16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
And so Jesus opens up his ministry by quoting Isaiahs writing from around 700 years prior, then closes the scroll and says “Today this scripture has been fulfilled…”
I think that’s some serious swagger.
Jesus, with all eyes fixed on him talks about himself being the embodiment of the above prophecy: anointed, good news for the poor, liberty for captives, sight to blind, freedom from oppression and favour!
So imagine everyone’s disillusionment when He would then die upon a cross at the hands of religious Jewish priests and Roman military.
So much for liberty and favour right?
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words (Luke 24:1-8a ESV)
Mary and Mary had come to the tomb of Jesus WITH SPICES… This was not spices to prepare a meal, but spices to remove stenches for a dead body. They came thinking that Jesus was dead – and had forgotten about the prophecy, because a lot of what maybe was perceived to be a possible fulfillment would be in the way of an empire-overthrowing superhero, not a stripped, whipped and beaten martyr. Gotta love the angelic response of: “Why do you seek the living among the dead, He is not here, but has risen. REMEMBER…”
Despite our tendency towards a lack of remembrance, and even our lack of Heavenly perception, he is ever gracious to remind us with His unfailing love.
Discussion/Reflection questions: What will help us to remember to see things in a Heavenly perspective, and not forget His grace?