The Written and Necessary Message of Repentance and Forgiveness part 1

 

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Lk. 24:46,47 NKJV)

 

After Jesus, recently resurrected from the dead, opened the minds of His disciples to understand the Scriptures (Lk. 24:45), and presumably after He gave them an Emmaus Road-like Bible study similar to the one Cleopas and other unnamed disciples received (vs.27), He concluded by saying, “Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise from the dead the third day” (vs.46). Their ‘kingdom now’ expectations had been part of the reason they overlooked the Scriptures explicit predictions - the Christ was to suffer, die, and rise (Isa. 53; Ps. 22; 16:10). It was not an aberration of the plan of God and neither was it a contingency; it always was the plan. The promises found in Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms all bore witness to that.

The “And” We Must Notice…

   Then we also notice that the word “and” begins verse forty-seven. So, there’s a clear connection between what came before it and what comes after it. So when Jesus said, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary…” (vs.46a), He wasn’t only talking about the Christ suffering and rising from the dead on the third day (vs.46b; cf. Ps. 16, 22, 118; Isa. 53), but also, “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Here we see the predicted responsibilities of the Lord’s witnesses. For the moment we set our attention on the first part - the preaching of repentance and the remissions of sins.

And the “and” that shouldn’t be there…

The text in the NKJV reads as follows: “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” The word “and” in between repentance and remission of sins could be translated as “for” (NASB, ESV, NIV). The Greek word there is not the usual conjunction for “and” (Gr. kai); rather, it is the preposition eis, which usually means “into” or “unto” or “for.” And since repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin it makes sense that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be said here. If repentance is unto life (Acts 11:18), then it is also repentance into/unto/for the forgiveness of sins. If coming to repentance is the opposite of perishing (2 Pet. 3:9), then repentance is coterminous with the reception of forgiveness.

So, suffice it to say, I think the text reads: “that repentance for remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (LK. 24:47). Repentance, then, was a written and necessary component of proclamation yet it is often forgotten and/or left out of Gospel-presentations.