#DailyDevotion Only Jesus Opens Our Minds to Understanding, Repentance & Forgiveness
Luke 24:44-49 44“While I was still with you,” He said to them, “I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must come true.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Bible. 46“This,” He told them, “is what is written: The Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third day; 47and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all people, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You will testify of these things.” 49 “I am sending you Him Whom My Father promised. Wait here in the city until you are armed with power from above.”
For three years Jesus taught his disciples. I’m guessing that’s why I had to go to seminary for three years (not including the year of vicarage). During this time he told them everything written about him in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. We don’t have everything Jesus taught them written down. We get the highlights of that teaching, which is why our Gospels and Epistle lessons aren’t much bigger with quotations from the Old Testament. If you think you see Jesus in an Old Testament Lesson, no doubt, you are correct, even if the New Testament doesn’t quote that particular piece of Scripture.
Now for those who don’t know, the Law of Moses is the first five books of your English bible. The prophets usually referred to as Isaiah through Malachi. Jesus says the Psalm here but sometimes the Writings which is everything else. In order to understand the Scriptures, just as Jesus opened the minds of the disciples, he needs to open our minds as well. An unbeliever can get some understanding of the Bible through grammar, logic and vocabulary as much as any book but they will never truly understand it until God converts them through the Law and the Gospel. They will never see how it all points to Jesus and his fulfillment of it. This is why you will often have a hard time of convincing someone of the biblical truth. Their minds are just closed to its meaning. But God got through your thick skull. Through your efforts He can penetrate and convert their minds as well.
So what does the Bible say about Jesus? Just this, “The Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third day; 47and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all people, beginning at Jerusalem.” The lectionary throughout Lent and now in Easter covers many of these passages from the Old Testament that show us Jesus had to suffer, die and rise again. Here we may want to focus on that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all people beginning at Jerusalem. In your Old Testament readings you will often see references to the LORD revealing himself to the nations, gathering the nations, a flag to the nations and the like. Paul will reference going to the Jews first and then the Gentiles. It is a great mystery, Paul says, the Gentiles are joined to Israel through baptism and faith in Jesus Christ. They all become one holy people for Jesus.
So we continue to proclaim repentance (contrition, sorry, terror over our sins) and forgiveness (the atonement, propitiation, expiation and eternal life) in Jesus’ name. There is no other name in heaven or earth whereby men can be saved. Yet freely in Jesus’ name is eternal salvation given to all people, in all times, and in all places.
Heavenly Father, continually open our minds by your Holy Spirit so we may believe Jesus is the Christ and may he accompany our witness of Jesus so those we witness to may understand the Scriptures and be saved. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.