Thought for the Month

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:26‑27)

It was the day of the resurrection and these two followers of Jesus were walking from Jerusalem across the hills of Judea. Jerusalem would hold some dangers after Jesus was resurrected as his followers were suspected of stealing his body. Albeit Emmaus was just seven or eight miles from the city. One of them was called Cleopas who could be the husband of Mary whose husband was Cleopas. (John 19:25*) But we know it was the risen Jesus who joined them on the way while they talked with each other.

But the two followers did not know it was Jesus. A miracle prevented them from recognising him, what if they had recognised him at once then it would have made it difficult to have the scriptures opened for them to understand Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Cleopas and his unnamed companion were astonished that he did not know what had happened in Jerusalem over that feast season. It seems all would know about the death of Jesus of Nazareth and even some report of him being risen during the last three days.

Our Lord Jesus chides them for not understanding what was written of his death and glory by the prophets in what we call the Old Testament. What we are told is that he did start at Moses. He possibly started with the promise that stated Messiah was the seed of the woman as in Gen.3:15, that he, the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah as in Gen.49:10, be of King David’s line as in Isa.9:7 and would be born in Bethlehem (Mic.5:2) of a virgin who would become pregnant with a male child. (Isa.7:14) Even the time might have been stated that it would be 483 years from the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah and that the Messiah would suffer the death penalty in the middle of the following 7 years. (Dan.9:25‑27 see NKJV margin)

That Messiah was to suffer was not understood. Jesus knew in detail what would happen. Indeed Psalm 41:9 hints of a betrayal and the price of 30 pieces of silver seems noted by Zech. (11:12‑13) One chapter of the Bible he surely would not have missed out would be Isaiah 53. He would be despised, rejected and not valued. He would die for all of us despite never having said or done anything wrong, and be buried. Yet it was God’s plan and his death was a sin offering.

His teaching session now at the end, as they came close to the edge of the village of Emmaus, they invited him indoors and began to eat bread. Then the veil that had been on their eyes vanished and they knew that it was their Lord Jesus. So they rushed back the seven or eight miles to Jerusalem to tell the others. This was one of eleven recorded appearances of Jesus over a 40‑day period.

* The Greek spelling of Cleophas differs in the Luke and John account