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Luke 24:13-53; Mark 16:12-20; John 20:19-21:25; & Matthew 28:16-20

11.08.2010

As we wrap up the story of Jesus’ life, there’s one line from His conversation on the road to Emmaus that provides a good summary of the Gospels:

Luke 24:27 | ‘And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’

All four Gospels quote and/or tacitly reference Old Testament prophecy to show that Jesus had been anticipated since the beginning.  But Jesus is making a broader point here, and it’s one that I think we often miss.  Jesus is saying here that the entire Old Testament is about Him; all of history is about Jesus.

  • As Paul will lay out in Romans, Adam was the pre-Christ, the only other person whose righteousness had universal impact on the rest of mankind.
  • Noah saved mankind from the wrath of God.
  • Abraham faithfully followed the Lord, and his obedience was the foundation for a covenant between God and His people.
  • Moses rescued God’s people from slavery.
  • The nation of Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, tempted to defect from their divine commission, and were ultimately the vessel of salvation for the world (parallel to Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness).
  • Samson destroyed the enemy in an act of self-sacrifice.
  • David was the anointed King who was persecuted by the establishment before being raised to glory.
  • Solomon built the temple where God could commune with His people.
  • Jonah descended for three days before rising again to reconcile a nation of sinners to their Creator.

Aside from the parallels, of which these are only the most prominent, all of the laws and the songs and the promises and the visions, everything in the Old Testament, is about Jesus.  I can imagine the dawning realization that came over Jesus’ traveling companions as everything they ever knew about the world suddenly came into a sharper level of focus and attained greater and more specific meaning than it ever had before.

This, of course, raises familiar questions about how God can seemingly script all of human history while still leaving autonomy of will to those people who lived it.  I will not attempt to answer these questions because I have nothing new to add from all the other times I’ve noted these issues.

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