Message from the Minister Letter 41 – Sunday 18th April


Dear all,

I hope and pray this letter finds you well as we continue into the Easter season and light spring nights.  This week we examine the same event as we had last week but from a different gospel perspective.  This week we look at Luke’s account from Luke 24: 36b – 48.  Have you ever been shocked or surprised when something happened that you were not expecting?  A surprise birthday party thrown for you or taking a friend or relative to a pub or restaurant ‘for a meal’ only to have the function room filled with family and friends and watching the look on their face as they open the door, and everyone shouts “surprise!”  Well, this is an equivalent, except that Jesus does not shout surprise, he says ‘peace, be with you’ which is a little less alarming especially considering He is supposed to be dead. 

The disciples were busy discussing the events reported to them from a couple of people on the road to Emmaus and the reported realisation that this was Jesus over supper afterwards.  In amongst their excited and speculative chatter, Jesus Himself appears and startles them.  So much so they appear like ghosts to Jesus.  Jesus asks them why they are so troubled, although He obviously realises and proceeds to show them His hands and His feet.  Despite this Luke records the disciples still did not fully believe it was Jesus due to a mixture of surprise and amazement.  Jesus asks for something to eat and then continues to consume it in their presence. 

Jesus then begins the task of explaining everything to them starting as far back at the Old Testament prophets, Moses, and the Psalms.  What do you think was going through their minds at this point?  Who is this guy?  Is this really Jesus?  Or do you think their minds were casting back to previous occasions when Jesus was teaching them and explaining all that was to happen?  Jesus explains that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.  That repentance for sins will be preached to all nations.  Jesus explains to them that they are witness to these things.  How powerful is that?  That the disciples have seen for themselves these things and have spent all this time with Jesus. 

The disciples now have the task of communicating this information far and wide or to ‘all nations’ as Jesus describes.  We are fortunate that with the benefit of hindsight we understand all what happened to Jesus and how it all fitted together, but for the disciples this would have been a massive revelation for them.  It would have taken some time for this news and truth to sink in and to realise what God had done through Jesus was massive and life changing.  The disciples now begin the task of sharing this important information with those around them.  That really is the task of the church as a promotional outlet for this Good News so that people may come to hear the news of Jesus for themselves and understand the truth. 

How can we share this Good News?  Like the disciples we have been witnesses to these things but now we must share this news.  How as Christians can we do so effectively, how as a church can we do so.  For the job of all believers is to share the news so that others may come to know the truth about Jesus Christ, not only to build the church and enable it to develop but so many people as possible get to encounter the Risen Christ. 

May our Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrected and Living Son, bless us now and always,

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