Summary: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem” Luke 24:47.
Theme: The role of Christ in understanding the Scriptures
The good news is that eternal life results from knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord? All prophecies about Him in the Scriptures have been fulfilled and if we believe the “Word of God” is the truth why do we find difficulty in believing what it says? When John the Baptist in captivity began to doubt the truth about Jesus being the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask Him whether He was the One or whether they should expect another. Jesus answered by pointing to the effects His ministry had on the people. “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor”. Jesus Christ, in effect, was referring John the Baptist directly to the scriptures. John the Baptist of all people knew the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the Messiah and all that Jesus was doing fulfilled that prophecy in its entirety. We today like John the Baptist, can allow our circumstances to cloud our understanding of Scripture and create doubt in our minds. We need to renew our minds and remain focused on the truths revealed in the Word of God.
The study of the Word of God is necessary for our spiritual well being. It originates with God and is therefore the source of truth. John 1:1 declares “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. “All Scripture is breathed out by God.” (Timothy 3:16). Some people have tried to disprove the claim that the Bible is the Word of God because it was written by men. It may have been written by men but these men were inspired by the Holy Spirit and only wrote what they were inspired to write. The best person to interpret the Word of God is the One wrote it, the Holy Spirit. The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God and we rightfully speak of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
How can man send satellites into space and communicate with them millions of miles away yet doubt the ability of God to communicate with His creation. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. God has given us His Holy Spirit so that He can communicate with us. Jesus spoke of Him as a Person saying in John 16:13 “However when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you unto all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come”. The apostle Paul, trained by Gamaliel, a famous teacher of his day, could not understand the revelations of the Scriptures because his spirit was dead. When the Holy Spirit gave his spirit life and took residence in his quickened spirit, he suddenly understood the revelations of Scripture. Before he understood the words “Cursed is he who hangs on a tree” to mean that Jesus was a cursed person and could not possibly be the Messiah. When he received the Holy Spirit, he understood everything perfectly. He no longer saw the cross as the evidence that Jesus was under the curse of God but understood that Jesus was made a curse because of our sin so that we could be delivered from the curse and made a blessing. When we acknowledge Christ as Saviour and Lord we are delivered from the kingdom of darkness and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we submit to Him He will open our understanding to understand the things of God.
We can only understand the revelations of God through the study of the Scriptures. The gospel message, the good news, consists of three simple, definite facts: first, Christ died for our sins; second, He was buried; third, He rose again the third day. The first and most authoritative of all testimonies to the truth of these facts is not the testimony of the men and women who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s death and resurrection but the testimony of the Scriptures. They had prophetically foreshown hundreds of years before they actually took place how Jesus Christ would die, be buried and rise from the dead. We, however, need the Holy Spirit to reveal the things of God because He is God. Jesus before telling His disciples of His death, burial and resurrection waited until they had received a revelation from God that He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Even after such a revelation, Peter clearly by his response showed that he did not really understand what Jesus was talking about.