It's the final day of Luke's challenge. We are here in the final chapter of this epic series on UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: A LOOK THROUGH THE BOOK OF LUKE, and what a journey it has been studying from chapter to chapter, from pages to pages, the living words and works of Christ as captured by Dr. Luke. And the result has been 23 days of blogging which has produced approximately 48,046 excluding the number of words for today's post, words that are enough to produce a 300 page on the book of Luke! Well, that was not the intent of the Luke Challenge but still, it is worth mentioning how much the Spirit of God has wrought in our hearts producing a deeper understanding of Christ. I have been blessed writing and I know you have been blessed reading this as well.
Thank you to everyone that has been reading and following this series from over the world. From Nigeria to the USA, Austria, Ghana, India, Kenya, South Africa, Philippines, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Australia, Czechs, Spain, United Kingdom, and Algeria, representing the top 15 nations among the over 50 nations of the world where this series have been read and followed in the past 23 days. At least over a 1000 reader has read and follow the Luke challenge consistently in the past 23 days, that is as much as Google Analytics has been able to capture from the blog. There are over 1000 others on WhatsApp and various social media platforms that have followed this series. It's been amazing! The initial doubt when my friend Dayo Adeyemi threw this challenge to the men of the Catalyst men network in Nigeria, was whether anyone would consistently follow up and read the long post such a study would generate. The Luke challenge proved me wrong, day by day people were taking time to read both on the blog and on social media platforms! Thanks to his leadership and for bringing up the Luke challenge. Who originally created the idea of the Luke Challenge? It's the Holy Spirit and through the heart of one of his chosen vessel. God bless that man or woman who has creatively challenged us to eat the word like never before in the past 23 days or so.
There was this particular day, day 16 of the Luke challenge, Luke 16. By the time I was done writing on it, 3144 words have been written. It's the longest blog post on powertalk since it's inception and yet I was amazed at how many people read that post within the first few hours of publishing, over 300 clicks and read in just three hours! That would be the highest read in such a short time. Blog post tends to get more reads and momentum as the hours and the days pass, but Luke 16 was different, it was explosive from the word go. You can still find the article here if you have not read yet: bit.ly/ucluke16
God's word has exploded with intensity, power, and revelation in our hearts the past 24 days. I see a miracle full Christmas and the new decade ahead of us producing outstanding results. Amen. Thank you all, all includes those I can't mention, those I can't know. Men and women who have shared these words far and wide. I am sure we all know the challenge is ending today, but the habit of studying God's word with intensity like this in the past 23 days can forever become part of our lives? Yes, we should do this always.
THE RISEN CHRIST
Here on this 24th day and in Luke 24, we see Christ. Has he not risen from the dead there would have been no need to celebrate his birth! Without his death on the cross, his birth would have had no meaning! Let's read in Luke 24:1-10 and we will conclude the Luke challenge.
"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rises again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles'. Luke 24:1-10 KJV
The statement to focus on here is the one that came from the angel, " He is no here, but is risen". This is the reason for what we celebrate at Christmas: the victory at the cross and over the power of the grave gave us a savior that lives forevermore, hence the reason for Christmas. Christmas celebrates the birthday of the savior that is alive. This is not a posthumous birthday celebration, no we celebrate the risen Christ!
The risen Christ is the living Christ and the Living Christ is the reason for the season!
Christ confirms this himself in Revelations 1:18,
"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Revelation 1:17-18 KJV
Christ is alive forevermore and He is the reason for the Christmas season! Only those who have Christ alive in their hearts are qualified to celebrate Christmas! Christmas is the celebration of the risen Christ. His victory over the grave and his consequent resurrection ensure that what we will forever celebrate is the birthday of a Lord who is alive forevermore!
HIS WORD AND HIS SPIRIT
And when he was to leave the earth physically he put two things in place that will forever perpetuate him here on earth even though he won't be physically walking the earth again. He gave us His words and His Spirit. These were the two things the master did.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.....And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:44-45, 49 KJV
First, he opened their heart to understand scriptures and also He told them to wait for them in the filling of the Holy Spirit. With these two places, Christ lives forever in our hearts and on the earth. The Holy Spirit is here today carrying on the works of Christ, showing and manifesting forth the glory of God everywhere!
Christ is alive!
SOMETHING ABOUT MEN
I will close this Luke's challenge with a question that has been in my heart from the beginning of this series. In Luke 1 we see the tale of a maid and a priest. The maid believed the word of the Lord, while a high priest doubted God's word even with His status!
Now here again in Luke 24, it is the tale of a group of women who are not Jesus apostles against the apostles themselves. What was it that happened? The women believed, the men did not
He is not here but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rises again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Luke 24:6-11 KJV
The women went to the master's tomb and found out that he was gone, thankfully the Angels were there to give them answers. They reminded them of the words of Jesus and told the women how he has risen from the dead. This women believe believed and went into the town broadcasting the news of the Lord's resurrection, their first port of call were to the Apostles, the men who have spent the last 3 years or more with Jesus going in and out with him, hearing His words and seeing the great works that he did. Yet when told that Christ has risen, yet they would not believe!
What is it with men that find it hard to walk in the path of faith? Is it because we relate so much to our sense than to our sixth sense, our spiritual sense? Today many men are at the forefront of telling us that FAITH MAKES SENSE, that faith is not stupid. Yes, faith is not always stupid, but it will most times sound stupid! At least from my scriptural deductions, this seems much the reality and it is what Paul called the 'foolishness of the gospel'.
The women believed while the men drag their feet in unbelief! As we celebrate Christ this Christmas I pray that the heart of everyone will be filled with a new level of faith because "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God'. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV
This level of a walk with God can only be accessible by faith. These strange things that God wants to do in our lives can only be accessed by faith. Our faith will not fail us. Amen.