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Even among Evangelicals today, there seems to be a rising tide of disregard for portions of the Bible – especially the Old Testament. Which is why a passage like Luke 24:13–35 takes on massive importance. We’ll look at that a bit today where we read that passage along with 2 Peter 2 and Jeremiah 35–38:6.
I’m Reid Ferguson, and this is Through the Word in 2020.
Providentially, in my preaching yesterday, I had occasion to refer to the Luke 24 section that is part of today’s reading. And what is so amazing in it, is how the resurrected Jesus repeatedly reinforced the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. One might have thought, since everything has changed, since He had already died and was risen, we could kind of set that old stuff aside. But not so. We must never forget what Paul wrote to Timothy: “All scripture is breathed out by God.” All of it. Not just part of it. And if God has said it, we need to know it.
So what happens in Luke 24?
First, Jesus enters the conversation with the 2 on the road to Emmaus and rebukes them as foolish. The reason why they were confused about what had happened regarding His crucifixion He says, is because they were “slow of heart to believe all that that prophets have spoken.” Spoken where? In the Old Testament.
Second then, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Starting back in Genesis – He shows them where He is painted everywhere in the Word. Slow of heart could just mean they were hesitant to believe. But it could also mean they were just lazy. They hadn’t taken to time to read, study and search it out for themselves. As cultural Jews they were looking for the Messiah. But they had never really researched the Scriptures so as to recognize Him and know His mission like they should have.
Third, after Jesus reveals Himself to them at dinner, they say to each other: “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?” It wasn’t the mere revelation of who it was that was with them at that moment that carried the day. It was how He opened the Scriptures to them. That is powerful.
Fourth, later in the chapter when Jesus appears to the 11, what does Jesus say to them? “Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” He sends them back to their Bibles again. And uses the classic 3 divisions of the Old Testament they had, and we have today: The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. The very same 39 books you have in your Old Testament right now.
Lastly, He then caps it all off in vs. 45. Just before He tells them He’ll be sending the Holy Spirit: “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” As A. W. Tozer was wont to say, He didn’t send to the Holy Spirit to make Bible study unnecessary, but to make it profitable.
Look for Jesus on the pages of your Old Testament. In the types, shadows and prophecies you will find Him fleshed out in vibrant ways you never thought possible. You’ll come to see Him in deeper, richer and sweeter ways.
As Jesus said in John 5:39 – “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”
God willing we’ll be back tomorrow.