Jesus In Every Book
The two weary travellers trudged along the hilly path back to their village, the journey made more difficult by the weight on their hearts. For hundreds of years now their peple had carried the fond hope of a new King who would re-establish a kingdom that would give them the freedom their forefathers once had. Gone would be the current oppressive rulers, who coming on the back of the last three occupying forces had squeezed them dry. They seemed to want to compete with history with their brutality and their forced occupation. For three years as the Man from Nazareth strode through the dusty roads of Palestine the hopes seems to rise with every step He took, every miracle He caused and every word He spoke. Hope was burning bright again.
Only to be cruelly snuffed out evening before last - it was a Friday, the day before the weekly Sabbath. He'd gathered with his inner circle in an upper room in Jerusalem. And if the accounts were to be believed they'd shared a meal and words that if anything would have increased their anticipation. It was not just another weekend; it was the Passover. Hundreds of years ago on such a night, Moses had led the people in the first Passover. As death came to every home in Egypt other than those who followed Yahweh they were thrust into freedom. So they had hoped that this weekend would be freedom week. Instead in a cruel twist Jesus, the Man, hoped Messiah had been captured, abused and crucified on a lonely hill just outside Jerusalem.
With Him had died a thousand hopes. Including that of our weary travellers.
As they shuffled along caught up in their recounting of the last few days they were soon caught up by a fellow traveller. Unlike them he had a spring in His step and a glint in his eye. Soon as he slowed down to keep pace with our weary friends he asked them, "What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?" Caught up in their thoughts as they were they were surprised and thought it was obvious what they were talking about when Cleopas one of the two said, "You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” to their surprise this upbeat traveller asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
They half expected him to say, “Women? Come on you can't be serious?" "Who in the world would beleive the word of women?" Instead and to their utter surprise he said, "You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then he took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Jesus, the Messiah.
As they walked the weariness seemed to slowly but surely wash off their dusty bodies. The burden in their hearts began to get lighter and was soon replaced with a growing warmth. As this fiery traveller continued talking through the story that they were familiar with (or thought they were familiar with) their hearts soon began to burn. As the sun sunk below the distant Galilean hills, unknown to them 'the Sun of righteousness" was rising with healing in their hearts. As the darkness grew they were relieved to reach the wayside inn where they could stop for the night. The traveller made to go on but they prevailed on him to stay. As they sat around the hastily organised meal they had a 'hallelujah' moment as he broke the bread and passed it to them. "Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!"
Unable to contain their joy and ignoring potential threats on the now completely darkened roads they immediatly returned back to Jerusalem and burst into that upper room where an unmistakable cloud of gloom prevailed. Still filled with wonder Cleopas and his friend blurted out "their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread." Even before they finished Jesus was there and their hearts were warmed again.
Just as Cleopas and his friend experienced a supernatural warming of their hearts modern readers of the Bible can expect the same. And just as these Emmausians heard the story of Jesus through every book of the Bible we can too as we read every book of the Bible. In the next post I pick up this thread and hope to weave it through every book of the bible tracing as we go along through every book of the Bible how every book tells us about Jesus, the primary Hero of the book. To diligent searchers Jesus had said a while before the Emmaus journey, "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life." All the Scriptures point to Jesus and as we journey through the Bible let's trace this and let's receive the life He wants us to have.