May 18, 2019

Then They Understood

Luke 24:13-35

“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”

—  Luke 24:26

After he rose from the dead, Jesus began to prepare his followers for his departure. What was the significance of his life and ministry? What did his resurrection mean?

As he showed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, it’s helpful to start with the facts. Jesus is a prophet, powerful in word and deed. But like his disciples, who had hoped for a political savior, we often hope that Jesus will do something for us. We want Christ to make us successful, relieve our loneliness, free us from an uncomfortable situation at work, and more.

Jesus is a powerful prophet, but—as the ascension shows— he is infinitely more. As he walked alongside two confused followers on the road, Jesus opened the story of the Scriptures to them. The Bible tells the epic story of our rescue from sin by God’s power. We deserve death and eternal condemnation, but God has saved us through the work of Jesus.

Many people today have the basic facts about Jesus, but we are still learning to put together the larger story. As we follow Jesus in this world, we need more than just earthly comfort. We need to understand God’s plan to rescue sinners—to rescue us and others. We also need to understand his love for the world (see John 3:16).

May our hearts burn within us as we seek to understand the glory of Jesus for our living each day.

Holy Spirit, show us the glory of the ascended Jesus. Open the Scriptures to us so that we understand his saving work. In his saving name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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