By Susie Carr
These last two chapters recorded for us in Luke’s gospel are incredibly powerful as you see the fulfillment of so many prophecies.
Diane Caston so eloquently explained the prophecies in chapter 21.
Jesus had come to earth as a man for a specific purpose and now that purpose is being completed.
Jesus knew His appointed time.
His trial before Pilate
Appearance before Heord Antipas
Back to Pilate; His sentence to death on the cross
Conversations with those who were present at His crucifixion; as well as the criminals on either side of Him.
Even on the cross Jesus is still evangelizing.
The interaction between the women at the tomb with the angels
The greatest news ever: 24:6 “He is not here, but is risen” and my favorite word:
“REMEMBER…how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again”
24:8 “and they remembered His words”
The apostles didn’t seem to believe them but Peter runs to the tomb and sees it is empty and he “marveled at these things.”
After His resurrection:
His appearance and conversations with the two men on the road to Emmaus
These men go and tell those gathered about their conversation with Jesus confirming His resurrection.
24:36 “Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said to them , Peace to you”.
24:38 “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
Jesus knowing our hearts.
Jesus then reminds them of the things He had talked to them about during His ministry…24:44 “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me”
24:45 - 47 “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.
Jesus concludes this time with them as He opened their understanding so they could comprehend the Scriptures and rehearses to them the necessity of His death and resurrection – the forgiveness of man’s sin so we could have a relationship with Him.
I know you are all very much familiar with the last few days of His ministry and it would take many studies to do justice to these last two chapters.
Picture the scene of His trial, death, the empty tomb and the confusion they disciples were all feeling of what to do next… His first words to those who were gathered was “peace to you” 24:36
One of the important effects of the resurrection in your life on a daily basis is the peace God has for you and the understanding He has of the issues you deal with in your heart.
We read Jesus’ words:
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
As we go through this study together you will see this message over and over again.
Why? Because it is one of the biggest issues we all have to deal with…fear and unbelief.
But they didn’t remember this. But we can read this. How blessed we are to have the written word of God.
BUT if we don’t read His word and apply His word, believe His word, then we too can be in danger of seeing God’s word as “idle tales and not believe”.
I know you understand the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus and because of Him we have forgiveness of our sin and we are born again.
And that is pretty awesome and I don’t think any of us doubt that.
We know the effect of the cross in our lives equals eternal life and we accept that without question.
But what other effect does the life and death and resurrection of Jesus have upon our lives that is so important for our personal lives on a daily basis?
It is His words in 24:36 “Peace to you”
We accept the gift of salvation but what about the gift of His peace?
We see throughout the gospels Jesus teaching His disciples about peace.
Let me give you an example from your earlier study in Luke 8; Matthew 8 and Mark 4 tells the same occurrence.
Mark 4 probably has the most in-depth description of this event. Read 4:35-41
We see the disciples struggling with faith here just as we see them struggling with faith in Luke 23 and 24.
Faith must grow in order for His peace to prevail in your life. It is an essential element to peace.
Let me give you an easy formula to remember:
His presence, His power will always produce peace in the plan He has for you.
The power of God’s peace will always be in proportion to your faith. True peace comes from knowing that God is in control. It’s that simple.
In the passage in Mark 4 we can see this being worked out in the disciple’s life.
The direction of Jesus to get in the boat and go to the other side
The storm that arises and the fear of the disciples
Who’s going to wake Jesus….can you imagine how that conversation worked out!
Mark 4:40“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Same message
Luke 24:38 “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts”?
Now I would think He would calm the storm first and then ask these questions.
But He asks the questions first and then demonstrates His power to them.
Jesus always wants to do the greater work…the work of faith.
It is your faith in Him that brings the result of peace in times of uncertainty.
Faith in Him that conquerors your fears, your disappointments, your needs.
But faith is an incredible ACTION word…not a passive word that takes place in your heart.
Jesus recognizes their fear and minsters to that fear by building up their faith as the storm is still raging.
Storms are not intended to compromise the will of God. Difficult situations or hard to understand circumstances are not meant to compromise His will.
You can see and understand that as you read the last few chapters of Luke. You know that this was God’s will for His son.
Jesus’ will for the disciples: “let us cross over to the other side” 4:35
There is an “other side” for each one of us in the difficulties we face but we must stay the course, obey His command and trust Him to get us to the other side of the struggles you go through.
We see the disciples struggling with the death of Jesus. They had certain expectations of how it should be and it just didn’t happen that way.
We have certain ideas as well as how things in our life should be…but are not what we have expected.
I have an oncologist trying to keep my cancer at bay, an ophthalmologist trying to keep me from going blind and an orthopedist trying to keep me walking.
But in all these things, I know God is in control.
My storms are still raging but I can say it is well with my soul and the peace of God guides me across “my lake”.
So what storm is raging in your life right now?
Jesus would say to you personally… “Don’t be afraid, have faith in Me, let Me give you My peace as I guide you across “your lake”.
The fear will dissipate as you exercise your faith in Him and it is then that you will experience His supernatural peace.
Paul 1Thess.1:3 “we are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly”
And he goes on to say: we boast because of “your patience and faith in all your persecutions and afflictions that you endure.”
His supernatural peace is not found in the absence of difficulties but is given to you as a child of God during those hard, depressing dark days when you feel like you can’t go on. It is at this time that His peace becomes your greatest asset.
You are not alone in your storm.
There can be a supernatural work of God going on in your life that will produce peace.
The promise of peace: His legacy to us!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Again, Recognize His Presence, His Power and you will experience His Peace in the Plan He has for you.
You can not change this order.
Luke concludes his message with Jesus saying: 24:49
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Jesus has them wait…10 days for this promise to be fulfilled.
John 14:16 “and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter), that He may abide with you forever”
:18 “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you”
This occurrence in Acts 1 is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit and from this point on the disciples and those with them in the room were filled to overflowing by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter that Jesus spoke to the disciples about when He was with them and it happened just as Jesus said it would.
From this point on the power of the Holy Spirit was evident in their lives. They all faced many difficult, stormy days and yet could say:
2 Cor. 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
1Thess. 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
There will be an end to this life as we know it. Give everything you can to further the kingdom of God and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so your “storms” do not overtake you!