In Luke 24 we find the Lord’s disciples in a quandary following His death. Three days after His crucifixion some of the female disciples, having gone to the tomb to prepare His body for official burial, have returned with the news that the stone that had been placed over the opening had been moved, the seal had been broken and the tomb was empty. The other disciples did not believe them.
Some time later two of the male disciples decided to visit the village of Emmaus. As they walked along they discussed the strange things that had happened over the past three days. Eventually they were joined by third man who asked what they had been talking about. They voiced their sadness and confusion concerning one Jesus of Nazareth Whom they had believed was the Messiah of Israel. After chastising them for their unbelief, the man then explained to them why Jesus had to die and be resurrected. He also reminded them that the Old Testament prophets had prophesied the event hundreds of years earlier. Having arrived in Emmaus, the disciples invited the stranger to eat with them before traveling on. Having taken some fish and honey, the man revealed to the disciples that He was actually the risen Christ before disappearing.
In verse 32 we find a most important Truth voiced by the two men as they explained to the other disciples what they had experienced while talking with the stranger. The statement reveals the exalted part God’s WORD plays in the life of His true saints: “Did not our HEARTS BURN within us while He talked with us and explained to us the (Old Testament) Scriptures?” Notice that Christ’s physical presence among them had not caused the disciples’ hearts to “burn.” BUT THE WORDS HE SPOKE DID. Notice also that Jesus had emphasized the Old Testament Scriptures when explaining the circumstances surrounding His death and resurrection. This is an important issue for those who claim that the Old Testament plays no part in the life of modern Christianity. Let us deviate from the theme of this series to prove a point and possibly save a few lives.
A number of New Testament Scriptures reveal the importance of the Old Testament in the lives of God’s true saints. God, through His Holy Spirit, has much to say about the prophets, their writings and the part they play in the salvation process.
In Ephesians 2:20 we are told that the New Covenant Church is founded on the teachings of the PROPHETS and the apostles. In Peter’s second letter to the church (2:21), he noted that “HOLY MEN OF OLD SPOKE as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Their scribes then recorded what they had said “… for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world have come”–the end-time generation (1 Cor. 10:11). Paul believed that Christ would return during his lifetime. The prophets’ writings were our benefit. These passages confirm 2 Timothy 3:16: “ALL SCRIPTURE (referring to the Old Testament–the only Scriptures then in existence) are inspired by God and are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness” which is necessary for salvation. These, along with the New Testament, are the same Scriptures God uses to sanctify (set aside for holy use) His saints (Jn. 17:17). L.J.