We ended up enjoying an Easter Sunday, by ourselves this year. Last night we enjoyed an Easter-Eve dinner at the Ewing’s residence with some people that are part of the PrimeTimers group from Timberline. This morning we slept in a little. I worked on a monthly report for my work and then after a nice nap, we head out for an early dinner. It was nice to get some of the Easter Sunday pictures of our Children and grandchildren.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:45-47 HCSB
Looking back it is always easier to see, what was so easily missed or misunderstood. As we stand on “this side of the cross and resurrection” we know the “rest of the story.” We know the meaning of all that took place through the crucifixion and resurrection.
However, for the disciples of Jesus and those who followed Him, all the events of His final days, just looked like a tragic end to a life taken way too soon. They would hide in fear, not knowing if “they were next.” Their lives were filled with confusion and turmoil.
To the Jewish leaders, the death of Jesus was getting rid of the one who condemned them and was viewed as undermining their authority.
To the Pilate and the Romans, it was just another death. They seemed to take greater delight in this one as witnessed by their mocking and taunts.
To the masses, it was an unjust death of a great teacher and miracle worker. It was probably a lesson that when you cross the religious system of the day, this is what happens.
At the time of His baptism, John declared Jesus, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) During His ministry Jesus, warned and tried to prepare His disciples about what He would face, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21 NIV)
They were not only confused by Jesus words, Peter even rebuked Him, not being able to understand how those events would be in God’s plan and purpose.
When Jesus rose from the dead, there was wonder, amazement, and confusion mixed with unbelief. During one of His post-resurrection appearances to His disciple, Jesus confronts their unbelief and tells them plainly why all that had taken place had to happen and what it meant to them. “He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” They were able to see all that had taken place was the fulfillment of that which the prophets had spoken. They understood the “new covenant” that Jesus had told the about, that He was coming to make with all humanity.
Their assignment was to, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15 NLT) They were able to do so, understanding the contrast between what they saw, and what was being accomplished.
- They saw Him being bruised, but He was bringing peace
- They saw He was being pierced, but He was easing pain
- They saw Him being persecuted, but He was bringing life
- They saw Him risen, but He was bringing power
- They saw Him ascend to the Father, but He was bringing peace.
Just like the disciples, there are many things in our life we don’t understand the significance when they are taking place. But when we have confidence in God’s plan and purpose for our life, we know that “He can open our minds to understand.” That may not happen in this life, but in the end we will be able to see that which was happening in our life was not outside of God’s care and watchful concern. The new life beyond the tomb was not just for Jesus, it was for His disciples and all who place their faith in Him as well.