I'm posting the rest of Luke early in case you want to read "the rest of the story" before you celebrate Resurrection Sunday with other "disciples of Jesus"!
Apr. 17 – (Luke 23: 1-17) Who became friends over the trial of Jesus? Did you ever wonder how their specific lives changed after their judgments of Jesus? Did their lives get “worse” after encountering Jesus? Did they stay the same or get better? I thought everyone who encounters Jesus is changed forever, in one direction or the other. Let’s think about that.
Apr. 18 – (Luke 23:18-25) Three times (interesting number – Peter’s denials, Jesus internment…) Pilate says he finds no valid charge against Jesus and seeks to release him (23:4, 13-17, 22). Why then do you think he ultimately pronounces the death penalty? Verse 25: “…but he (Pilate) delivered Jesus over to their will.” Tough question: When do we “deliver Jesus” over to our will? Selah!!!
Apr. 19 – (Luke 23:26-43) What interchange does Jesus have with the women in verses 27-31? Jesus knows he is unjustly dying the death of a brigand, a holy revolutionary. If Israel refuses to follow him and repent of violent rebellion against Rome, he knows the fate in store for the nation will make his crucifixion seem mild by comparison. That, of course, is what happens in A.D. 70 when Rome brutally crushes Israel’s revolt. So, he tells the women, if they do this to the green wood, it will be even worse for the dry wood. In other words, if they do this to the prince of peace, we can only imagine what they will do to genuine warlords.
Apr. 20 – (Luke 23:44-56) Luke carefully records the physical phenomena occurring at the point of Jesus’ last breath (vv. 44-45). What meaning can we gain from these events? (See also Heb. 10:19-25.)
What was the Jewish law about being around a dead body? Who left Calvary before Jesus died for that reason? Who stayed? Were Jesus’ followers allowed to go to the synagogue the next day? What sacrifice did they make in staying with Him until the end? Hmm…
Apr. 21 – (Luke 24: 1-12) Are you rejoicing as you read this? What sins have been canceled forever because of the event you just read about? Life is resurrected! Praise the Lord!
Apr. 22 – (Luke 24:13-35) When Jesus was alive, he spoke of his resurrection many times, but nobody had truly heard what he was saying. They thought “resurrection” in that world, was what God would do in the end for all the righteous dead, giving new embodiment to everyone from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob down to the most recent righteous martyrs. They thought the “resurrection” itself would be a large-scale event. After Israel’s great and final suffering, all God’s people would be given new life, new bodies. They never expected just one “man” to be resurrected. That one “man” wasn’t supposed to die yet. They thought he was going to free Israel from the Roman government. Can you imagine being on the road to Emmaus with all these beliefs and thoughts and here is a “man” explaining from the beginning of time how it was all supposed to fit? It makes me wonder what views I have that are distorting what God has for me to do and show others about Him. “Open our eyes Lord!”
The story of the couple on the road to Emmaus frames the entire Gospel with the story of another couple at its beginning in 2:41-52. There, after three days, Mary and Joseph also find the Jesus they thought they had lost. They are also greeted by his strange words about what had to happen, and was necessary to do his Father’s work. Can you see the connection?
Apr. 23 – (Luke 24:36-53) Jesus reveals Himself more fully to the disciples. He gives them encouragement on how to proceed after ascends to heaven. Jesus says He will send the Holy Spirit to guide them after He is not physically with them. For us today we need to study the Bible (just as you are doing now) but we must also listen for the Holy Spirit. For evangelism, we need both as well. What happens when you are strong on one side and weak on the other? Selah
Reflect on your studies of Jesus Christ-his life with people, his death as a criminal, his resurrection. What for you are specific incentives to be his “witness of these things”? How can you take Jesus’ message of new hope and new joy to your community? Selah