Saturday, April 07, 2012

Open Our Minds, Lord...

Some of my favorite parts of the Easter accounts are found in Luke 24:30-35. Both of these accounts involve very personal interactions with Jesus, and interestingly, they involve food.

The first account is the story of Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is after his resurrection and strangely, though they had been with him, they do not recognize him until he breaks bread and gives it to them. Along the way, the story describes Jesus opening their minds to the scriptures, and they say to each other, "Were our hearts not burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"(Luke 24:32)
Later, Jesus proves his bodily resurrection to the disciples by eating fish in their presence. It then says that "he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45)

Two things that stand out to me here is that in both accounts, Jesus actively used food to prove that he had in fact risen from the dead in the flesh. His body, his wounds, his flesh and bones were real, were no longer in the grave, and he was there standing among them. This proves a real, bodily resurrection as opposed to a mere spiritual resurrection. I think that it is easy to believe that a spiritual awakening will / can occur after death, but to believe in the true resurrection of the body--there's the rub. This is the point on which all controversy over Jesus resides. Did he die a physical death, and did he rise again in the flesh? Does that body still exist? Is he REAL? We all want a REAL savior, a real person to touch, a solid being that can and will be the comfort to our hearts in all things. Jesus knew this and was willing to let them know that in fact, he was REALLY there, in the flesh, alive again, and he did this by eating with them and allowing them to touch him.

The second thing that stands out is that in both situations Jesus opened their minds to the scriptures. That bears repeating--Jesus opened their minds. It does not state that they opened their minds--only Jesus could do it. At last, in the fulfillment of all that had happened, Jesus and the words of the prophets stood in complete harmony, with no clouds of doubt remaining in the minds of the disciples. Their hearts burned within them, and they finally understood. It is for us to understand that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to us, not a thing that we can do by ourselves, through our will or through our minds.

My prayer this Easter for myself and my family is that Jesus will open our minds to the Scriptures, and by the promised work of the Holy Spirit, (John 16:5-16) we will know and be guided into all truth. It is something that I am incapable of doing myself--I must rely upon Him.

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