Luke 24:31 Then Their Eyes Were Opened 4/24/2011 ßą
#1. Is This the God Whom We Know? (Luke 24:13, Isa 53:10, Rom 4:25)
#2. O Fools and Slow of Heart to Believe (Luke 24:25, Gal 3:1,3)
#3. Did Not Our Heart Burn Within Us? (Jer 15:16, Acts 11:26, Gal 6:16, Heb 12:23, Matt 5:14, Acts 20:28, John 21:15-17, 1Pet 1:15-16, Rom 10:17, Psalm 119:103)
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 52:14 (2X). Today we are looking at the story of:
Two disciples of Jesus who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, and who were chosen by God for a very special mission, which was to enlighten and reprimand the Apostles, were accompanied by Jesus, whom they did not recognize. Why was it that did they not recognize Him? They walked with Him for 3 years. There are at least two reasons why they did not recognize Him. The first reason is found in Isa 52:14, where we read, “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” The word “visage” means “appearance”. This verse is talking about the appearance of the Lord Jesus after He had been abused by the Roman soldiers before His crucifixion. The word “astonied” means “dazed”. When people looked at Him they were dazed; they were so astounded by His appearance. How could it be that someone was so mistreated that we can barely recognize Him? Just think of it, when a crown of thorns was pressed upon His head, and He was simultaneously hit in the face with fists of the Roman soldiers, and He was scourged by Roman whips, something in His appearance changed. Please turn a few pages back to Isa 50:6, and there we read about more abuse by the Roman soldiers. We read in Isa 50:6, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” This also occurred to increase His pain and suffering that He endured for our sins. The second reason is that God Almighty prevented the two disciples from recognizing Him, for God’s own purpose, for God wants to teach us a truth about the Gospel during this event. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 24:13 (2X). Here were two disciples of the Lord Jesus, which means they were followers of the Lord Jesus, but they were not from among the inner group of eleven Apostles. Why did the Lord Jesus make a special appearance to these two unknown disciples? One of them was named Cleopas, and we know very little about him, because he is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. The second one is totally unknown; we do not even know his name. Now this is a message for us. The Lord Jesus has a great interest in all those who follow Him, not just the Apostles who are to be the leaders in the Church, but He has as much interest in all the little insignificant people, like we are. That is why He appeared to these two unknown people. Then “the Stranger”, Jesus, asks them about their conversation. And Jesus shows them their ignorance of the reality of Christ’s resurrection. Then Jesus preaches a sermon that they will never forget. We read in Luke 24:13-35,
Lu 24:13-35 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Now let us go back to the beginning of this passage, beginning in verse 13, Luke 24:13.
#1. Is This the God Whom We Know? (Luke 24:13, Isa 53:10, Rom 4:25)
These men going to Emmaus were disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were followers of Jesus, but they were totally perplexed from everything that was taking place around them. Here you have a clear example of two individuals who were truly saved, but they did not have all their doctrines in the right places. It is a clear example that we are not saved by how much we know! Not what we know, but Who we know is what matters. And that is a fundamental truth. To be saved we must know Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, for knowing Him is salvation. If we think of Jesus as a mighty God who is doing battle with Satan, we have the wrong Jesus in front of us. Satan is the servant of Christ for Satan is not another god out there. There is only one God, and Satan is not the one. Satan can only do those things that God allows him to do, and nothing more. So think about this for a while. If we think of all the evils Satan is doing, such as earthquakes, and tornados, and hurricanes, and tsunamis, and oil spills, and wars, and nuclear disasters, and disease, and cancers, and economic depressions caused by bad governments, and Gay Pride successes, and so on, do not expect that Satan is doing all these on his own. None of these things can come to pass unless God approves these courses of actions, without actually blaming God for the sins that are committed. Do we know this God? And does He know you? This is the God who in the Person of God the Son took on a human body, the man Christ Jesus, and appeared unto us. This is who the Lord Jesus Christ really is. He takes responsibility for all the human disasters that are occurring around us, for He knows that the same effects do not produce the same results. Disasters will harden the hearts of the reprobate, but for God’s elect it brings them closer to Christ and it brings them to pray more fervently to God. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:10 (2X). We can look for example at the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. It hardened the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees. It hardened the hearts of many in Israel who believed the false doctrines of their religious rulers, and who continued to be hardened even after Pentecost, but it softened the hearts of those whom God intended to save, and it brought faith, hope and love in the hearts of the apostles who witnessed of the love of God as displayed in the cross of Christ. And gradually, as they learned from God the Holy Spirit, and from one another, and from the epistles of the apostle Paul, they learned the true Gospel of grace alone, and not through the law. But it took many years for them to learn that. And only after God destroyed the apple of their eye, Jerusalem, did they learn that God does not dwell in buildings made with hands, but that God dwells in the souls of those whom He determined to save from before the foundation of the world. For example we read in Isa 53:10,
