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"He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, 'You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations -- starting from here, from Jerusalem! You're the first to see and hear it. You're the witnesses...'" Luke 24:45-48 (The Message).
Finally! It's all out in the open, as clear as daylight to the disciples. Three years of listening, watching and puzzling culminate in the most profound Bible study they had ever experienced. Step by step Jesus took them through the Scriptures as He had done with the two on the road home to Emmaus.
It was imperative that they understood the message because they were the first ones to proclaim it to the world. They would stand up against the might of Rome and the false and arrogant claims of the emperors that they were Son of God, Lord and Saviour. They were eyewitnesses of story they were seeing and hearing and their testimony would impact their generation and echo down through history as the truth.
In a nutshell Jesus gave their commission. They were to tell the facts of His death, burial and resurrection, and the meaning of if for the whole world. It was the culmination of a plan God put into operation from the beginning of time, and spoke about it before it happened so that there would be no mistaking who He was and what His coming was all about, and completed it in the things that had just happened.
It was a daring plan to reverse the consequences of the first man's rebellion, to deal legally and justly with the barrier of sin that keeps God and man apart and to extend an open invitation to the whole world to return to the Father because He has no more issues with His estranged children.
But they still needed one more piece to complete the puzzle. God's people had His presence and His Word. He had chosen them to be His people, in covenant with Him and in contact with Him through their system of worship and the prophets who spoke to them from God. In spite of these things, they were still far from Him and lacked the inner power to respond to everything He had done for them.
He had given them the message but they lacked the energy to make it effective. He was about to put the final piece in place, at the exact moment when the high priest's prophetic action of pouring oil through bread made with yeast, would take place.
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
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