~ Luke’s Gospel Opens and Ends with a Priest ~
The Gospel of Luke opens with an earthly priest at the altar of incense on earth. The people are worshipping outside the temple in doubt and fear (Luke 1:8-21).
Luke closes his account with the Great High Priest entering into the heavenly temple with His saints as they worship with great joy and certainty (the very last verses of Luke’s Gospel – Luke 24:50-53) .
The Start of Luke’s Gospel ~ “So it was, that while he [Zacharias] was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’
“And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.’ And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.’ And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple” (Luke 1:8-21).
The End of Luke’s Gospel ~ Luke closes his Gospel with an account of the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven. “And He [Jesus Christ] led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen” (Luke 24:50-53).
So, what is your reaction? Do you have a personal relationship with the Great High Priest? Will you one day be with Christ in heaven with great joy?
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW