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Thursday, March 27, 2008

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Easter Week

Acts 3:11-26
Psalm 8
Luke 24:35-48

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"only say the word" (see lk 7:7)

"Recall those words I spoke to you when I was still with you." —Luke 24:44

Some people think Easter 2008 isn't as good as the first Easter. They think they would be transformed by the risen Jesus if only they could see and touch His glorified body. However, a sensory experience of the risen Christ is not what makes Easter.

At the first Easter, the risen Jesus invited the apostles to look at and touch His hands and feet (Lk 24:39). He even ate a piece of cooked fish to prove to the apostles that they were seeing His body and not just a vision (Lk 24:42). These sensory experiences did not give the apostles faith in the risen Christ. Faith comes not through sensory experiences but by spiritual hearing, and this kind of hearing comes from receiving God's word (Rm 10:17).

After Jesus failed to instill in the apostles faith in the resurrection through vision, sound, and touch, He "opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45). In this way, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus came to believe in the risen Christ after failing to recognize Him despite walking with Him for several miles (Lk 24:32).

Peter also emphasized meeting the risen Christ through the word. At the first Pentecost he preached the word, not even mentioning Jesus' resurrection appearances to him (Acts 2:14-36). This Easter can be as good as the first, because Easter depends on faith, faith comes from hearing, and hearing is from the word of God.

Prayer:  Father, may the word burn in my heart this week (Lk 24:32).

Promise:  "God raised Him from the dead, and we are His witnesses." —Acts 3:15

Praise:  By confirming words that God speaks through others, Rachel knows the Lord is specifically hearing her prayers.

Reference:  (Devote yourself to the ministry of the Word. For encouragement, order our tapes on the Bible Teachers Series. Our six-tape audio series starts with AV 117-1. Our three-part video series starts with V-117.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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