Friday, April 5, 2013

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday April 7, 2013
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THE LORD APPEARS
(We should tell others how GOD keeps HIS promise)
(Luke 24:36-53)

Perhaps the cross of CHRIST JESUS at Golgotha is the only place on earth, where, in just a short space in time, mankind was actually able to physically see the eternal love of GOD on exhibit. And CHRIST remaining on the cross until death, distinctly shows us that GOD loves us with an everlasting love that can withstand all of the suffering that this old world will ever have to offer.
In Luke 24, taking up at verse 36, we see chronicled, Luke’s personal written account of the appearance of a post-resurrection JESUS in a physical body. Here begins a passage that stresses the reality of the resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, which is the foundation of the Christian faith.
Almost since the very beginning of time, and certainly since the conception of the written word by GOD, all roads of the hope for the salvation of mankind pointed to a destination in Jerusalem on Skull Hill. It was always in the plan of GOD, and must never be deemed as an emergency measure that GOD incorporated when all else had failed in HIS dealing with HIS greatest creation, mankind.  
In the Greek, the word used for “resurrection” is “anastasia”. In the spiritual sense, it is “a moral recovery of a spiritual truth”. And in the physical sense it means “to stand up again”. It took a morally perfect sacrifice (JESUS) to recover our spiritual connection (by way of the HOLY SPIRIT) to the almighty GOD the FATHER in Heaven. As a result of JESUS’ vicarious sacrifice, any of mankind that chooses JESUS can embody the HOLY SPIRIT, “stand up again”, and re-connect into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD.
Just as the two men who met JESUS on the road to Emmaus were telling their story to the apostles at Jerusalem (v.35), JESUS suddenly appeared in their midst. HE then spoke to the frightened group of men saying, “Peace be with you”. The men stared at JESUS thinking that HE was a ghost. JESUS then asked, “Why are you frightened”? Why do you doubt who I AM?”
To assure them that HE was not an apparition, JESUS invited them to examine HIS hands and feet, and to touch HIS body. HE wanted them to see that the JESUS WHO died on the cross was the CHRIST WHO had arisen from the dead, just as HE said HE would. Still they stood there doubting, even though they were filled with the joy of seeing their teacher once again. Then JESUS offered them a final proof by requesting fish to eat, and then, eating it in front of them, something that a ghost could never do.
After eating the fish, JESUS gave HIS students a review of all the Scriptures that Moses and the prophets had written concerning HIM, and how they had now been fulfilled. And then, with HIS authority over all Heaven and Earth, HE charged HIS disciples to take the message of repentance to all nations (Jews and Gentiles), beginning in Jerusalem. They were to preach that there is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to JESUS. And, that they themselves were uniquely eyewitnesses to all things written in the Scriptures about JESUS.
After commissioning HIS disciples, JESUS re-iterates HIS promise to send the HOLY SPIRIT, and they were not to begin their mission until HE came and filled them with power from GOD (v.49). Here JESUS is stressing the importance of not acting until one is prepared to do the work that one is called to perform. Action without preparation often fails, as there is a definite time to wait on GOD, and, there is a definite time to work for GOD.
JESUS’ ascension back into Heaven (Vs. 50-53), perhaps, will remain one of those things that can never be properly described, even by those who witnessed it. Never the less it represents both, a beginning, and, an end, as it will forever identify the exact moment when the JESUS of this earth, became the CHRIST of Heaven, WHO now shares all power with GOD the FATHER in HIS Heavenly command center. And the disciples stood and worshiped HIM for a long moment, until they were commanded by an angel to obey the order of JESUS that “they return to Jerusalem and wait on the HOLY SPIRIT to arrive”. They were filled with great joy, and they spent all of their time in the temple praising GOD in the interim.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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