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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 24



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 24

Day 24

Luke chapter 24

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


Thank you to the many of you who have engaged in the discussion or who have read these words and wrestled with or embraced what they mean to you personally. These are just my interpretation of each chapter. The thoughts come from researching multiple versions of the Bible. I used The Bible app. It’s free!


Each post starts with outlining who is involved in that chapter, followed by details of what each chapter says - how Jesus engaged - interspersed with my own thoughts. I write these posts to go deeper myself and to keep in my conscious mind how much Jesus loves us. Now - O come let us adore Him back...


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

* 2 angels appearing as men

* Women at the tomb - Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Jesus’ mother Mary, and other unnamed women

* 2 men walking (one named Cleopas)


Last post. Long post.

Each day this month I have been sharing a verse from each chapter of Luke, sharing clips and songs, and writing my feelings about this season. I hope you’ve enjoyed them.


Christmas is coming! Tomorrow I will be writing about the 12 days of Christmas from my perspective.

Today is a contrasting day to write about. It’s Christmas Eve.


The first part of this post is about the last chapter of Luke. The last part will be about the beginning of the story.


I encourage you to go back through my posts or just read Luke. There are 24 chapters and led us to Christmas Eve today. History says that Jesus wasn’t actually born on Dec 25 - but it is the day we celebrate the good news those angels brought thousands of years ago. This news was for all people. It was about a gift to be born. A gift for all mankind. A gift available to you for the taking. If you haven’t yet unwrapped the magnitude of this gift - I encourage you to go back onto my wall. Every day I posted details of the chapters of Luke that chronicle the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Luke wrote this book for a man who heard of Jesus and maybe believed but was a bit on the fence. Luke says in the first chapter that this book was written that you might believe the things you’ve heard.


If you’ve enjoyed reading along and want to go deeper - just message me. I’ll be continuing to journey and welcome you to join that adventure as well.


If you don’t have a bible or want to read deeper on what I’ve written - I use a free Bible app. The words that have come into my heart and mind as I’ve shared with you come from me reading multiple versions each day including NIV, NLT, MSG, ERV and AMP.


On to the chapter


SIGHTS, SOUNDS & SMELLS

Very early the day after the Sabbath (3 days after Jesus died), the women arrived at the tomb with their spices and perfumes. I suspect the smell would have been indescribable - Jesus was beaten so badly with whips made with shards of animal bones that flesh was torn from his skin. He was pierced when he hung on the cross and blood and water poured from his organs. He had thorns crushed into his skull. He had been up and brutally tortured for hours and hours and unlikely that he was allowed to use any restrooms. Death doesn’t smell good.


When the women arrived - they noticed that the very heavy boulder that was protecting the entrance had been rolled away. The stone (and multiple soldiers) had been placed there so nobody could come and steal the body.


When the women entered the tomb - Jesus wasn’t there.


Women are very important in the Bible.

The first person to hear about Jesus coming - was His mother. The first person to worship Jesus, was Elizabeth as she carried her son John. Women came to Him to hear Him teach, He came to them to offer forgiveness directly. Women were also the first people who saw Jesus after He rose from the dead.


These women at the tomb couldn’t understand where Jesus would be or how the stone could have been moved. Suddenly 2 men appeared and their clothes shone brightly. (These angels appeared as human men but with distinct differences as described). The women understandably became very afraid.


As you’ve read along - the first thing they said (as all the times before) was do not be afraid.


Then they said “why are you here in this place where they bury dead people if you’re looking for someone who is Alive. Jesus isn’t here. He’s alive. Remember what He said to you in Galilee?”

Note: this showed me that we should remember that just because we can’t see angels doesn’t mean they’re not present. They knew what Jesus had said)

“He told you it would be necessary for the son of Man to be given to it the power of evil men, who would kill Him on a cross, and that 3 days later He would rise again.


The women quickly went to find the 11 disciples (remember 1 was the betrayer) who were hiding out. The book says that the men were also with others. The women told them what happened.


LISTEN TO HER

The men didn’t believe them and thought they were making up a story to comfort themselves.


Peter however ran from the secret place and saw for himself that the rock had been moved and all that was inside was the cloth Jesus had been wrapped in. He couldn’t understand what might have happened.


LISTEN TO HIM

Later that day two followers of Jesus were walking down a road about 7 miles to a village called Emmaus. They were talking about what had happened. Jesus came near to them and started to walk with them. He didn’t look the same so they didn’t recognize him.


