Once in a while, someone asks me about the “Old Testament.”
They ask if we need it. They ask if we should study it. They want to know if it has value. After all, “New” is better than “Old,” is it not?
On this Resurrection Sunday, perhaps we should let Jesus teach the Bible lesson. It is, after all, what happened. He literally taught a Bible study on the very day of his resurrection!
You remember the details of the empty tomb, I’m sure.
Mary and some other women made the discovery. John and Simon had a footrace to the scene. Mary was the first to see Jesus. Later on that day, 10 of the surviving 11 disciples would also have the most shocking occurrence of their lives when they encountered Jesus again.
Somewhere in between those events, Jesus unpacked the Bible.
And he didn’t quote anything from the “New Testament!”
Two men were on their way home to Emmaus, Luke’s gospel tells us. On their way, Jesus joined them. They were kept from recognizing him and yet were enthralled by his understanding of Scripture.
This is what he taught them:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. – Luke 24:27
Moses spoke of Jesus. Moses, if you’ll remember, is the heart of the “Old Testament.”
The prophets spoke of Jesus. The prophets made their home in the “Old Testament.”
The “Scriptures” were Torah. Or as we’ve come to call it, the “Old Testament.”
Let’s cut to the quick: Jesus treasured the words of what we call the “Old Testament” and it would be a wise thing, I think, if we did the same!
Throw out your old clothes, if you like.
Prefer driving your new car over your old car.
Eat a great meal at lunch today and save the left-overs for a less important meal.
But never, ever, ever treat the larger part of your Bible as if it’s not important. How did Jesus start his conversation with his two followers walking home that Sunday?
“How foolish you are! How slow you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25).
So read all of your Bible. Treasure the first page of Genesis like the last page of Revelation. Get to know the prophets, and you’ll know more about Jesus. Understand Moses and the Exodus and you’re well on your way to finally understanding why the cross was even a part of the story.
Go ahead. Give it a go. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and see if the lesson Jesus taught on Resurrection Sunday isn’t true.
And when you get to Isaiah’s promise that after the Messiah had suffered he would “see the light of life and be satisfied?” (Isaiah 53:11)
You might want to highlight that line.
For that’s how Jesus even came to be on the Road to Emmaus that morning!