The sun burns high above a dusty Judean road. Two men embark on a seven-mile journey from Jerusalem to the town of Emmaus. They can make it to town by supper if they keep their pace.
Like everything else they’ve tried to do over the past few days, it will be difficult. Their hearts, minds and souls are spinning with images, thoughts, ideas and emotions stemming from recent events. The one they had hoped would lead the Jewish nation from the tyranny of Rome had been brutally killed on a cross.
They had spent the entire Sabbath hiding in fear. If the ruling council could so easily condemn Jesus, could the condemnation of his followers be far behind?
Then came the morning news – a stunning report from some women of their company. The women told an amazing story – an amazing, crazy, unbelievable story. When they arrived at the tomb to take care of the body of Jesus, the women found the stone had been rolled away and an angel who made an even more startling announcement. Jesus had risen from the dead!
They shook their heads in confusion. Animated motions punctuated a lively discussion about what happened, what could have happened and what might happen next.
Suddenly, a stranger walked alongside them. He seemed to have no knowledge of what has transpired in Jerusalem. The disciples quickly filled him in on all the details, but are shocked at what he says in reply.
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” – Luke 24:25-26
Their hearts burned within them as the stranger talked. Beginning with Moses and the prophets, he told them everything about Jesus recorded in the Scriptures.
Only later when they saw the familiar motion of the breaking of bread did they recognize their travel companion. It was the Lord himself!
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have walked with the disciples and listen to the voice of the Savior opening the Old Testament Scriptures to reveal how they foreshadowed his coming. What does it mean that he started with Moses? Does it mean he started with Moses’ story in Exodus or at the beginning of the books of Moses, Pentateuch?
And the prophets. Which prophets? What prophecies?
Or was it deeper than that? Maybe the Lord didn’t use individual passages at all, but, as a Master Teacher, was able to explain the entirety of the Old Testament as it related to his mission.
No one knows exactly, but thanks to great resources and cross-references, we can walk our own road to Emmaus. We can explore the ways Moses and the prophets pointed to the coming of Christ.
So, between now and Pentecost, join me on the journey with me as I explore these Old Testament references.
And, may our hearts burn with us as we travel …
If you look back through the archives, you’ll find that I did a rather poor job of keeping up with the posting plan. I’ve decided to bring back the series for the 31 Days project. I’m starting early because four posts were previously posted.