Imagine this scene. Nobody on the road your walking on. Suddenly there is someone. Where did he come from and why didn’t they question that? Jesus said “what are you guys talking about?”


The men stopped and were sad and looked at him and told this strange man:

“many things had been happening in Jerusalem the last few days. How can you be the only visitor here and not know about it!”

Jesus still asked them to describe what happened. This is what they said.

1. Jesus was a man from Nazareth.

3. He was a prophet sent from God who did many great things and spoke some incredibly powerful messages.

4. God showed us his message was true and all the people believed him.

5. Then the leader of the priests and our rulers took him captive.

6. They handed him over the Roman ruler claiming he had done things so bad he should die

7. They killed him by hanging him on a cross

8. Before that we truly thought he had come to save the people of Israel

9. We hoped he would make us free again

10. Another thing - today is the 3rd day of his death and early this morning some women from our group came to us and said that the tomb from Joseph where Jesus was buried, was empty. There was no body

11. The women told us 2 angels appeared to them and said Jesus was Alive

12. So some of our friends went to the tomb to see for themselves.

13. It was just as the women said - he wasn’t there


Jesus then said to them:

  • how silly you are and slow to believe what the prophets have written and what had been said all along

  • You should have known that the Messiah had to die

  • Only then would he be able to return to heaven to show how powerful and great he is


Then Jesus started to explain to them what Moses what the prophets taught and even what they said about Him throughout the Old Testament.


By now they arrived at the village and it seemed like Jesus was going to keep walking so they asked him to stay with them since it was getting late.


Jesus went to their house to eat with them. He took the bread and blessed it by thanking God for it and then broke it into pieces.


When he handed it to them their eyes became clear and finally they recognized him.

Instantly Jesus disappeared and they could no longer see him. They both said to each other that when Jesus was talking with them it was like a fire burning inside of them. They felt it all along the 7 mile walk.

They immediately got up and went BACK to Jerusalem to find the apostles and tell them what happened. When they got there they had another surprise.


HE MAKES TIME & SPACE FOR US

The disciples said “it’s true! Jesus appeared to Simon”. What this showed and reminded me is that even though we can only be in once place at one time - time and space are irrelevant to Jesus. He is beyond both.


The 2 men told the group what happened on the road and then at dinner. While they were speaking - suddenly Jesus appeared and said “Peace be with all of you.” Peace is the one thing I seek most. Jesus is the giver and prince of it.


As you can imagine - when He said this to them the entire group was surprised and afraid since they thought they were seeing a ghost. Jesus told them AGAIN - do not be afraid and to not let their minds be troubled by what they were seeing. He told them to look at his hands and feet and to even touch him and see he wasn’t a spirit. A spirit doesn’t have a body with skin and bones - a body has a spirit. They could see the holes in his hands and feet and could also see he was standing there plain as day.


They became so happy but still couldn’t believe it. Jesus asked them for something to eat. They gave Him some fish which He took and ate.


He said “I told you about these things when I was still with you. I told you what God’s servants said about Me long ago. Moses wrote about Me in his book of law. Prophets wrote about Me. I’m written about in Psalms. Now it has become true.”


Then Jesus helped them understand what the Bible means. He told them that the Bible said:

1. that the Messiah had to die and 3 days later would rise again

2. People from every country in the world needed to hear God’s message

3. They must stop doing wrong things and change how they live

4. When they do this God will forgive them

5. People need to tell this message in Jerusalem first then go out to other countries

6. You are the people who have see what happened here

7. You must go out and tell others

8. I will send you the gift my Father has promised to give to you

9. Stay in this city until that happens

10. Then the power of God will come from heaven and cover you


Jesus led the group from the city to a village called Bethany. He held up his hands toward them all and asked God to be good them. While He was praying like that for them - He was lifted up into heaven away from them.


The disciples praised Jesus for his great power and returned to Jerusalem so happy. For the rest of each of their lives they praised God and told people about Jesus.


Tomorrow more to come in life as we celebrate - and not just commemorate - the birth of the savior of the universe who is Christ the Lord. We may have finished all 24 chapters of Luke, but this is not the end. Go back and reread or select a book for yourself to read and learn more about a God who breathed life into existence and yet also knows every thought in our heart and mind, every beat in our chest including when the last one will thump, and even the hairs on our head.

