A Parting Gift – Luke 24:45
Jesus poured His life into His disciples for three years. Steadily He taught them His ways, the ways of God. Beginning with their call to be with Him: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
And each day, through His personal example of simple godliness and disciplines, like humility and personal prayer, and the consistency of His teaching and exhortation to love and live selfless lives, He revealed more and more of the Heart of the Father.
The disciples, for their part, remained in awe most of the time, continually amazed by Jesus. He was Emmanuel and they were His inner circle; He was the Good Shepherd and they were His little flock.
Then, after His resurrection, as He completed the work of the Messiah in the physical plain, He prepared the disciples to follow in His steps and take the message to the nations.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:46-48
So Jesus sums up the message the disciples would take to the nations by reiterating the primacy of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Just as the apostle Paul would later write, that the Gospel of Jesus, (His death, burial, and resurrection) is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). And, his only message, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ would truly divide history and make possible restored life with God through repentance and remission of sins, so Jesus took the time after His resurrection to review the Scriptures (our Old Testament) to show how all of history had led to that point and fulfilled the promises of God to mankind.
“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” (44)
To see the scarlet thread of redemption through Christ weaved through the Old Testament is glorious. Jesus shared this in detail with the disciples and then, on top of this, gave them a most precious gift. A parting gift of sorts. The future relationship of mankind with their Creator was an impossibly big task for anyone, let alone a dozen good-hearted ordinary guys like the disciples. But one man, with Christ, is a majority, and Jesus provided just the gift needed for their preparation.
"And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." (45)
I've wondered how Peter, James, and John seemed to become theologians overnight after Pentecost and the Holy Spirit had come upon them in power, and it is this, that Jesus gave them the key to the scriptures, He opened up their understanding.
Oh, how I pray that Christ would pour this same spirit upon us and that we would return to the apostles teaching and understanding of the Scriptures. Because we have become so splintered, each one educated to perpetuate relatively new branches of theology while ignoring the root, the apostles teaching.
"Father, open our understanding, that we might comprehend the Scriptures and continue to learn, not from modern winds of doctrine that tickle the ears, but from the early church fathers, the apostles, and martyrs, the holy men and women of the faith, who gave their lives to establish the faith. Show us again that scarlet thread that speaks of You, and restore to us the passion for the cross that once drove a small group of men and women to renounce their personal comforts, and change the world."