22nd April 2014

But I Thought… 

“They stood still, their faces downcast…About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.’”
Luke 24:17, 19-21 (NIV)
 

The national and religious history of the Jews bore witness that after a period of trouble and oppression God would empower a leader to rescue the nation from its enemies (Judges 3, 6, etc). Indeed, Old Testament prophecies pointed to a great Saviour who would one day liberate the people once and for all (Isaiah 9:6-7), and hopes ran high as Jesus’ reputation for authoritative message and miraculous powers spread through the country (John 7:31). Despite his conflicts with the religious authorities, many people became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah: they would be saved from their greatest enemy, which no-one doubted was the Roman Empire. Great signs would be provided, as in the days of Joshua, Gideon and the rest. Battles would be engaged! Enough blood would flow to atone for everything! 

And then Jesus was put to death and buried, and the confusing stories from various sources didn’t feel particularly helpful. 

The Jesus episode was a disappointment. Miracles had been given, but only to the needy. Conflicts had been joined, but only hearts and minds had been won. Blood had flowed three days ago, but not the oppressors’. What had been accomplished? What enemy had been beaten, and where was their hoped-for salvation? 

The resurrected Jesus walked beside them, and “opened the scriptures” to them. He had fulfilled the prophecies; he had beaten the enemies, Satan and death; and He was their salvation, their hope of Eternal Life! (John 3:16-17) 

Prayer
Father, help all of us to recognise you, not only as the God of our hopes and certainties but also of our blinkeredness and disappointments. Stay with us until we do. In Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study by Fiona Jones 

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fionajones1About the Author:
Fiona Jones attends the Worldwide Church of God UK in Perth/Fife where she assists her husband in his pastoral role there.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Perth
Combination of house churches and monthly outreach service and lunch
Gillespie Centre, Dunfermline, monthly
House churches on other Saturdays

Meeting Time:
11am Saturday

Contact:
Email:  info@gracecom.org.uk

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