He is calling. Come. Come let us adore a king who was born, grew up wise and perfect, sacrificed his life nailed to a cold, hard cross, Rose from death after 3 days, is sitting at the right hand of His Father Right NOW, still interceding for you, and who is preparing to end all evil as we know it once and for all. Your eternity can be secured simply by believing and having faith.

This isn’t a belief and faith just for the “magic of Christmas”. The days on the calendar change. Seasons change. God never changes. Jesus is the Prince Of Peace and desires to be in your heart forevermore.

—-

Part 2 which is really part 1

But today...today the day we celebrate by singing “silent night” was not really a silent night. A young girl was in labor with nowhere to have her child, a man had very tired feet from walking 80 miles with everything he owned - walking quickly in fear. Scientists were pondering the atmosphere and trying to reach heads of government for very important meetings about even more important information. Shepherds were trying to keep watch over their flocks. Animals seem to have a deeper sense of things about to be - maybe the sheep were not just grazing. Maybe they were restless. Peace was not in this community. War was looming. People were wandering. Then - a light so very bright it could be seen from afar, and a sound so loud that it broke the sound barriers between earth and space entered the world.

God came near. God came here. Peace came down. Hope was born.

Lord Jesus, maker of all that was, is, and will be, You are the light of this world where darkness will try - but never prevail. Lord - please cover all of us with your Holy Spirit as we prepare for Christmas.

Touch the hearts of all mankind that we may love one another better. Help us today in the hustle and bustle of the madness of travel, gift giving, food, celebrations, family, or for those who are experiencing loss, loneliness, illness, or sadness - to seek You in the quiet spaces of our hearts.

May we hear Your voice this day.


There are so many distractions and things that can make us anxious and worried or discouraged. Let us remember that today is about looking forward.

The day before You came - Angels burst through the atmosphere praising You. Shepherds sought after You. Men journeyed from afar to bring gifts and honor to You. A man carried his young wife for many miles to protect You. A mother birthed You.

Lord Jesus - today we celebrate with anticipation the coming of Your birth. Your life, Your death, and Your promise to come back for us.


Regardless if we each have found our way back to You, we are all blessed in so many ways. Let us see the star and guide us to You.


Lord - help our eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to open wide that we may know the joy that is only You. Help any hurting hearts be able to seek the joy of Your presence.


Wonderful counselor - guide us. Everlasting father - teach us. Mighty God - lead us. Prince of Peace - protect us.

Come back soon Lord. (Hebrews 9:28)


Music was so important the night Jesus was born - the Bible made it clear that after the message to not be afraid came from the angel, he was joined by a host (meaning a gigantic choir) to sing praises to God - higher than any other god, the maker of all things. The song was to let us all know that He desires peace on earth and goodwill toward all men. He wants that and it starts with each of us.

“Empty manger,

Perfect stranger,

About to be born.

Into darkness, sadness,

Desperate madness, creation so torn.

We were so lost on earth,

No peace, no worth.

No way to escape.

In fear, no faith, no hope,

No grace, and no light

But that was the night before Christmas.” - Brandon Heath


My song is the in the first comment below. Enjoy it and this day that the Lord has given


—-


Tomorrow more to come with the 12 days of Christmas.


PRAYER

Lord thank you for your word. Thank you for your life. Thank you for entering this broken world to heal. Thank you for erasing things in our lives that are really not easy to clean up. Thank you for forgiveness and grace and mercy. Thank you that you left the comfort of your kingdom where you’ve been since the beginning of time with your father - to come low so that we might be able to live with you forever in the highest place. May we seek peace and goodwill not just today - but each day. Thank you for loving me so much that you’d die for me and that you did it once and that’s all that was needed to separate us from darkness. Thank you that now nothing can separate me from your love and hands over my life. Thank you for all things. Amen.


MUSIC - the universal language

The song that resonates with me today is from Brandon Heath https://youtu.be/AxZ5lMrFXgc


This from We the Kingdom https://youtu.be/jasoo3UDSwY


And this from Third Day https://youtu.be/eAxrF43DJvA


EXTRAS:

here is a trailer of The Chosen Christmas special. You can see the full length of this at the chosen.tv https://youtu.be/OzbnoMVQAzg?si=YytyJwzBrSz36Q2g


I encourage you to get the full clip on The Chosen app but if you're just not sure how to navigate there - here's the full film that was shown in theaters: https://thechosen.frontrow.cc/video/184683594479?language=en&position=0






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