Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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April 12 – The Mission Is On!

“Then He said to them, ‘These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Luke 24:44-49

Devotional Thought For The Day

The joy of the reunion of Christ and His disciples was not just about the personal comforts of friendship I wrote about yesterday.  Once past the more simple and basic relief and joy of knowing that Jesus was okay, that He was alive again, Jesus also indicated to them that “the mission is on again.” The past three years had not been a waste of time for them, and the future for these disciples [in this world, the time they had left for earthly life] was all about carrying on God’s work [John 6:29] in and among “all nations,” to “the ends of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]

Their preparation, however, was not yet quite complete. To finish the job, and to direct them as to where they were to look for all clarification, advice, wisdom, and knowledge regarding His accomplishments and God’s will, Jesus took them back through “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms.” As He stated, this was merely review of what He had always taught them – what Holy Scripture taught. These were the three divisions [common at that time] of the 39 books of the Old Testament, “the Law of Moses” referring to the Pentateuch, the first five books, the “Psalms” which included all of the “wisdom literature,” and “the Prophets” which contained all the remaining books. Thus the “canon” of the Old Testament portion of God’s Word was set by the Lord Christ Himself; it is the 39 books of the Old Testament [no Apocrypha].

How did Jesus summarize the message of the Old Testament, the essential nature, meaning, and blessedness of His entire earthly ministry? Very simply but very deeply: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations.”  On the surface this appears much too simplified – but it is the entirety of God’s plan for mankind, and the one scarlet thread that permeates the entire Scripture, and it is the full statement of the mission and ministry of those who are disciples of Christ and servants of God’s Word. Though it is very simple on the surface, one can plumb the depths of God’s great love for mankind through study of Holy Scripture for a lifetime and still be constantly humbled, amazed, and astonished by it all. It is simple enough for the most simple, and way too deep for the wisest human beings.

The essentials?  We have sinned, all of us; repentance is prerequisite to understanding our need for mercy. Mercy is at hand, full and complete mercy, for there is forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus. The forgiveness is for all people, “all nations.” It is to be “proclaimed” to all. Though Christ suffered and died for our sins, He is alive; He rose “from the dead” on the third day. Proclamation of these realities calls for faith, plain and simple, and Jesus assures us: “He that believes the Son has everlasting life.” “By grace you are saved through faith.” [Eph. 2:8]

This is the mission and ministry of Christ and His disciples – and it is still “on,” continuing to this very day [though it is also being mimicked, counterfeited, mocked, perverted, and thus opposed by the evil one and those caught in his deceptions throughout the world to this very day].  That’s okay – by study of the Scripture we know Jesus, and we know the Father, and we are quite clear on what the message and the mission is, and that it is not any of the goofy things that preoccupy and enslave those captured in the devil’s delusions, and blasphemously promoted in the holy and precious Name of Jesus Christ.

So, are you in?  Are you up to being part of Christ’s mission, the Father’s work?  Or are you working for the enemy?  Those ensnared by the enemy also receive “power,” but not from on high – the one who inspires them is the evil one who mimics God. How can we discern the difference?  Christ makes that plain:  Words . . . God’s Word, the Scripture, the Bible – and God’s message, Christ’s mission, is simple enough that the humblest Christian can tell the difference immediately. This is where the Lord Jesus directs His disciples – to the written Word of Holy Scripture, the New Testament included, of course, for it conforms perfectly with the Old in presenting the blessed reality accomplished by Jesus and the will of the Father.

Yes, the mission is still on – may God bless us to hear and heed His Son, that we also be blessed to serve Him in our time upon this earth.

Scripture Cited

John 6:29 “Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for providing us with simple and crystal clear instruction regarding the blessings of Your ministry and the Father’s great loving will for all people. Thank You for providing all of this in writing – so that we have a sure, clear, and simple guide, rule, norm, and authority as we do Your will. Thank You for thus enabling us to identify and avoid the plots of the evil one who corrupts Your Word, rejects Your blessings, and challenges Your mission with his counterfeits. Bless us always to be on Your mission. Amen.