Is 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
This is an amazing verse. “It pleased God to bruise Him.” Things were not out of control. God knew exactly what He was doing. But do we know this God? Satan was not doing this on his own. It was God who put Christ to grief, for God made Christ’s soul an offering for the sins of all His elect. And because Christ paid successfully for all the sins of His people, after Pentecost He would also be successful in winning the souls of all His people, for “the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Can we grasp the sovereignty of this great God, who guided the Roman legions to conquer the land of Palestine, who guided the rulers of Rome to establish crucifixion as the mode of death for criminals, who guided the minds of the Scribes and Pharisees so that they out of envy delivered Jesus to be crucified, who guided Pontius Pilate to have Jesus crucified even though he found no fault in Him, who guided Joseph of Arimathaea to offer his own tomb for the burial of Jesus, and who guided the affairs of Christ’s resurrection so perfectly, as in this account of the two disciples going to Emmaus. And all this was done for the purpose of “thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin”. Christ shall make His body and soul a ransom for the sin of many. He suffered for our sins in His human nature, for God the Son cannot die, and God the Son cannot atone for man. Man sinned and man has to atone for those sins. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:25 (2X). And so, it is important for us to know who Christ is, and what He came to do, and what God’s purpose was in all of this, and it is important for us to know that Christ rose from the tomb the third day. He who was dead is now alive today, and at the time of His resurrection from the dead in AD 33 God made Him King of kings and Lord of lords. At His resurrection God made this Jesus, the Son of Mary, sovereign ruler over heaven and earth, sovereign ruler over all the universe, sovereign ruler over all the affairs of man both the saved and the unsaved individuals; and if you still did not get it, God made this Jesus, the Son of Mary, sovereign ruler over all the providence of God. What this means is that the Lord Jesus Christ is in control of all the souls of men, and that He is in control of all who He has saved on the cross, and all who He has passed by. And this refers to all man-kind, both in the OT and the NT periods of time. And so, many honorings of Christ took place at the time of His resurrection. For example we read in Rom 4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Our justification, or God’s declaration that we are cleansed from our sins, and that we are now righteous in His sight, came at the time of Christ’s resurrection; not at the time that He died on the cross, for His atonement was not complete until Christ rose from the tomb. And this Christ did for the NT saints as well as for OT saints who were already in heaven, but they were conditionally in heaven. Their sins had not been atoned for until Christ rose from the tomb. We should recognize this when we read about Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah could not have appeared to the three disciples in their glorified bodies, for their salvation had not yet been paid in full. Glorified bodies are only given to us when we have become righteous before God. Therefore the Lord Jesus is called the Firstborn.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Colossians, Col 1:15 (2X). He is called “the Firstborn from the dead”, because it was only after He died and rose again that God bestowed on Him the honor of calling Him “the Firstborn from the dead”. What was the Lord Jesus Christ before He went to the cross? Before He went to the cross He walked around with an earthly body, not exactly with a body like we have, for He was born in the likeness of sinful flesh; He was born without original sin. His body was not inclined to sin all the time like we are. It could not be that He committed one sin, for that would disqualify Him to be our Redeemer. God says in Col 1:15, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” The Lord Jesus was and is the image, the likeness of God in all His actions and in all His life. Then God adds, “The Firstborn of every creature”, which would have been better translated, “The Firstborn of all creation.” What does this mean? God did not mean to say that the Lord Jesus was a creature, and God did not mean to say that the Lord Jesus was begotten before all creatures, but that “By Him were all things created” (Col 1:16) and that is why He is called “the Firstborn”. In addition, He is the Son of God, which means that He sustains the highest rank over all creation. Please drop down to verse 18. We read in Col 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” The Lord Jesus Christ is called “the Firstborn from the dead” not because He was the first to be raised from the dead, for there were at least six more who were raised from the dead before AD 33, but because the souls of those who were raised from the dead, like Moses, were not perfect before God because their sins were not paid. Only