You could predict, almost to the second, exactly what was going to happen.
Reference: v.47 "…and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (NIV Bible)
Explore: The church in which I grew up was very structured. You could predict, almost to the second, exactly what was going to happen. The only difference would be which form or song was substituted into the appropriate time slot depending on the theme of the day. Therefore every Sunday – at about 11.12am – I would be lead through a prayer of forgiveness. As a child I had always done something wrong. Whether it was lying to my Mum or saying something nasty to my sister, there was always something I needed to confess to Jesus. Having moved out of that particular denomination I have found that other churches do not have a time during their service that focuses on forgiveness. To begin with I thought this was very freeing and to worship away from the structure and forms was liberating. However, now I see they have their place. I started falling into the habit of never asking for forgiveness and thinking that I didn't really have anything in my life that needed Jesus' grace. Even now I can not remember the last time, during a worship service, that I was led through a time of forgiveness. Thanks to my upbringing I know that this is important and so I have taken the initiative to incorporate it into my own personal prayers.
Explore: As I read through this final passage in Luke I noticed Jesus' words to His disciples. His resurrection was so that 'repentance and forgiveness of sins (could) be preached.' And this is very true when we first come to Jesus. When people become Christians they are redeemed from their old life and made new in Christ. However I think that every day we need to experience and rejoice in Jesus' resurrection. Unfortunately we are constantly drawn back to sinful ways and yet each and every day we are offered God's love and grace, which has been freely given to us through Jesus' sacrifice. Each and every day we can humble ourselves before God because of the sin in our lives. And each and every day we can rejoice that He has offered us His grace.
Prayer: Spend some time in prayer, asking for forgiveness and then rejoicing in the knowledge that God freely gives His grace to all who ask.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.