Monday, April 25, 2011
Easter Monday: A Devotional Commentary
Acts 10:34-43 Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all—you yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also killed, hanging him on a tree. God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.”
Luke 24:13-35 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. It happened, while they talked and questioned together, that Jesus himself came near, and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?” He said to them, “What things?” They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.” He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. They drew near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further. They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” He went in to stay with them. It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. They said one to another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
The Lord is risen indeed! We know that because our God is raised, we too shall be partakers in the resurrection. We await His glorious appearing. We often doubt the testimony of His resurrection just as these disciples did--it's just too good to be true! But it is true! All the Scriptures testify of Jesus--of His suffering for us and death for us and resurrection for us. Christ has dashed our enemies to pieces--sin, death, and the devil. Christ has ascended but He is still present with us. We need not look for some mystical experience and certainly should not be looking inside of ourselves. Jesus is given to us in the preaching of the Gospel. You do not need not go on some pilgrimage or say magic words. As the bumper sticker says, "I found Jesus, He was in the bread and wine the whole time." Jesus makes His presence known in the breaking of the bread. In the Holy Supper Christ gives us His very body to eat and His blood to drink for the forgiveness of our sins.
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 12:01 AM