when Christ rose from the dead were all the OT saints also freed from the guilt of all their sins, and did they become righteous in the sight of God. Please turn again to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 8:29 (2X). For this reason Christ became the head of the body, the church, for He also must have the preeminence over the church. This does not refer to the whole church, lock stock and barrel, but only the eternal church is in view here, which is the body of all the elect, who are also called His brethren. We read in Rom 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” There is that word again, “The Firstborn”. Those whom God knew before, in eternity past, those whom He called His elect, God also did predestinate them to be like the image of His Son the man Christ Jesus, in order that Christ might be the Firstborn among many brethren.” What an incredible honor has God bestowed upon us that He calls us the brethren of the Lord Jesus. We are not worthy to be called His brethren, for we are sinful and He is not. But God arranged it this way, for Christ must first be our Kinsman before He can be our Redeemer. And if He is to be our Kinsman, then He must first take on our flesh and bones. That is why we read in Eph 5:30, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Flesh and bones! Think of it: His blood is left out, for His blood was shed under the wrath of God. Therefore Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer and our Firstborn; He is our Defender and He is the Avenger on all those who intend to do us harm. He is the only one of all our next of kin who is qualified to exercise the providence of God, and thereby neutralize the desires of Satan. We should not say that Christ does battle against Satan; He does not do so, for Satan is His servant.
Let us now return to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 24:13 (2X). It was the first day of the week, Sunday afternoon. It was the day the Lord Jesus rose from the tomb. The two disciples walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was a distance of about 7.5 miles. They were full of emotions, talking about what came to pass in the past three days. They were perplexed by the actions of the priests and the scribes and the Pharisees. How could it be that they sent an honorable prophet, a man who had done so much good, and they sent Him to die on a cross, the most cruel and inhumane method of execution invented by man. And they were perplexed that so many of their own countrymen shouted “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” Those were the same countrymen who five days earlier shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matt 21:9). The two disciples were perplexed. Then the Lord Jesus joined their company, but they did not recognize Him, for it was God’s plan that they would not yet recognize Him, but they would do so later. Take a look at verse 18. Cleopas said in Luke 24:18, “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem?” Literally he said, “Art thou a lonely stranger in Jerusalem?” Or, “Art thou alone, without a companion in Jerusalem?” Everyone in Jerusalem was involved in these events that brought the Lord Jesus to the cross. This was not an action done by only a few individuals in Jerusalem. When it concerned their religion everyone had an opinion for or against Jesus. And this was the normal mode of life throughout Europe and throughout the centuries. When the King James Bible was produced it was written in the language of the common people, for the common people discussed these matters of their religion every day. Compare it with the situation of today. Rarely do people discuss things from the Bible. Most people live a life without God, and they plan to build their utopia by their own strength, without God. And please drop down to verse 20. Cleopas said in Luke 24:20, “And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.” Notice that they did not say: “Pilate and the Romans did this”? These two men placed the blame rightly on the chief priests and the rulers of the Jews: the scribes and Pharisees. They knew that the rulers had delivered Jesus to Pilate out of envy! Yes, out of envy! This shows us how low men could sink: Even the religious leaders were willing to crucify and kill an innocent man; and why? Just out of envy! Is this a special kind of people, a cruel people, in the history of mankind? But look again: Pilate and the Roman soldiers were not much better either! Does this not reflect the general state of mankind? Not only then, but look around us today! Indeed, today we find that people are willing to do the same dastardly things. They will kill their babies because they are inconvenient. If we would have lived 2000 years ago, we also would be in that crowd before Pilate’s palace, and we also would be shouting: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” But then the Lord Jesus reprimands them in verse 25. We read in Luke 24:25,
#2. O Fools and Slow of Heart to Believe (Luke 24:25, Gal 3:1,3)
Lu 24:25 “Then he said unto them, O fools <453>, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:”
This was not a compliment. This was a severe rebuke. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 3:1 (2X). The Lord Jesus did not use gentle loving words here. O yes, He loved these two disciples, but they needed a severe correction in their understanding of the Gospel. This Greek word that is translated “fools” <453> is an adjective that means “foolish, or unwise, or not understanding.” For example, we read in Gal 3:1,
Gal 3:1 ¶ O foolish <453> Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (And in Gal 3:3 this word appears again.)
