1 Corinthians 15:3-6 - For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
This devotion pairs with this weekend's Lutheran Hour sermon, which can be found at lutheranhour.org.
Do you have a favorite detective character from a book, movie, or a TV series? Someone like Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote, or Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth from Bones? Or maybe a classic like Sherlock Holmes? In most crime dramas, the key moment comes when the detective tells the "second story." The second story is the one that makes sense of the initial story. The initial story was the lived experience of all the characters in the drama. The second story—the one the detective tells at the end—isn't a different story. It's what the initial story was about all along. But the characters living the story couldn't see it. And they won't see it until the master sleuth tells the second story, when he or she puts the puzzle pieces together, and reveals, beyond a reasonable doubt, whodunit.
There's an account from the New Testament where something similar happens. A man is reading the Bible, puzzling over a passage from the Old Testament. Another man, a guy named Philip, sees him struggling and asks, "Do you understand what you're reading?" The first man says, "How can I, unless someone shows me how?" Then he invites Phillip to come and sit with him. And Phillip, beginning with that passage, tells him the good news about Jesus (see Acts 8:30-35). Philip showed him what the Bible is about. He told him the second story—how the pieces fit together.
In an essay titled "Uncovering a Second Narrative," Dr David Steinmetz, a professor of church history, explained how the early church learned to understand not only what the Bible is about, but what all of life is about. They understood it like a classic crime drama, that is, from the vantage point of the final chapter. The New Testament claims that, in Jesus, life's final chapter has arrived, and the New Testament is full of "second story" moments, such as the one in today's reading. For these first followers, Jesus became their second story because they saw Him raised from the dead. Confronted with this whodunit, they concluded God had. And now, for them and for us, all of life's puzzle pieces fit together only in Jesus, crucified and risen, ruling and returning.
WE PRAY: Lord, open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things in Your Word, through Jesus Christ, Your Word made flesh. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour.
1. What is one of your favorite passages from the Old Testament?
2. How does this lead you to the Good News of about Jesus?
3. Are there puzzling pieces in your life, past or present, that don't seem to fit anywhere? How might these pieces also be telling a story of death and new life in Jesus?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"