All About Jesus

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Luke 24 tells the story of Jesus’ victory over sin and death in his resurrection. Immediately after Luke tells us of the scene at the empty tomb, Luke gives us a story of our resurrected Lord that none of the other gospel writers include. Yesterday, we looked at Luke 23 and considered how Jesus willingly laid down his life for his sheep. Jesus’ conversation with his followers in Luke 24 (along with a host of other passages) teaches us that Jesus sacrificial death and glorious resurrection were no mere whim.

Starting at verse 13, we find two of Jesus’ followers leaving Jerusalem headed toward Emmaus. They are talking about all the things that have been happening when Jesus himself joins them. Yet verse 16 says, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” In other words, they didn’t know they were talking to Jesus.  These disciples express their shock over the death of the man who they thought would be the redeemer of God’s people, and their amazement over reports that Jesus’ tomb was now empty.  Jesus responds by helping them connect the dots. His response helps us as well.

[25] And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! [26] Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” [27] 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)

These simple verses have been the key for me to an entirely new understanding of the bigger half of my bible. We tend to think of the Old Testament as a worrisome prequel to the real story that starts in Matthew 1. That is not how Jesus saw it!

Jesus challenges them for being “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” To put it in New Testament language, he’s saying, “You don’t take your Old Testament to heart.” He then gives them an overview of what we now call “The Old Testament.” In verse 27 it says that he “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Notice what it does not say. It does not say, “He quickly scanned through the scriptures and showed them the few verses about himself.” Jesus showed them in ALL the scriptures the things concerning himself.  I take this very literally. There is not page in your bible that isn’t about Jesus.

This makes sense doesn’t it? Jesus Christ is the center of our faith. If he just showed up in the New Testament, then everything written before was kind of a wash, right? But Jesus shows us that he is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.

What does this have to do with you? A lot! I want to offer three thoughts this morning though.

  1. It helps you read your Old Testament. In every passage, we can approach it asking the question, “What is this telling me about Jesus.” Perhaps in another post we can talk though some of the ways Jesus shows up in the Old Testament.  For now, we know he’s there. We should be on the lookout.
  2. See the sovereign reign of our gracious God. He didn’t stumble into plan C with Jesus. Way back in Genesis 3 when sin first happened, God promised one who would crush the head of the serpent. The rest of the Bible points towards this promised redeemer named Jesus.
  3. As we celebrate the resurrection this Sunday, remember that it is the shout of victory from a long established plan of God. It is not a happy ending to a surprising twist. This is good news for us. Our hope in Jesus was secure before we were born because our God is in control. As we come to dark moments in our own lives, we remember that we serve a sovereign God of resurrections. He has already planned the beauty from the ashes for his people.

Grace & Peace.

Daily Reading: Today’s bible reading is Luke 24. Tomorrow we jump into Acts 1 and see how the early church proclaimed the good news of our resurrected Lord.

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