International Charismatic Bible Church (ICBC), Finland Weekly Newsletter
Concerning Jesus Christ of Nazareth (II)
The death of Christ Jesus shattered the hopes of His disciples. They had completely lost faith that their master would be raised back to life. This was the discussion some of His disciples were having when the resurrected Christ met them on their way to Emmaus. This paper discusses the significance of His death as outlined in the Holy Scriptures.
Concerning His Death and Resurrection
Jesus, after His resurrection, appeared to two of His disciples on the way to Emmaus. They were speaking about the trending event that had taken place in Jerusalem-His death and resurrection. He wanted to be part of their conversation, so:
".. he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done" (Luk 24:19-22).
The disciples believed that Jesus was to deliver Israel from the dominion of the foreign powers as detailed in the above discourse. But having forgotten their scriptures and the teachings of Christ, they thought that the end of their faith in the Messiah had come to an end as a result of His death. But Jesus took them through the scriptures again and explained to them that:
"These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luk 24:44).
Jesus, therefore, opened their understanding through the teaching of the Word of God, and by divine power, so that they might properly understand scriptures. He affirmed that His suffering, death, and resurrection are not new but they are events already recorded in the Holy Book (Luk 24:25-26).
The Purpose of His Resurrection
The core mandate of Christ on earth was to bring repentance and remissions of sins to the sinner. This was realized after His resurrection. Jesus intimates that for His suffering and resurrection, "..Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luk 24:47).
Repentance and remission of sins was key to the teaching of the Apostles. It is read that God raised Christ and made Him sit on His right hand as a Prince and a Savior in order to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to His people (Acts 5:31). Paul is very confident to write that:
"..If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (Acts 15: 14), and that "..If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (Acts 15:17).
We are no longer sinners because of our faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. According to the Scriptures, if a sinner confesses Jesus Christ with his or her mouth, and believes in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, he or she shall be saved (Rom 10:9). Therefore, the victory of Christ over death is our victory over sin and death. We access the grace of God to repent from our evil ways and Christ remits or forgives our sins.
It is the responsibility of a sinner to repent before he or she is declared righteous by God. Jesus gives a delegated authority to His holy and accredited Apostles to represent Him and remit people of their sins upon showing repentance from sins (Joh 20:23).
It is the resurrection of Christ and our faith in it that brings us repentance from dead works and forgiveness of sins. The mission of Jesus would have been incomplete if He had not been raised. If a person denies the resurrection of Christ, he or she has denied eternal life.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, may you increase my faith and help me to believe in the death and resurrection of your beloved Son. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. AMEN!