It’s a story that easily captures the imagination. Three men walking away from Jerusalem. Two were neighbors from Emmaus, the Third they didn’t recognize. The two were talking about the crucifixion, the Other had been crucified. The two in confused dismay as to what had happened to the mighty prophet from Nazareth, the One they had hoped would be the redeemer of Israel. The Third, well, He was the Redeemer.
Two speculating as to how the body could have been removed from the tomb and what manner of delirium had caused the woman to think they had seen angels. Their walking companion being the One who had walked out of the tomb, having conquered sin and death and rising again in power. Two slow of heart to believe. The Third ready to become their teacher.
And He said to them, “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?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
(Luke 24:25-27 ESV)
Sometimes we forget that the bible of the first century was what we now refer to as the Old Testament. That the church was birthed without the gospels or the letters, but was founded on the ancient writings of the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. They contained the promises. They spoke of redemption. They revealed the nature and work of the Messiah.
And yet, I venture to guess, that most of us spend relatively little time reading Moses or the Prophets. It’s easier, in a sense, to hang out in the New Testament where the Old Testament is revealed. But there is a depth of understanding, and a degree of awe, that comes only from reading in the Old and seeing how within it the New is concealed.
It’s in the writings of Moses that we find the promise of blessing for all nations through the Seed of a chosen people. There that we first find faith as the basis for God to declare one righteous. There that a great deliverance is foreshadowed. There that God’s desire to live in the midst of a chosen people is revealed. And there that a great foe is identified–stiff necks and hard hearts.
While the prophets give insight to the just demands of holiness, they also identify how God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled. How a just God could justify those who were unable to pay the debt their sin demanded. How a Servant would be raised up to bear their sin and to heal their diseased sin natures. How the God of creation would re-create hardened hearts. How the God of light would bring understanding to darkened minds through His illuminating Spirit. How the God who desired communion in the garden would one day fulfill that reality on a new earth.
It’s all there. Gotta dig a bit. Need to be patient. Might take numerous readings over many years to uncover some of the gems. But the treasure is worth the hunt.
The experience of the dynamic of the Spirit opening your understanding would be prize enough. But then to see the Savior foretold and realize afresh He has always been God’s promised Seed of blessing . . . and to wonder anew at the patience, the compassion, and the love of God as He brings a people to Himself . . . can’t help but stir the heart.
Awe rises. Worship flows. And the multi-faceted beauty of the Savior is experienced.
Oh the joy of seeing the things concerning Himself . . . in all the Scriptures.
By His grace. For His glory.