Thursday, December 27, 2018

Jesus' New Message

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself" (Luke 24:27).

When sometimes I ask what the greatest sermon in the Bible is, usually I am told that the Sermon on the Mount is the greatest, though some have called attention to Peter’s post-resurrection sermon in Acts 2. Overlooked is a sermon I’m sure we all wish we could have heard: Jesus’ talk with the two people on the road to Emmaus.

On the day of the resurrection, two of Jesus’ followers were returning from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It is usually assumed that these were two men, but possibly the other person was Cleopas’s wife. Others have proposed that since only Luke records this event, the other person was Luke himself.

As they walked along, Jesus joined them. They were talking about the events of the weekend, and Jesus asked them to elaborate. They were astonished that anyone in Jerusalem those last few days had not known about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had hoped would be the Messiah. They explained that some of the other disciples had found Jesus’ tomb empty that very morning, and now they did not know what to think.

Jesus gently rebuked them for not believing all that the prophets had spoken. Notice that He did not rebuke them for failing to believe the women and the other disciples. The issue for Jesus was the testimony of Holy Scripture. Then we read that Jesus showed them what the Old Testament prophecied regarding Him.

As the evening drew on, they asked Jesus to stay with them. While they were having dinner, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them. Suddenly God opened their eyes and they recognized Him, but He disappeared from their sight. They said to one another, “How could we fail to recognize Him? Did not our hearts burn within us as He opened the Scriptures to us?”

As New Testament Christians, it startles us to realize that when Jesus explained all the Scriptures concerning Himself, He was drawing only from the Old Testament. Too often believers are found lacking in their understanding of Christ in the Old Testament. Commit now to studying with me next year as we survey the Old Testament.