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Jesus Explained the Scriptures on the Emmaus Road

We are meditating on the events that took place on the day of the resurrection of Jesus. Christ appeared incognito to two discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus, about seven miles west of Jerusalem. They said to the Lord, “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They both talked about their former belief that Christ was the Redeemer of Israel, but their words were in the past tense, revealing that His death on the cross now led them to believe that Jesus was not the Savior. It is interesting to note what the disguised Jesus said to them in reply:

25He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:25-27).

These two disciples needed to understand what the Scriptures taught, for they had a limited understanding of what God was doing. When they read the writings of Moses, they did not ask the "why' of the text. We can learn a lot by asking the Holy Spirit the "who, what, when, where, and why" questions as we read the Scriptures. The two disciples had a limited vision because they believed Jesus' mission was to release them from Rome's bondage and occupation. The Lord explained the Old Testament Scriptures to them, starting with Moses and the Prophets (v. 27). We don't know what prophetic Scriptures Jesus spoke to them, so let me give you a few possibilities.

Perhaps Jesus explained what Moses wrote in the first five books of Moses, that God would send a Deliverer to crush the serpent's head (a picture of Satan): “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Perhaps Jesus explained how the substitutionary Passover lamb's blood sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of their homes would deliver the obedient from Pharaoh's slavery. Maybe He explained that the Rock struck by Moses, bringing forth water for Israel, was a picture of the Rock of Israel, Christ, being smitten for sin so that God could pour out His Holy Spirit for the thirsty (Exodus 17:6). Paul the Apostle also wrote about Christ being the Rock of Israel, saying that they all "drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). Maybe He explained that the heavenly Manna that God gave Israel in the desert was a picture of the heavenly bread of life that God would provide, i.e., a picture of Christ, the Bread of Life:

32Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:32-35).

It could be that He also explained what Moses said, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15). Pharaoh and Egypt was a picture given hundreds of years before Christ of the greater bondage and servitude of sin that will not release its slaves unless payment is made by the death of a substitute, i.e., the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

What was written in the first five books of Moses were real things that happened, but they were also types and shadows of the work of Christ to deliver us from the power and guilt of sin. Yes, the Living Christ explained the Scriptures to them as they walked. I trust that the same is happening to you through these meditations—the Lord Jesus opening your eyes to see His saving power to us. Keith Thomas

Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke, study 65. Jesus on the Emmaus Road


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