The Third Sunday of Easter – Carrying forward the lessons that Jesus taught (The Gospel Passage)

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.” (Luke 24:36-37)

I am sorry for the repeat, beloved reader. This was part of the posting for Easter Sunday when I wrote at length about several of the passages for the day of Easter. This appearance of Jesus took place soon after the believers who meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus had returned to Jerusalem.

He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.” (Verses 38-43)

Ghosts do not eat. I think that Jesus was trying to reassure his disciples that it was he, Jesus, before and not an ectoplasm specter. It is interesting to consider, in light of this, that sometimes the Holy Spirit is called . . . the Holy Ghost.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” (Verse 44)

I have a pattern of emphasizing that much of the Old Testament passages that are prophetic concerning Jesus were written to address issues at the time of their writing. It is true that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection runs on a parallel course to what was written many generations before the birth of Jesus. And remember too, beloved reader, the gospels were written for very specific reasons and purposes. I do not want to be cold water on hot Messianic prophecies. It is not that I do not feel wonder and awe that so much that was said in the Old Testament can be applied to Jesus. I just know for myself, when I write something it is in the moment to address the need and situation that I see. And I want to give honor and due respect to what the Old Testament writers were trying to convey to their immediate audience.

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, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Verses 45-48)

“He opened their minds . . .” Life would be so much easier if our minds could be opened like that – to understand what God wants of us and how we should live. But scripture has been used and interpreted so many ways it is hard to discern what are correct and incorrect interpretations.

May our Lord God open your minds, beloved reader, so that you might be blessed with insight and inspiration. Selah!