“These Are His Words” – Luke 24:36-49
The Third Sunday of Easter (B) 4/15/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL
If our Lord’s Passion was a lot for the disciples to take in, so was the Resurrection… and probably even more so. To see their beloved Rabbi, the Master, alive! To go through being startled and frightened by His sudden appearance to them and then troubled by having to process this all and determine if this was real. Was it a ghost or really and truly their Savior?
As for the “really and truly” part, our Lord puts that to rest in short order. First, by showing them His hands and feet… showing them that He still bears the marks… the scars… where spikes were once painfully, excruciatingly driven in, pinning Him to the cross.
And then, settling the matter, Jesus asks for, receives and eats some food… something no spirit or ghost can do… only the living… only those in the flesh.
Christ truly had risen. And this having been confirmed, our Lord lovingly goes on to settle another important… essential aspect. How all of this… His death and resurrection… fits into all of Scripture and the continuity of the same… the seamless connection, unity and wholeness of the same.
We read, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
“He opened their minds” … that which is key for any and all believers… to have open minds… divinely opened minds… if they… we… are to understand, embrace, confess and live the Christian faith… the Christ-focused, Christ-centered faith.
I doubt anyone here would say they are “closed minded.” Who, if any, would admit the same? But it may still very well be true… to be:
- Closed minded not in regard to the worldly, but the heavenly.
- Closed minded not about the words of men, but rather the very Word of God.
- Closed minded in regard to how much you have taken into your heart and mind regarding what the Lord your God has revealed to you and that you have pretty much “capped that off.”
- Closed minded in regard to the fact that somewhere along the line you decided that enough is enough… that whatever you may have learned in Sunday School and confirmation class (or even parochial school)… whatever theological and spiritual bits and pieces, little gems, you have picked up over the years is sufficient.
- Closed mindedness that is quite obvious and evident by the fact that you either do not have in your possession the Holy Bible or if you do, it is rarely opened and read, poured over and studied.
Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.” (John. 14:23) How can you keep what you do not have? What you do not know?
All of this stands in stark contrast to being “open minded” and always desiring more, pursuing more, learning more as to what your Lord and Savior… the very Word incarnate… the very Word made flesh… the Word alive and living… desires to share with you, convey to you… convey upon you.
Somehow, in various ways all orchestrated by Satan and our own week flesh… we can so easily… arbitrarily… establish what we would consider to be the basics… the essentials as to our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word…
- And that anything more than that… though nice to have… is really just “icing on the cake.” It is not really all that important…
- That anything more than these self-determined basics can be left pretty much to pastors, professors and others.
It’s a lie! It is false and incredibly dangerous, hazardous and downright deadly. For you see, we are not talking about “icing on the cake” here, but rather “the very Bread of life!” With every morsel needed and essential to man… to you… to me.
The truth is, my friends, is that all of Scripture is basic… is essential… to be read, marked, learned and inwardly digested … and this throughout one’s life. There is nothing superfluous about it… in it… ANY of it!
It is to all be known, considered and contemplated… and this by all. Well, that sounds like Law! And it is. God commands it.
- He commands that you know about His love.
- He commands that you know about your Savior and your salvation.
- He commands that you know about the forgiveness that is yours in Christ Jesus… the eternal life that is yours… indeed, the freedom you have from sin, death and the devil… from all that is evil, wicked and deadly.
- God commands that you have all of the wisdom, the peace, the comfort and consolation, the strength and fortitude that is afforded to you… graciously given to you…in His Holy Word… that pours forth from His Holy Word.
Tough commands… aren’t they? Commands that by any other name are joys and privileges… Commands which bestow God’s precious and priceless gifts to all of us… in Jesus Christ.
My friends, as our Lord lovingly sat down with the disciples and opened their minds to the beauty of it all… the beauty of our salvation as it unfolded down throughout time…
… so our risen Savior desires to “sit down” with you… with me… and share the same… to share His love for us all so that we may have true peace… and know true joy and contentment… that all is now well. And it is… Jesus made it so! Amen.
God commands that you have all of the wisdom, the peace, the comfort and consolation, the strength and fortitude that is afforded to you… graciously given to you…in His Holy Word… that pours forth from His Holy Word.