Following his triumphant resurrection from the dead, Jesus said to his disciples,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)
At the heart of the gospel is an invitation extended to all. Sins can be forgiven. The Christ has suffered for you. He has RISEN from the dead so that you might enjoy eternal life.
But’s that’s not where this news ends. Read the last sentence of Jesus’ words again:
“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
Why did Jesus suffer? What opportunity has his resurrection extended? REPENTANCE—a change of loyalty that produces a change of mind leading to a change in living. When I repent, I’m turning around, away from my sins. I’m sorry for what I’ve done against the will of my Creator. I stop putting myself first. I come back to my Father in heaven, seeking his forgiveness, willing to walk once again according to his will. Jesus could not have been clearer after his resurrection: share this news with everyone! Proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins to all, and that’s exactly what the apostles did. They taught:
- Repentance is produced by grief over my rebellion against God (2 Cor 7:10).
- Repentance demands the removal of self from the throne of my heart and the welcoming of God back to his rightful place (Acts 2:38).
- Repentance is the shifting of my mind from the self-centered things of this world to the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Col 3:2; Matt 6:33).
- God’s kindness and forbearance and patience is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4), because without repentance, we will perish (Luke 13:1-5).
Repentance is a change of loyalty that produces a change of mind leading to a change in living. That’s what the resurrected Christ wants for you and from you because without repentance, loyalties don’t change, minds aren’t renewed, and sins cannot be forgiven.
The news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is incredibly good news. Let’s make sure we realize what the news means and demands of each one of us.