Proclaim Jesus Christ
By Dale Luffman of Redmond, OR, USA
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, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. —Luke 24:44–48 NRSV, emphasis added
This gospel lesson offers unusually dramatic confirmation of the unity of scripture. In this text the Resurrected One tells the disciples that “everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Although I had read and heard these words before, it was not until I heard them again in a course on the Old Testament that the significance of the bold text markedly claimed my attention. Surprisingly the lecture began with a reading from the New Testament. This was the Old Testament class, wasn’t it? But in this reading and in the lecture I became aware how important this text was, not only about our Lord’s ascension, but also the remarkable unity of scripture for the church. This text suggests that writers of the New Testament gave it fuller meaning by including the life, teachings, and words of Jesus, as well as his death and resurrection.
The resurrection compelled disciples to read scriptures with a new lens. The earliest apostles and teachers discovered in the Torah the meaning and significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They understood it as the center of the church’s proclamation and teaching. The scripture had importance for them and for the community they represented.
The life of Jesus, as seen through eyes of faith, formed scripture. Just as in Babylonian captivity the people of Judah, reflecting on their life together, wrote scripture to form the community. Newer testament writers recalled ancient testimony and applied it to the importance of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension. In doing so, they formed new scripture that shaped the new community of faith.
Thanks be to God for scripture and community that proclaim the Living Christ.
Prayer for Peace
God of the past, present, and future, as disciples of Christ, help us use scripture to form our witness and mission. Help us use scripture to share Christ’s peace.
Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this mantra throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, I will witness of the Living Christ and proclaim his peace.