During the forty days between Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven, He held the most amazing Bible school imaginable.
The Teacher: None other than the newly-risen Lord Himself.
The students: The same disciples who had followed Him through His roughly three-year itinerant ministry in Palestine.
The text: What Christians call the Old Testament; what Jews call the Tanakh (i.e. The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings).
The lesson plan: Jesus showed the disciples how the Bible testified of Him and His righteousness. More specifically, He showed them how to interpret it. Growing up in Israel, they had only heard it interpreted according to the flesh. Jesus would show them its meaning in the spirit. He had been doing this for the three previous years but only when He was raised from the dead did they begin to get it. Even so, the book of Acts reveals that their understanding continued to progress in the years that followed. It was simply too much to take in at once.
Circumcision, Passover, the Sabbath, worship, the temple – all these words came to have different meanings as they were interpreted in the spirit and not the flesh. Circumcision was now of the heart. Passover and Unleavened Bread portrayed Messiah. Worship was to be unseen. The temple was no longer a physical building. And this is just a fraction of the new lexicon they had to learn. Everything that used to apply to something physical now applied to something spiritual. Jerusalem and Zion were no longer on earth, but now were considered heavenly places. Warfare was not to be with surrounding nations but with spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. Jews were no longer physical descendants of Abraham, but rather those who walked in the kind of faith he had.
It is time to return to the lexicon that Jesus taught His apostles. Some of those understandings have made their way down to us but many of them have been lost or overlooked. Jesus had come to give the Bible the spiritual meaning God had sought for it all along. Its usage for religion and ritual was only temporary until the Savior Himself could come and break the seals of the book to fully reveal its eternal purpose: the teaching of righteousness. The Lord Jesus is here now to continue His teaching, if we will only sit at His feet and listen.