Lessons for the Third Sunday of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 36-41

In this, the final section of Peter’s sermon, he issues a call for repentance for promoting the crucifixion, for recognition of sin in the crowd’s lives.  “Admit”, Peter says,”you were wrong about this Jesus; see how God has raised him to sit at his right hand.”  “There is a way to go,” Peter says, “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you sins will be forgiven.”  And Luke writes that some 3,000 were baptized and received the Holy Spirit that day.

 

I Peter 1:17-23

At the close of the first century there were some thousands of Christians in the far reaches of the Roman Empire, in Pontus, Asia and Cappadocia and other lands of Asia minor, today’s Turkey.  The author of this letter, writing under the name of Peter, seeks to encourage these scattered believers to stay together for support.  You are members of the household of God, not isolated children.  You have found a permanent home in Christ; you are redeemed; act with love with one another.

 

Luke 24:13-35

Two persons who have known Jesus, not apostles, identified as Cleopas and another, possibly a woman, were walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance perhaps of several miles when, Luke reports, the resurrected Jesus joins them.  They fail to recognize him.  Cleopas and his partner describe in detail the events of the past three days to him and Luke inserts his interpretation of what messiahship means, how what happened fits the series of Hebrew prophecies beginning with Moses.  When Jesus breaks bread with the travelers, it all becomes clear.  Jesus is risen; he is no longer bound to earthly conditions, to the wiles and proclivities of men.  Note the words Luke uses here and in his description of the Last Supper; “He took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them.”  These words not only form the core of theanaphora of our eucharistic worship, they connect us with the Lord; they are the floor of our memory of what happened in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.