These Galatians were deceived by Judaizers who told them that they could not be saved unless they obeyed the Law of Moses. They were also slow of heart to believe the Gospel that the apostle Paul had brought to them. And in every other case where this word <453> is used in the Bible, it always refers to people who are on a path that leads to Hell. Please turn again to the Gospel of Luke, Luke 24:25 (2X). In other words: The Lord Jesus is engaged in a rescue operation, just like Paul’s Letter to the Galatians was a rescue operation. The Lord Jesus is turning these two men to Emmaus around in their understanding of salvation, because their present understanding of the Gospel is greatly in error. What was their error? Look at verse 21. Luke 24:21, “But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” They had hoped that the Messiah would deliver them from the Romans, and establish an earthly kingdom with Jerusalem as the capital. Where did they get those ideas from? They did not get it from the Bible, but from the false teachings of the Pharisees. Many people today have the same kind of ideas about an earthly kingdom at the second coming of Christ. The Lord Jesus calls them “fools”! Think about that. Then the Lord Jesus calls them “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”. Jesus is reprimanding them for having such an earthly outlook on the Scriptures. Today there are many people who have an earthly outlook on the Scriptures. They believe the Bible as a history book. To them the OT is a book of the history of the nation of Israel. So we are done with that. And the NT is a book of the history of Jesus and the history of the NT Church in the first Century AD. Interwoven through all that history they see only a moralizing gospel. You must go to Church, and be good, and follow the rules. Then you will be accepted by God. O, the historical gospel is so comforting: It is about a people who lived a long long time ago, in a land far far away, in a culture that is so different from our culture, so different that we really cannot apply their rules & laws to our culture. Unfortunately then there will be many Scriptures which will remain a mystery, because God did not write the Bible that way. The Bible is a spiritual Book, which was written by God for the purpose of saving people through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus said to the two men on the road to Emmaus: You must believe all that the prophets have spoken. You must believe the whole Bible and harmonize the whole Bible, not just pick and choose here and there what suits your own denomination. O, No! You must take all the Scriptures into account. “Do not be slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”. Do not hold on so desperately to a history Book, for then you will be slow of heart. Learn as much as you can from all that the prophets have spoken. And what is it that the prophets emphasized? Then the Lord Jesus pointed out their ignorance concerning Christ’s resurrection.
