Word was starting to get around about Jesus’ resurrection. Most didn’t know what to do with this news. While the disciples were still processing this unexpected event, Luke tells us that two disciples were travelling to a town called Emmaus. The two discussed what was going on when Jesus walked right up to them but they were kept from recognizing him.
Jesus continued on in conversation with the two of them and faked ignorance. The disciples told him what their thoughts were of him- “a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” They told how they hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. But he was put to death by the chief priests and rulers to be crucified. Some of the women of their group were at the tomb that morning and could not find his body. The women told them of angels that announced that Jesus was alive.
Jesus’ response may have caught the disciples by surprise. “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?” Luke tells us that Jesus had a Bible study with the disciples right then and there. “Beginning from Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (28).”
Later on, when they sat down and broke bread together, they finally realized who it was that was speaking to them. But in that moment, Jesus vanished from before them. The two disciples asked each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road while he opened to us the Scriptures (32)?”
Here are a few things for us to think about from this passage:
- The Bible is about Jesus- Often when we have Bible studies or read commentaries we often convicting topics are weighed less simply by saying, “it’s your opinion.” But here is the Son of God instructing his disciples about his interpretation. The resurrected Christ is saying that the major theme and point of the Old Testament is himself. The laws and the teachings of the prophets ultimately point to Jesus.
- Jesus called the disciples “slow in heart” because they didn’t understand that the Old Testament passages pointed to Jesus. Specifically, Jesus pointed out the writings of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy), and the Prophets (Isaiah- Malachi). The Law talked about Israel’s obligation to obey God. But Israel had failed over and over again. Jesus came to fulfill the requirements of the law and take the punishment for disobedience. The prophets wrote about how God would send a redeemer and described what this redeemer would be like.
- Jesus’ teachings about the Bible burned their hearts- The phrase, “hearts burn” meant that Jesus’ teaching spoke to them in such a way that excited them and ignited their passion for God and his purposes in the world. In many ways, that’s how we were meant to read the Bible. Far from being a boring or a dry book, the Bible is a book that awakens the spirit to know, love and serve God.
To read the Bible is to read about one you love. You read about God’s character, but you also read about how this God who created you loved you so much that he put on flesh to become one with us. This God sent his one and only son to die on the cross for your sin. May our hearts burn again as Easter approaches and we remember Christ’s death and resurrection.
Questions for Devotions:
- Consider your Bible studies or group discussions. What would Jesus say about those meetings? What are some ways your group would change If Christ was present in those groups?
- What does it look like to interpret the Bible with Christ as the center?
- When was the last time your heart burned when reading the Bible? What are some reasons why the Bible have become dry in your own life either in the past or more recently?