What Jesus Did! 'Filled with Joy and Praise' — Luke 24:44-53

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Then [Jesus] said, "When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' You are witnesses of all these things. And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven." Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.
— Luke 24:44-53 NLT

Key Thought

What is our purpose now that we wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is risen from the dead? What should be our response to this year of walking with Jesus through the Gospel of Luke? Very simply put, we should be filled with joy that leads us to praise God and help proclaim his message. Jesus came and lived among us as one of us. He loved us so much that he would rather die for us than live without us. However, God's power enabled him to triumph over sin, death, and the tomb-master himself, Satan. We now can have a great victory in Jesus, and our future can be fused to his future. How can we not be a people of joy? How can we not praise the God of powerful grace and mighty mercy? How can we not help spread the great news that "There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent"? Life, joy, peace, and salvation can be discovered when we orient our lives to follow Jesus. What a great way to end one chapter of our lives, turn the page, and begin another!

Today's Prayer

Holy and Almighty God, I praise you for the victory that you have given me through your Son's life, death, and resurrection. You are worthy of all glory, honor, praise, and adoration. You have sacrificed so much to bring me into your presence as a cleansed and holy child of the Eternal King. My heart overflows with joy knowing that I am your child and that my home is with you. Bless me now as I finish this year and commit to be your person, to be filled with joy and praise, and to help spread the message of forgiveness. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Philippians 4:4-5
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • Ephesians 1:12-14


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Illustration of Luke 24:44-53 NLT — "When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.