There is no better way to be truly in the Season of Christmas than to experience the final days of M’Cheyne’s Bible reading program. This year I’ve been just reading the last of the 4 readings….which cover the New Testament and the Psalms. More than enough for a ration of daily bread. But M’Cheyne ends these readings in the Gospels of Luke and John.
Today Luke is finished. And it is so appropriate to read these texts about the resurrection at the time we are celebrating Jesus’ birth. For without the resurrection we have nothing.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Below is an excerpt for Luke 24
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
Luk 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luk 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
Notice how Jesus leads them on with his questions, and how open they are to share the events of his crucifixion and resurrection. Are we this bold to tell the stranger or friend we meet with?
Luk 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luk 24:19 And 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:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
Luk 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
Luk 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Yes they knew the events but didn’t really understand them.
What is amazing is while still not revealing himself to them, Jesus goes on and takes the whole of the OT scriptures and puts what they know into context. This is an important part of our understanding and witness.
A few verses later we see him doing likewise, with his disciples.
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, 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 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
But back to Emmaus
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luk 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
Luk 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Luk 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luk 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luk 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luk 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luk 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
My prayer is that during this Christmas Season we have the opportunity and boldness to share not only Jesus’ birth but his resurrection. And not to be ashamed to use the Bible as our source of God’s Word.