“While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. … 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” — Luke 24:15, 27 NASB
When the Scriptures are proclaimed, the Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. This is also referred to as “Scripture” with a capital “S” denoting the whole body of Hebrew text.
On the road to Emmaus the resurrected Christ joined two disciples, one whose name was Cleopas, as they were pondering all the events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection. Our Lord clarifies for them that in the Scriptures (the Old Testament) they could find Him! Christ is found in predictive prophecy (Isaiah 53); promises fulfilled (Psalm 22), types (a foreshadowing) (Exodus 12:5), and in personal appearances called a theophany, (human like manifestations of the pre-incarnate Son of God).
A few of these appearances are: the Son of God coming to Abraham with two other angels (Genesis 18:1, 2), the time when Daniel was thrown in the fiery furnace with his companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Mishaeach), and Azariah (Abednego) in Daniel 1:7, and in the appearance of Melchizedek the High Priest of Salem (Genesis 14:18).
Here’s a valid question you may have:
Why is it important to bring out Jesus Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures?
- To Bring Salvation
The Apostle John spoke of the redemptive benefit of lifting up the Lord Jesus Christ, after his magnificent dialogue with Nicodemus about being born again.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” — John 3:14, 15 KJV
The Holy Spirit can and does work upon the hearts, minds, and actions of Christians and non-Christians to bring about repentance, genuine faith, and a decision to follow Him (John 14:1). When people hear about the character of Christ — His expectations, commands, and love they often respond with sincere conviction and humble submission. After hearing Christ’s message people then can render an opinion about God and Christ and consider if they will follow Him (John 7:17; Romans 10:16, 17).
- To Demonstrate His (Christ’s) Obedience to His Father
“Then said I, Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God” — Hebrews 10:7 KJV
Jesus Christ was under the authority of His Father (John 8:28) and He came to planet earth not only to bring us salvation but to carry out the orders of El Shaddai, (God almighty) which is ultimately to destroy all dominions, authorities, and powers raised up against God (1 Corinthians 15:24) and to establish an everlasting Kingdom here on earth (Matthew 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Thus the Lord could say in Matthew 5:17, “I have come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.”
By demonstrating obedience to the will of God, Christ gave us an example of how we can obey and follow the moral law by following Him (1 John 5:3; 2 John 2:6). In fact, He expects us to keep the Scripture and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can and will follow His liberating truth (John 8:31, 32).
- To fulfill the Law (God’s instruction manual)
“Think not that I am come to destroy [abolish] the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” — Matthew 5:17 KJV
Christ demonstrated how to keep the covenants of God
by fulfilling prophecies, not cancelling divine principles.
Matthew 5:1-17 has been misunderstood for years. Many people think this means that one is completely free from observing those nasty, outdated, “laws” of the Old Testament because Yeshua came to “fulfill,” and thereby, cancel the law. This is partly understood in this way because a “testament” in the Greek legal sense would make null and void any previous (i.e. “old”) testaments. In this case the Greek practice of giving greatest weight to the most recent “testament” makes good sense. In this understanding a newer Will and Testament will always supersedes an older one.
However, our Lord was Jewish and the Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament have their foundations in the Hebrew thought. A covenant, as opposed to a testament, is a much richer way to understand the preciseness of the way the Bible was written, communicated, and to be understood.
Next week I will give further clarification about Matthew 5:17, but for now let’s return to the story of the disciples journey to Emmaus with the risen Christ.
“29 But they urged Him, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.’ So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” — Luke 24:29-32 NASB
We have been attending Foundation Church Portland, which is meeting in West Linn and Lead Pastor, JJ McNown has been teaching though the book of Genesis. Each week he brings out of the Scriptures the Lord Jesus Christ! When he does my “heart burns within me” as I see how El Elyon (God most high) desires us to see and experience His Son throughout all the Scripture.