Thursday in the Last Week of Ordinary Time

Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35

And Beginning with Moses…

Luke gives us an account that the other gospels do not (though Mark alludes to it), and as I have said before, isn’t it wonderful that God blesses us with four Gospels to give us a complete picture of our Lord’s sojourn in this vale of tears.  Two of the disciples (the word “disciple” was not reserved for the eleven only) were walking along the road to Emmaus talking about all that had happened over the past three days, sorrowful and dejected.  The risen Lord comes and joins them, asking what they are talking about.  Scripture tells us that “their eyes were kept from recognizing him,” meaning that it was not of their own accord but a divine work.  This question for a moment leaves the two men dumbstruck until Cleopas answers, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”  The Lord responds, “What things,” allowing Cleopas to relate everything that had happened between Friday and Sunday.  The whirlwind of events of the past three days left the men confused and bewildered, at one point saying, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”  The response of Jesus to the men is one for the Christian to remember: “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 then the passage says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Oh how I wish I could have been a bird circling overhead!  What a Bible lesson that must have been – to hear Jesus explain the Scriptures from beginning to end!  I focus on two things: first, that all of the Old Testament preaches Christ, not only those specific passages like Isaiah 53, but the whole thing.  From the blood of Abel to Abraham to the Passover to the Judges to David to the Exile and Restoration – the entire Bible preaches Christ.  He is there in types like Isaac almost sacrificed by his father, like Joseph who redeems his treacherous brothers, like the Passover lamb slaughtered the night before Israel’s liberation, like Moses interceding for the people, like King David ruling in righteousness, like all of the prophets slain for the word of God.  The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.  Read the Old Testament in the light of Christ.  And secondly, Jesus asked, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  Did you hear?  Necessary.  Granted, God didn’t have to save us, but when He did so decide, it was necessary that Christ should suffer – to redeem a people such as us.

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