Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

LUKE 24:36b-48

36 Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, “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, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

What proved eventually to have more persuasive value than the appearance stories that were circulating among Christians was what might be called the “argument from the scriptures.” Since the Jewish population made up the major field of earliest Christian outreach, a basis for believing in Jesus as God’s messiah had to be generated out of the writings and traditions that held their respect. Granted an undeniable liberty in the early Christian handling of the texts, there was still something to be said for the discernible current of God’s promise in scripture and its fulfillment in history.

Whether their method used in interpreting the Bible was water-tight and logically sound or not, these early believers found confirmation of their resurrection experience in the sacred texts. The writings themselves testified to a process unfolding through time, various names for which were grace, blessing, redemption, and salvation.

Time and again, this grace had broken through and passed beyond the obstacles of human neglect, habit, rebellion, and oppression, in order to achieve its realization at the next level and for a new generation. What to all appearances had been ignored as without value, discarded as useless and abandoned as hopeless, had become, time and again, the very means through which the divine blessing advanced.

That’s what had happened! What had seemed dead and gone was experienced as alive and present, gathering heat like a glowing ember in the depths of the heart, where hope is born ever new.