Friday of Easter III – Luke 24:36-49

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 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.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 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.”

In 1905 a 26-year-old patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland rocked the world of science with four groundbreaking papers which would lay out a revolutionary new way of looking at the physical world in which we live. The man’s name was Albert Einstein. About 50 years later another pair of researchers in England published a brief, two-page, paper which described the shape of DNA for the first time, enabling deeper understandings of how living creatures reproduce and how our cells themselves work. Their names were Watson and Crick. These discoveries continue to shape our world, even making possible the rapid development and deployment of the vaccines against all sorts of diseases such as we saw in the recent COVID pandemic.

That first Easter Jesus showed up among his disciples. After a few moments of disbelief dispelled by his hands and feet and a meal of fish, Jesus unlocks the Scriptures for them. Of course, the NT had not been written yet, so Luke means the OT here, Moses, the prophets, and psalms. The key is Jesus himself. It is all about Him. He is the fulfillment of all of it.

I wish I could have heard what Jesus said. Peter, Matthew, and John were in that room. I have their profound interpretations of the OT through the lens of Jesus in Gospels and letters. I think Jesus must have done the same for Saul of Tarsus on that road to Damascus. Paul’s own reflections on the OT continue to amaze me. But I do not really understand what Einstein or Watson and Crick wrote about. I do not need to understand the intricacies of DNA or subatomic particles in order to get a vaccine or even power up this computer on which I write these words. I am blessed by knowledge. Peter and the rest of the apostles bore witness to these truths. Jesus has fulfilled the will and plan of God. He is life and is resurrection means both my forgiveness and life.

I am grateful, though, that the Spirit of God continues to open the Bible for me and you. I have found God’s Word to be like a mysterious puzzle. I hear and understand the Gospel, but then, in another reading, the Word appears with a new gem which I had never seen before. I am currently wondering how joy leads to disbelief. Did you catch that in vs. 41? I look forward to a little “opening of the Scripture” to me on that.

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