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Gospel of Luke 24: 36b-48 (NIV)
36b Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Jesus as a man knew the Hebrew Scriptures. He had been schooled in them since his youth as had every Jewish male. He would have been an active member of the synagogue in Nazareth since his early teens.
Jesus as the Son of God knew the Hebrew Scriptures. He, the Word of God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit was inspiring Moses and the Prophets and those who wrote the Psalms and the other Wisdom literature of the Jews. He with the Father and the Holy Spirit was the source of these Scriptures. He could state with the authority of the Author that “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (verse 44b). He could state with the authority of the Author that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his (the Messiah’s) name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (verse 47).
In the book of the prophet Isaiah we read:
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength’ (30: 15);
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice (30: 18).
In the book of the prophet Ezekiel we read:
Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall (18: 30).
I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (18: 32).
The book of the prophet Isaiah emphasises* that forgiveness is not only for the people of Israel:
‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’ (49: 6).
Living Lord, open our minds as you opened the minds of your disciples so that we too can understand the Scriptures and thereby be effective witnesses of these things to all nations. Amen.
* See also Isaiah 2: 3, 49: 22 and elsewhere.