  We cannot forget the promises God has told us!  Find a way to keep his promises in front of you every day so you can live a confident life in Jesus Christ!


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Going Through the Motions (Luke 23:50-56)

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.  (Luke 23:50-56)

Learn it:

            After Jesus died his body is treated just like any other person.  A man by the name of Joseph takes interest in caring for Jesus’ body.  He wants it to be treated with respect and wants it to be buried in a nice tomb.  We see that some Jews liked Jesus and were waiting for him to bring the kingdom of God.  Joseph wanted to get Jesus’ body buried that evening because the Sabbath was the next day.  We are also introduced to some women who also wanted to help prepare Jesus’ body in the tomb.  They also appeared to be righteous Jews who obeyed the law of the Sabbath.

            What’s interesting is that his disciples are no where to be seen.  Even though Jesus predicted his death and resurrection many times to them, it did not sink in.  They were so distraught at the sight of Jesus being crucified that they with drew themselves.  No one was expecting the resurrection it was going to be a surprise to everyone.  It was not something that was planned or faked.  The biggest miracle mankind will ever witness was about to happen.

Live it:

            We must keep our eyes open all the time for the movement of God.  In this passage people are going through the normal traditions of burying someone.  There is grieving and confusion going on, but God is still active.  He is about to do something that will change everything!  In your life if you feel like you are just going through the motions and nothing is going to be different.  Know that God could be working on something big.  If you are looking for deliverance it could be around the corner.  Persevere and keep having faith.  God has not forgotten you and he will give you the strength to endure and we can overcome anything through the Holy Spirit. 


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The Cross (Luke 23:26-49)

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.  (Luke 23:32-49)

Learn it:

            When Jesus is taken to the cross Luke gives us the scene from many different perspectives.  We read about the women weeping and crying over the events.  There are soldiers mocking him and gambling away Jesus’ clothes.  Others in the crowd are throwing insults at Jesus.  We even have a conversation Jesus has with two other criminals who are also being crucified!  One wants Jesus to prove his identity by saving all three of them.  While the other criminal rightly sees Jesus as the innocent Son of God.  There is SO much going on in this passage! 

            Throughout the whole passage Jesus continue to show mercy and grace.  He prays for his enemies, that their sins might be forgiven.  He does not fight or struggle against them as they crucify him.  He even is saves a person while on the cross!  He is so focused on the mission the Father sent him to do.  Who is Jesus?  Whose story do we believe?  I believe the quote of the centurion at the end of the passage summarizes what everyone was thinking, “Surely this was a righteous man.”  People began to realize who Jesus was once he died and all the signs began to happen. 

Live it: 

            The story of the Bible is about God bringing his creation into a right relationship with him.  Creation has always been rebelling against God.  God has sent people to speak his truths and to give them laws to follow so that they may have a relationship with Him.  God was paving the way for this moment, where He would send his Son as the perfect sacrifice for creation.  To allow man and God to be united together if people accept the sacrifice of Jesus.  Have you accepted Jesus’ sacrifice?  Do you recognize him as the Son of God who paid the price for your sins?  If not and you have questions about it, please reach out to me I’d love to talk to you about it.  If so, praise God and never forget the cost for the freedom you have.  Live a life worthy of the sacrifice of Christ. 


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Pastor’s Corner