Faith seeking understanding

Luke's Unparalleled Easter Invitation

When we pause and consider Luke's account of Easter in isolation, we glimpse more of Luke's key emphases. Andrew Malone guides us through some of Luke's unique contributions.

By Andrew Malone

March 5 2019 

Comparatively, contextually, and in community – three “digestive aids” we were reminded of in this column last month. These aids are vital as we inwardly digest the Scriptures as individuals and as a church, not least as we once more approach Easter.

This liturgical year focuses on Luke’s Gospel. The first and second of the digestive aids especially help us appreciate what Luke wants his readers to learn from Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. What does Luke foreground when read comparatively with other accounts? What does Luke emphasise as we read contextually through his book as a whole?

We cherish Luke’s as the Gospel that most welcomes outsiders and outcasts. It is Luke who lionises Samaritans, praises the women who sponsor Jesus’ ministry, and redeems tax-collectors such as Zacchaeus. It is Luke who broadcasts Jesus’ commitment “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). It is Luke who collates three famous parables to assure repentant sinners that heaven erupts with joy greater than that of finding lost sheep, lost coins and lost sons (Luke 15).

Of course Luke has no monopoly on Easter. Each of the Gospels gives significant space to Jesus’ last week of earthly ministry (nearly half of John’s account) and the rest of the New Testament authors also offer reflections. Compared with these, what has Luke spotlighted? A few samples give us a taste of the depths we could plumb ... 

Dr Andrew Malone is a lecturer in Biblical Studies at Ridley College.

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