Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

Coming back to Acts 1 chapter 3, it says:

to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Acts 1.3

We’ve got here eyewitnesses who saw this happen and Paul speaks here about Jesus appearing by many infallible proofs; it wasn’t a hallucination.

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection | Desiring God

They saw Him and He spoke to them about the things concerning the Kingdom of God.

The resurrection of Jesus is the central fact of our faith in the Lord Jesus, that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again from the dead.

If you don’t believe anything else, you have to believe that in order to be saved.

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Matthew 16.15-21

So, it’s very important that we understand that this was a historical event. It wasn’t just a made-up story, it is something which really happened.

Jesus actually appeared to the disciples. He even taught the disciples, He explained to them things concerning the Kingdom of God.

What Did the Jewish Historian Josephus Really Say About Jesus? – Jonathan Morrow

We have one record of what Jesus might have taught the disciples in the end of Luke’s Gospel. In Luke 24, after the resurrection, in verse 44, Jesus comes to the disciples and says to them

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24.44-48

Would you like to have been there? In a Bible study with Jesus?

That is how He fulfilled the prophecy.

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

Mark 10.29-34

Jesus also affirms the fact that the prophecies in the Old Testament, in the Hebrew scriptures, in the Law, the Torah, the Prophets, the Nevi’im (נְבִיאִים), and the writings, the Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים) are all authoritative and given by God.

chabad.org

Jesus is there affirming the whole of the Old Testament scriptures, known by Jewish people as the Tanakh (תָּנָ״ךְ). And you’re given there the three divisions of the Jewish scripture. The Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, and the writings. Jesus is saying that the scriptures ALL speak about Me; I AM there, in the scriptures.

Jesus explained to the disciples the things that happened: the crucifixion, how it fulfilled the prophecies of the suffering servant; no doubt referring to Isaiah 53 as the One upon whom the Lord would lay the iniquity of us all, the One who bear the sins of the world, and the One who would rise again from the dead, to see the labour of His soul and be satisfied to see the effect of His work.

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53 (8th century BCE)

אמִ֥י הֶֽאֱמִ֖ין לִשְׁמֻֽעָתֵ֑נוּ וּזְר֥וֹעַ יְהֹוָ֖ה עַל־מִ֥י נִגְלָֽתָה:בוַיַּ֨עַל כַּיּוֹנֵ֜ק לְפָנָ֗יו וְכַשֹּׁ֙רֶשׁ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ צִיָּ֔ה לֹא־תֹ֥אַר ל֖וֹ וְלֹ֣א הָדָ֑ר וְנִרְאֵ֥הוּ וְלֹֽא־מַרְאֶ֖ה וְנֶֽחְמְדֵֽהוּ:גנִבְזֶה֙ וַֽחֲדַ֣ל אִישִׁ֔ים אִ֥ישׁ מַכְאֹב֖וֹת וִיד֣וּעַ חֹ֑לִי וּכְמַסְתֵּ֚ר פָּנִים֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ נִבְזֶ֖ה וְלֹ֥א חֲשַׁבְנֻֽהוּ:דאָכֵ֚ן חֳלָיֵ֙נוּ֙ ה֣וּא נָשָׂ֔א וּמַכְאֹבֵ֖ינוּ סְבָלָ֑ם וַֽאֲנַ֣חְנוּ חֲשַׁבְנֻ֔הוּ נָג֛וּעַ מֻכֵּ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים וּמְעֻנֶּֽה:הוְהוּא֙ מְחֹלָ֣ל מִפְּשָׁעֵ֔נוּ מְדֻכָּ֖א מֵֽעֲוֹֽנוֹתֵ֑ינוּ מוּסַ֚ר שְׁלוֹמֵ֙נוּ֙ עָלָ֔יו וּבַֽחֲבֻֽרָת֖וֹ נִרְפָּא־לָֽנוּ:וכֻּלָּ֙נוּ֙ כַּצֹּ֣אן תָּעִ֔ינוּ אִ֥ישׁ לְדַרְכּ֖וֹ פָּנִ֑ינוּ וַֽיהֹוָה֙ הִפְגִּ֣יעַ בּ֔וֹ אֵ֖ת עֲו‍ֹ֥ן כֻּלָּֽנוּ:זנִגַּ֨שׂ וְה֣וּא נַֽעֲנֶה֘ וְלֹ֣א יִפְתַּח־פִּיו֒ כַּשֶּׂה֙ לַטֶּ֣בַח יוּבָ֔ל וּכְרָחֵ֕ל לִפְנֵ֥י גֹֽזְזֶ֖יהָ נֶֽאֱלָ֑מָה וְלֹ֥א יִפְתַּ֖ח פִּֽיו:חמֵעֹ֚צֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט֙ לֻקָּ֔ח וְאֶת־דּוֹר֖וֹ מִ֣י יְשׂוֹחֵ֑חַ כִּ֚י נִגְזַר֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּ֔ים מִפֶּ֥שַׁע עַמִּ֖י נֶ֥גַע לָֽמוֹ:טוַיִּתֵּ֚ן אֶת־רְשָׁעִים֙ קִבְר֔וֹ וְאֶת־עָשִׁ֖יר בְּמֹתָ֑יו עַל לֹֽא־חָמָ֣ס עָשָׂ֔ה וְלֹ֥א מִרְמָ֖ה בְּפִֽיו:יוַֽיהֹוָ֞ה חָפֵ֚ץ דַּכְּאוֹ֙ הֶֽחֱלִ֔י אִם־תָּשִׂ֚ים אָשָׁם֙ נַפְשׁ֔וֹ יִרְאֶ֥ה זֶ֖רַע יַֽאֲרִ֣יךְ יָמִ֑ים וְחֵ֥פֶץ יְהֹוָ֖ה בְּיָד֥וֹ יִצְלָֽח:יאמֵֽעֲמַ֚ל נַפְשׁוֹ֙ יִרְאֶ֣ה יִשְׂבָּ֔ע בְּדַעְתּ֗וֹ יַצְדִּ֥יק צַדִּ֛יק עַבְדִּ֖י לָֽרַבִּ֑ים וַֽעֲו‍ֹנֹתָ֖ם ה֥וּא יִסְבֹּֽל:יבלָכֵ֞ן אֲחַלֶּק־ל֣וֹ בָֽרַבִּ֗ים וְאֶת־עֲצוּמִים֘ יְחַלֵּ֣ק שָׁלָל֒ תַּ֗חַת אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽעֱרָ֚ה לַמָּ֙וֶת֙ נַפְשׁ֔וֹ וְאֶת־פֹּֽשְׁעִ֖ים נִמְנָ֑ה וְהוּא֙ חֵֽטְא־רַבִּ֣ים נָשָׂ֔א וְלַפֹּֽשְׁעִ֖ים יַפְגִּֽיעַ:

Yeshayahu (ספר ישעיהו) – Isaiah (8th century BCE) – Chapter 53 – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible (chabad.org)

Jesus fulfilled all of this, and it’s very important that we have a real understanding and a faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you don’t believe anything else, make sure that you do believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead.

It is something we can believe because it is recorded in the scriptures.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

John 11.14-44

The scriptures themselves are given authority by God as being recorded, as events which really took place in time and space, and which were recorded by faithful men who had been eyewitnesses of these things taking place.

Tony Pearce

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