How will you know that you understand what Moses and all the Prophets said concerning Jesus, the Messiah? You will have the same life-changing response as the men who had been confused, perplexed and dismayed as they walked away from Jerusalem on that first Easter Day. You will feel your heart burn within you. (Luke 24:32). You will refuse to go to sleep in “Emmaus”. You will return as quickly as possible to “Jerusalem” where other believers are gathering to share the good news that Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed! And every Christmas, you will hear Jesus tell you “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36).
On the first Easter Day, two troubled men walked and talked. They were traveling about seven miles from Jerusalem to a village named Emmaus.
A man came up and walked with them. It was Jesus! But “they were kept from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:16).
They were confused, perplexed and dismayed.
The men explained to the stranger walking with them that:
Jesus “was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.” (Luke 24:19). They had hoped Jesus “was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21).
Nevertheless, during the past week, evil people tortured and killed Jesus.
But this morning, close followers of Jesus were saying that Jesus was alive! His tomb was empty!!
Like so many confused, perplexed and dismayed people today, the men had seen and heard the truth about Jesus—the Truth about the Messiah. But they did not perceive or understand what they were seeing, hearing and feeling. (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:13-15; Acts 28:25-28).
On the day that the history of all Humanity changed for all time in Jerusalem, these men were walking away from Jerusalem!
Jesus said to them:
“‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27).
In this series of blogs, I’m going to try to explain what Jesus explained to these men concerning himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with Moses and the Prophets.
Countless books and sermons have grappled with this question. But Jesus would only have had a few hours to explain it to these men.
What did he say to them?
Presumably, many of the things he said to them are similar to early traditions that are preserved in the book of Acts.
For example, Peter quoted the Prophet Joel and several Psalms to convince his hearers that “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36).
Philip began with a quote from the Prophet Isaiah to tell “the good news about Jesus”. (Acts 8:35).
Paul spread “the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.” (Acts 13:32-33).
Paul quoted from several psalms and prophets, concluding:
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin . . ..” (Acts 13:38-39).
How will you know that you understand what Moses and all the Prophets said concerning Jesus, the Messiah?
You will have the same life-changing response as these men who had been confused, perplexed and dismayed as they walked away from Jerusalem.
You will feel your heart burn within you. (Luke 24:32).
You will refuse to go to sleep in “Emmaus”.
You will return as quickly as possible to “Jerusalem” where other believers are gathering to share the good news that Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!
And every Christmas, you will hear Jesus tell you “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36).
Every Christmas you will rejoice and share the good news that causes joy for all people.
Every Christmas you will join the heavenly and earthly hosts, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward [everyone].” (Luke 2:10-14).
To learn more about how Jesus fulfilled all the Scriptures concerning the Messiah, please read my book Hoping in the LORD, especially the chapters “Mary and Joseph Lose Jesus in Jerusalem”, “Jesus Is Tempted”, “Jesus Preaches in His Hometown of Nazareth”, “Jesus Tells His Disciples He Must Die”, “Jesus Drives the Merchants Out of the Temple”, “Jesus Allows Himself To Be Arrested Without a Fight”, Jesus Tells the High Priest that He Is the Messiah”, and “Jesus Forgives His Enemies and Trusts God”, at pages 53-64, 71-91, 111-115, 171-173, 223-227, 259-266, 267-275, 287-293.
Why do I say that Jesus would only have had a few hours to talk with the men walking to Emmaus?
Passover is celebrated in the springtime. There are about 12 hours of daylight.
The women reached the empty tomb of Jesus a bit after dawn. (Luke 24:1-2).
It must have been at least a few hours after dawn before the men left for Emmaus. They had remained in Jerusalem long enough to hear the first eye witness accounts about the empty tomb and visions of angels. (Luke 24:22-24).
By the time they finished walking the seven miles to Emmaus, it was nearly evening, the day was almost over. (Luke 24:28-29).
Jesus joined them at some point during their walk. At their urging, Jesus went in to stay with them in Emmaus. (Luke 24:28-29).
When they sat together at the table, Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31).