In today’s scripture reading, Cleopas and another disciple were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day that Jesus rose from the dead. As they were walking, the resurrected Jesus joined them, but the two disciples did not recognize him. He asked what the two had been discussing. They were surprised that the man had not heard of the events of Jesus’ crucifixion and the empty tomb.
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
In verses 25-26, Jesus was telling the two disciples that they had been foolish because they did not believe what the prophets had written, that he must die and rise again. It was necessary for Christ to suffer, to atone for sin because no soul could be saved otherwise. “In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him” (Heb 5:9).
Scripture references to the Son of God did not first appear in the New Testament, as some might conclude from Matthew 1:18-23 (the story of the birth of Jesus). The entire Old Testament points to Jesus; it’s all about him! Although there are many more references in the New Testament, there are references in the Old Testament that help Christians recognize that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.
Can you just imagine how outstanding the discussion would have been when Jesus spoke of the many writings of the Old Testament that applied to himself? This story is important because it provides emphasis on the Old Testament prophecies such as these:
The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father.’”
Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
Who holds the wind in his fists?…
What is his name—and his son’s name?
Tell me if you know!
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies
until the woman in labor gives birth.
These prophecies and many more occurred about 700 years prior to Jesus’ birth.
There is a connection between what happened to Cleopas and the other disciple when they recognized Jesus, and with many of us today. They were blinded by their sadness of the prior days just as we are blinded by our current difficulties and cannot see God’s redemptive purpose, perhaps even the fact that Jesus is standing right in front of us. Jesus opens our eyes, points to the Scripture, and then reveals himself as the resurrected Savior and Lord.
Are there circumstances in your life that are keeping you from recognizing Christ as Savior?
Identify who is (or whom you wish was) on the Emmaus Road with you. Ask that person if they see any blinders in your life that are preventing you from recognizing Jesus at work in your life.
Dear Heavenly Father, grant us the wisdom to have our eyes opened to your healing grace. Give us strength to provide spiritual support to those who are consumed by their current circumstance and cannot see you standing right beside them, offering eternal salvation. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
This post was written by Jennifer Macke, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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