October 23rd, 2020

The unforgettable Bible study

By Submitted Article on October 26, 2019.

Great conversations between God

and man

Fifth of six parts

Jacob M. Van Zyl

The Son of God took on a human body which died on the cross as atoning sacrifice for sinners. His disciples did not understand what happened and were devastated.

On the third day after his death, two of his followers walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, discussing the sad events of the passed days. They were not part of the Eleven disciples who had lived with Jesus full-time for three years. The resurrected Christ spent hours with these ordinary guys, lifting them out of their depression and ignorance.

Jesus joined them on the road, but they did not recognize him. He asked them what they discussed so intensely with saddened hearts. Cleopas retorted that they discussed the sad news of the passed days. Jesus drew them into a discussion by asking: “What things?” They thought he had to be a stranger if he did not know what all Jerusalem was talking about. So, they decided to inform him. Jesus knew that summarizing one’s problem to someone else brings insight.

They took turns to give the facts. Hope and despair alternated in their narrative. Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet of God, mighty in word and deed. Sadly, our leaders condemned him to death and convinced the Romans to crucify him.

“We hoped he would redeem Israel, but he is now already three days dead.” Then hope flickers up again: Women visited his tomb; his body was gone, and angels told them Jesus was alive. Alas, when the disciples investigated, they saw the empty tomb but no angels or Jesus.

Astonished at their lack of insight, the Stranger began to interpret Scripture for them. He unwrapped the prophecies of their Bible for them, showing how those were literally fulfilled in Jesus.

Scripture became alive to them as they suddenly understood the meaning of the Tabernacle, the sacrifices, the feasts, the laws, the history of Israel, the psalms and the prophets. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 were probably explained verse by verse.

As they gained insight, their hearts were lit up with holy fire. Yes! Yes! Now we can see it, now we understand: The Messiah’s first coming was in humility to pay the price of salvation; his second coming will be in glory to establish a new Earth.

They arrived in Emmaus at sunset. The Stranger wanted to proceed on his way. They urged him to stay, and he obliged.

At supper, the guest became the host. Jesus said thanks and broke the bread. As he handed it to them, they saw the marks of the nails – it’s Jesus! They were overwhelmed with astonished joy. He disappeared, and they ran back to Jerusalem in the dark to tell the good news.

Jacob Van Zyl of Lethbridge is a retired counsellor and the author of several faith-based books.

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