And so what does Jesus do? He says in v25 —
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
What is happening here? Jesus is having a Bible study with them. Starting from Moses and then moving on down through the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in the Scriptures concerning HIMSELF. And Jesus helped these two friends to connect the dots. Moses was a deliverer of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and God used Moses in the book of Exodus to liberate His people and lead them to a lush Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. In the same way, Jesus is a deliverer of humanity from the slavery of sin and he is taking believers to our spiritual Promised Land where we will dwell with him forever. Just as the Israelites ate physical manna or bread in the desert for sustenance, Jesus said, I am the bread of life, eat of me and I will sustain you. When Moses struck the rock and water gushed forth, it was a pointer to Jesus as the rock of our salvation. Jesus said, whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
In the Tenth plague in the book of Exodus, God killed all firstborn sons to punish Pharaoh for oppressing the Israelites and refusing to free them from their bondage to the Egyptians. On the eve of this judgment, a lamb was killed and its blood was used to cover the door posts of the households who believed in God. And God, our Righteous Judge, came to those door posts dripping with blood, and in his mercy, He PASSED OVER those households. In the same way, Jesus is the Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and those who are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, God’s judgment passes over us and we are saved. And taking the imagery a step further, those of us who have been washed by the blood of Jesus, we pass over from spiritual death to spiritual life.
After from there, Jesus moved to the prophets. He surely must have pointed to the book of Isaiah where Isaiah calls the Israelites to repentance. And just as it was prophesied, the nation of Israel was led into captivity at the hands of the conquering nation of Babylon. And in the midst of Israel’s suffering under their Babylonian dictators, there is a strange prophecy of a Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, which we now recognize as a prophecy concerning the death of Jesus on the cross.
Let me read Isaiah 53:6.
Isaiah 53 – 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
This is a foreshadowing of the great reversal of the Fall that occurred on the cross. Adam and Eve rejected God and sin entered the world. This is known as the Fall of Man. And when we reject God, the sin of Adam is imputed or ascribed to us. Just as Adam fell into sin, we, too, choose to reject God and thereby fall into sin. No matter how hard we try to live good, moral lives, we fall short. And the wages of sin is death. Not just physical death, but a spiritual death that results in eternal separation from God. And the Scripture says, we are like sheep, we have all gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way. And because of our willful rejection of God, we are condemned to die.
Then, Jesus, our second Adam, came and he lived a sinless life. He was righteous and fulfilled the law of God perfectly. And here in Isaiah 53:6, we read, the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. This means that at the cross, the sins of the world were imputed to Christ. Christ, the sinless one, the perfectly righteous one, became sin for us. And for those who repent and turn away from ourselves and place their faith in Christ and turn toward Him, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. These are the 3 imputations. Adam’s sin imputed to us. Our sin imputed to Christ and He became sin for us on the cross. And Christ’s righteousness imputed to those who repent and place their faith in Him. This is what it means to be saved.
If I died for you, then there would be no atonement for your sins. Why? Because I am a sinner, just like you are a sinner. Atonement wouldn’t work. But Christ is our atonement and it works, not only because of Christ’s death and resurrection, but also because of His perfect life. Jesus perfect life and his death, together, that is why we are made righteous in the eyes of a Holy God. And God when He looks at us, no longer sees us as sinners, but He sees us as completely righteous, washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. When we repent, our sins are forgiven and they are forgotten. Though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
This is what occurred on Easter Sunday. Sin and death were swallowed up, defeated, enveloped by Jesus as he paid the penalty of our sin and he rose again in victory.
And this is just Exodus and Isaiah and we could find verse after verse and passage after passage in the OT that points to Jesus Christ.
And of course, all of the NT is about Jesus Christ. In Colossians 1, we read, starting in v17 —
Col 1 – 17 He [referring to Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
In Philippians 2, we read that because Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross (v8), God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus was not a mere man, He wasn’t just a wise teacher or a sage, nor was He simply a compassionate humanist. He is the Son of God and He resurrected to prove it.
These two friends on the road to Emmaus did not have the eyes to understand who Jesus was. They were downcast. The reason? Because of their cultural blinders.