ABOVE: A Torah Scroll similar to the kind that Jesus would have read in the Synagogue. Think of it as the Amazon Kindle of his time. Oi Vey!
This following reflection is taken from one of four studies I prepared for use during the morning Bible Study sessions at General Synod 2010. The studies included set questions for discussion, and were led and presented by members of the Youth Stewards Programme who read out the reflection below before delegates gathered in small groups to discuss how the reading and reflection applied to their Synod work that day.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
It is written.
That was Jesus’ reply to the temptations of the Devil. No chapter. No verse. Just the simple, authoritative reply:
It is written.
How confident are we in our knowledge of scripture. Sure, we may not know the chapter or the verse – but are we confident enough to contend, under scrutiny, that it is written?
You might say “Oh, but Jesus had an advantage. He was the Word.”
I agree. He certainly had a head start. But he made the effort all the same.
If it is that you have no confident knowledge of scripture, it is not because of your lack of divine lineage.
It’s because you don’t make the effort. Your mind is closed.
It takes a risen Christ to open our minds to the meaning of the Scriptures. How else are we to know what is to be fulfilled, and what promises are ours?
How else are we to comprehend that we will be clothed with power from on high, and what that really means?
Our faith is the gift of a risen and ascended Christ. And the legacy of that gift is the thanksgiving of worship, and great joy.
We should really get to know this risen and ascended Christ on a daily basis. And we can do that through prayer, worship, and through reading the Scriptures.
And knowing legacy of the of the gift that Christ gave us, we should do one more thing.
We should share Christ with the world.