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The Passion, Resurrection & Ascension of Christ according to Luke St John in the Wilderness, March 14, 2007, Melanie Lee leading.

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Presentation on theme: "The Passion, Resurrection & Ascension of Christ according to Luke St John in the Wilderness, March 14, 2007, Melanie Lee leading."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Passion, Resurrection & Ascension of Christ according to Luke St John in the Wilderness, March 14, 2007, Melanie Lee leading

2 Jesus’ tenderness and forgiveness “In the Lucan account of the ministry of Jesus he showed tenderness to the stranger (widow of Nain) and praised the mercy shown to the Prodigal Son; it is not surprising then that in his passion Jesus shows forgiveness to those who crucified him”. (23:24) Brown pg 48 A Crucified Christ in Holy Week

3 Merciful portrayal of the apostles “Luke, who has described the disciples/apostles with extraordinary delicacy during the ministry (unlike Mark who dwells on their weaknesses and failures) continues a merciful portrayal of them during the passion, never mentioning that they fled.” Brown pg 48 “Accordingly, Jesus does not separate himself from the body of the disciples and then from the three chosen one, but simply withdraws a stone’s throw away to pray.” (22:40-42) Brown pg 49

4 Jesus cares, in the midst of peril “It is a mark of exquisite Lucan sensitivity that when the arresting party comes, led by Judas, the perverse kiss is forestalled. Jesus addresses his betrayer by name (the only time in all the Gospels), and shows a foreknowledge of the planned strategy (22:48). Luke adds a motif to the traditional cutting off the ear of the high priest’s slave, namely, that Jesus who has so often healed in the ministry heals this opponent, even in the midst of his own peril.” (22:51) Brown, pg 50

5 Jesus heals enmity “The unique and fascinating Lucan contribution… is that the Lucan Herod confirms Pilate’s judgment that Jesus is innocent, healing the enmity had existed between the Galilean “king” and the Roman leader (23:14-15). Once more Jesus has a healing effect even on those who maltreat him.” Brown pg 53

6 Gracious treatment of one’s enemies “In this section of the passion narrative (23:26-56) Luke is most individualistic… The contrast in Jesus’ attitudes to the Jewish leaders, Roman soldiers and crowd is heightened by the first words he speaks upon coming to the place of the Skull: ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ This constitutes not only a more human understanding of the complex responsibilities for the death of Jesus, but also a directive for the gracious treatment of one’s enemies that has often been simply called “Christian”…. The suffering Jesus also responds with greater generosity than the criminal on the cross requested, Jesus will not simply remember the man after entering the Kingdom, but he will take the man with him this very day.” Brown pg 54

7 Confidence of Christ “In the last hours of Jesus’ life, darkness comes over the earth (which Luke explains as a failing of the sun or as an eclipse, which technically was impossible at Passover time) but this does not obscure the confidence of the dying Jesus. His last words are not those of abandonment (Mark/Matthew), or of triumph (John), but words of trust: ‘Father, into your hands I commend your spirit.’” (23:44-46) Brown pg 55

8 Innocence proclaimed “Luke places the rending of the Temple veil before Jesus’ death, not after Mark/Matthew; for only acts of grace will follow the death of Jesus. The first is the final affirmation of innocence from the centurion, so that timewise, on either side of the cross a Roman governor and a Roman soldier have made the same declaration of not guilty. Second, the Jewish multitude is moved to repentance, so that the people return home beating their breasts. A sign of goodness is evoked even from the midst of the Sanhedrin, as Joseph of Arimathea, who had not consented to the deed of crucifying Jesus, asks for the body of Jesus in order to render the required burial services. Lucan crucifixion is clearly a moment of God’s forgiveness and of healing grace through and by Jesus.” (23:44-53) Brown pg 55

9 Visits to the empty tomb “Luke told us not only that the Galilean women saw how Jesus’ body was laid in the tomb, but also that they went back to prepare spices and myrrh and then rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Luke’s story of Jesus’ birth was replete with references to how those involved were law-observant, and that motif returns at his death. From the beginning to the end of Jesus’ life on earth, there is no break with the commandments that God had given to the people of Israel.” (23:55-24:3) Brown pg 40, A Risen Christ in Eastertime

10 Women respond “The fact that the women come at the crack of dawn on the first day after the Sabbath with the spices they had prepared catches their eagerness to render loving service.” (24.1) Brown pg 42

11 Women have faith “In the better manuscripts of Luke the angels go on to the more prosaic proclamation: ‘He is not here but has been raised.’ That Jesus is not here the women can see with their eyes; that this is because God has raised Jesus they must take on faith.” (24:2-8) Brown pg 42

12 On the road to Emmaus “The longest of all the canonical resurrection stories, its length provides the risen Jesus an opportunity to offer revelatory teaching that shows how the entire passion and resurrection fit into God’s plan contained in the Scriptures.” Brown pg 45 “By the causal atmosphere he gives to the encounter, Luke implies how the two must have looked on Jesus: happening by, perhaps a Passover pilgrim leaving Jerusalem to return home, and wanting to share their company on the road, he shows interest in their conversation.” (24:13-32) Brown pg 46

13 Apostolic faith based on encounter with the risen Christ “The truly curious factor is that before the two disciples can make their report, the Eleven have their own news. All doubts that the Eleven had about those earlier reports have been resolved while the two disciples were away, for the Lord has been seen by Simon (Peter). …the effect shows that the apostolic faith in the risen Lord is not based on a story about an empty tomb or even on the message of angels; it is based on an actual encounter with Jesus.” (24:33-35) Brown pg 51

14 Paul verses Luke, or Spirit vs Body “Paul’s notion of a spiritual body to be possessed by the risen Christian (presumably based on his experience of the risen Jesus) is related to his thesis that ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’ (I Cor 15:50) This seems quite different from Luke’s insistence on Jesus’ flesh and bones. Nevertheless, one should acknowledge that Luke’s primary interest is in the identity of the risen Jesus so that having the Eleven recognize the bodily aspect of Jesus in the eating of the fish (24:42-43) is not too different from having the two disciples at Emmaus recognize Jesus is the breaking of the bread. An important part of the risen Jesus’ identity is his continuity with his corporeal existence during the ministry.” Brown pg 54

15 The ascension, twice told “At the beginning of Acts, Luke takes pains to related his second volume to his first, which he says ended on the day Jesus was taken up after he had instructed the apostles through the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:9 Luke will tell us again that Jesus was taken up to heaven… His use of the ascension twice shows once more that despite the concreteness of his descriptions Luke has no naïve understanding of what he is describing.” (24:50-52) Brown pg 58

16 Reappearance of appearances “Acts 1:3 tells us something we would never have expected from the Gospel, namely, that for forty days after his passion and death Jesus made appearances to his apostles. The reference to Jesus giving ‘many proofs’ showing that he was alive and speaking to the apostles of the kingdom of God suggests that Luke is thinking of the type of appearance narrated in the episode we have just considered (24:36-49).” Brown pg 59

17 Disappearance into the clouds “Having prepared his apostles in detail for the future, Jesus is taken up to heaven (Acts 1:9). Here Luke is even more graphic than in 24:51, for this time a cloud intervenes to take him from their sight. (This is similar to the cloud of divine presence mentioned by Luke 9:34-35 at the transfiguration.)” Brown pg 63

18 Our assurance “Matthew ends his account of the resurrection with the assurance that Jesus is with us all days till the end of time; Luke, who twice describes Jesus’ departure, ends the resurrection story with the assurance that he will come back just as surely as he left.” (24:52-53) Brown pg 64

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