I love it when I see something that I’ve never noticed before in Scripture.
In Luke chapter 24, the risen (yay!) Jesus reveals the “scarlet thread” that runs through all of Scripture. I’ve heard this term since I was a young Christian. The scarlet thread refers to the fact that the entire Bible points to the Cross, where Jesus shed his “scarlet” blood for us.
But here’s what I noticed for the first time.
Jesus doesn’t just reveal the scarlet thread once, but twice in a very short amount of time. He reviews the entire Old Testament to two groups and explains “… what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24: 27 NIV)
Jesus does this first with the two men he accompanies along the road to Emmaus. Later, these men “asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” (vs. 32) Then Jesus appeared to the remaining 11 disciples in Jerusalem. Once more, Jesus reviews the Scripture:
“This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24: 44-48
There are a few more things about these passages that struck me. In both cases, Jesus had to help the others understand what He was speaking about, even who He was. In the first case, He opened their eyes (vs. 31). And these men felt the presence of God’s Spirit as Jesus spoke (it burned within). In the second case, Jesus opened their minds (vs. 45).
It appears that Jesus’ followers could not know or understand Jesus and His Word without His touch.
Isn’t that our experience, too?
There’s more. I never thought about this before, but how do we know that Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and Ezekiel 36-37 all point to Jesus, his atoning work on the Cross and His work in our hearts?
Jesus told us.
Within hours of his resurrection, Jesus had reviewed the entire Scripture with two groups of people. And since theirs was an oral culture, it’s not likely the Jews he addressed quickly forgot what he said. And I’d imagine that this information passed on through the early Chrisitian leadership.
I’m thinking that that Jesus Himself was the original source of the many, many Old Testament prophecies included in the Gospel accounts and the Epistles.
For some reason, I’m encouraged that Jesus showed His followers how all of Scripture points to His coming, His death, His resurrection… and the fact that we can be forgiven because of His work. They didn’t and we don’t have to rely on our own discernment to figure this out. Jesus made sure we got it right.
What’s even more encouraging is that before the foundation of the world, the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put the whole plan together.
Before the first event of Genesis took place, they knew that far in the future, Jesus would be sacrificed on the Cross to one day bring sons and daughters into the fellowship of the Trinity.
Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15, Psalm 59:1-5, Proverbs 15:31-33, Luke 24:36-53. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).