S (Scripture): Luke 24:44 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “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 and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
O (Observation): In some of Jesus’ final words, he gives a reminder about those who need to hear the forgiveness of sins: all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And not only this, but apparently this is what God had in mind all along (starting with Moses and the prophets, then moving on through the psalms).
Finally, they are given authority and the promise of power, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. But they’ll have to wait on that one for a few weeks : )
A (Application): I love telling the story of the Old Testament, because I believe the Old Testament is God’s way of showing the whole world what God’s love looks like, SPECIFICALLY through the people of Israel (i.e. Starting from Jerusalem). It looks like people who are faithful, yet who stray. People who are thankful, but also forgetful. In the end, they are a people in need of grace and mercy and steadfast love. That is exactly what God’s people receive.
Then Jesus comes along, with a whole other approach. At first, God created humanity, was disappointed, started over, gave His people rules and identity boundaries (The 10 Commandments), and prophets to remind them when they got off track.
That didn’t cut it. So here is Jesus, suffering on our behalf. Taking on the sin of the world, forgiving our sin. But that’s not all, they also get a new set of Ginsu knives! : ) The disciples are promised a gift, a gift of authority and power to do God’s will in this world: the Holy Spirit. A gift of “staying power.”
What authority and power has God given you in this world? The power to
Heal? Teach? Love? Serve? The Holy Spirit comes to help us along the way. Embrace it.
P (Prayer): Lord, continue to show us your mercy and steadfast love, despite our failures. Amen.