April 18

Luke 24:44-48

“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 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…’” vss. 45-46

When Matthew and Luke wrote their gospels they weren’t just interested in compiling a narrative of Jesus’ life from beginning to end. They also wanted their readers to know that what had happened in Jesus was a fulfillment of the scriptures. His suffering and death had been foretold in the law, psalms, and the prophets. But it wasn’t obvious! None of the scribes or teachers had ever predicted such a fate for Israel’s messiah. Only after the resurrection, under the guidance of the Spirit, did the disciples begin to understand the scriptures in that new way. We still have that same struggle with the bible. It’s virtually impossible to read it as a predictor of what’s going to happen. We’re constantly being surprised by changing circumstances and new perspectives. But after things have happened, as we continue to read the scriptures, we get all sorts of new insights from our ancestors in faith. It’s even that way with the teachings of Jesus. What was once obscure and difficult can suddenly speak to the conditions of our lives in fresh and invigorating ways. The key is continued guided study! We’ll never reach a point where we know it all, but as we keep on pondering the words, understanding abounds.

Thought for the Day: Why do we need help to understand scripture?

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