The Eighth Day Dawns
Living Lord, above all else, I want to know You, love You, and obey You. Speak to me from Your Word now.
Read LUKE 24:36-53
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“After the resurrection, Jesus no longer belonged to this narrow, material world, with its time and space restrictions: he belonged to that ample, higher world of spirit which alone is real and eternal” (James S. Stewart).
Doubt continues to linger in the disciples’ hearts, despite the testimony of the angels, of the women, of Peter, and of the Emmaus travelers. For the great majority, these testimonies are mere hearsay. Now, the last vestiges of despair are dispelled as the risen Jesus suddenly appears in person to the assembled disciples (36). Jesus first convinces them of his identity, and then of the reality of his body. Jesus’ resurrection body is transformed and possesses new powers, such as the ability to pass through locked doors. The physical body of Jesus buried in the tomb was raised “a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). Nevertheless, it retains its physical nature, also; it can be seen and touched as well as having the ability to eat and digest common food (42,43). The disciples are so overjoyed that the pain and anguish of “Holy Saturday” are forgotten. This joy remains even after Jesus leaves them to ascend to heaven (52,53).
Jesus’ ministry during the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension fulfills two objectives. One is to present convincing proof that he is, indeed, alive. The other is to ensure that the disciples are fully aware of the master plan in which his death and resurrection are pivotal. That plan is found in the Old Testament (44-47) and contains four parts. First, the Messiah must suffer and rise again. Second, all nations must be told in Christ’s name to turn to God and be forgiven. Third, the disciples must tell everything that has happened. Fourth, they must wait until the Spirit is given.
The first and fourth parts have been completed. The Messiah has come. The Spirit has been given. It’s now up to us to carry out parts two and three! Will you treat your part as a “must do” activity?
How are you carrying out your part of the master plan? Rely on the presence of Jesus and the power of the Spirit.
Sovereign Lord, renew my heart for world evangelization. May my heart beat with Your heart for the nations.
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