Luke 24:26-27, “Must not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Why must the Christ, the Messiah, have suffered this horrible crucifixion? Why did He have to die this way? What is so important about that? Well, the purpose of the Gospel of salvation is that we become reconciled to God. That is in fact the purpose of the whole Bible. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 3:10 (2X). All mankind, children of Adam, come into the world like Adam was after the fall. All are in rebellion against God. All have become slaves of sin and Satan. All are bound for eternal damnation. The whole human race is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and is unable to reach out to God. We are all born this way. Rom 3:10-12,
Ro 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Does God really mean that? Indeed God does mean that. There is none of the human race who is good enough to inherit eternal life. All are at war with God, and therefore if anyone is going to be admitted into heaven, that person first has to be reconciled to God. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X). While you look this up, let us consider who God is. #1. The Bible declares to us that God is perfectly wise, infinitely wise, which means that God does not learn more in time, which also means that God already knows the end from the beginning because He cannot learn more from history. And because He knows the end from the beginning, all His decisions He has already made in the beginning, before time began. #2. The Bible also declares to us that God is immutable, which means He does not change. This means that God has made all His decisions in eternity past, for if God would make a new decision sometime in history, then from that moment on God has changed. #3. The Bible declares that God is omniscient, which means that He is aware and understands everything that comes to pass in history, which means that He can see down the corridors of time and know what will come to pass. It means that God knew that Adam and Eve would fall into sin even before He created the first speck of dust, and God knew that all mankind would come into the world as slaves of Satan, and God determined before the foundations of the world that Christ would have to come to save us from our sins. #4. The Bible declares that God is perfectly sovereign, which means that He is in control of everything; nothing gets out of control, for He determines how all history must enfold, for He causes everything that will come to pass. God not only knows the end from the beginning, but He causes the end from the beginning. Therefore if anyone would be saved, God must have decided that event before the foundations of the world. #5. All these attributes of God dictate that God’s entire plan of salvation for everyone who will be saved must have been worked out before He created the first speck of dust, or else He would not be God. And so, it is in total agreement with this concept of God that we find in Eph 1:3-5,
Eph 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
This entire chapter of Eph 1 breathes the attributes of God that we have discussed: God is infinitely wise, God is immutable, God is omniscient, God is perfectly sovereign, and God has reserved for Himself a number of people whom He calls His elect, His chosen ones, whose destiny He has predestinated according to the good pleasure of His will. In addition, we have to throw in one more attribute of God, and that is: #6. God is perfectly righteous. As judge He is a perfectly righteous judge who must judge every sin, not passing by any sin, but even the smallest sin such as an idle word must be accounted for, and the penalty has to be paid. What is that penalty? God declared that the wages of sin is death, and the death that God has in view is the second death, which is eternal damnation in the lake of fire, according to Rev 20:15. But this means that no one of the human race can satisfy this penalty, for eternal damnation is for an eternity, and thus before we can go to heaven we first must spend an eternity in Hell. Therefore, as we have read in Eph 1:3-5, God foreordained that the Lord Jesus Christ should come and pay the penalty in our place, for He is able to pay that penalty in a finite time. But this required that the Lord Jesus would have to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell in our place. And that is why the Lord Jesus said to the two disciples going to Emmaus, “Must not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” And then He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. And that is the Good News for us. The Gospel is the Good News that the Lord Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty in our place, so that we can enter into eternal life without first having to spend an eternity in Hell. God, in His great mercy provided the Redeemer who could be our Substitute in paying for our sins. When the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed on the cross, it was the sign to us that He was accursed by God in our place, because it is written: “Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree!” When the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave, it was a sign to us that the full price for our sins has been paid. On this long walk of 7.5 miles the Lord Jesus interpreted the O.T. Scriptures to these two men, and He showed them that all the OT Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful explanation! No longer is the OT just the history of the nation of Israel. No longer is the OT just the moralizing Law of God. Here in Luke 24 the Lord Jesus explained that there is a spiritual interpretation to much of the OT that others may have overlooked. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ must be found in all the OT Scriptures. There is a spiritual dimension in the OT, and that spiritual dimension as found in signs and figures and historical parables is identical to the NT Gospel of salvation, which is by grace alone and through Christ alone. This is what the two men walking to Emmaus heard. And what was their reaction? We read in Luke 24:31-32, “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
#3. Did Not Our Heart Burn Within Us? (Jer 15:16, Acts 11:26, Gal 6:16, Heb 12:23, Matt 5:14, Acts 20:28, John 21:15-17, 1Pet 1:15-16, Rom 10:17, Psalm 119:103)
Is not this a wonderful characteristic of someone whose eyes have been opened? What were their eyes opened up to? Verse 31 says: And they knew Him. How did it come to pass that they knew Him? Verse 30 says: “He took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.” They knew Him in the breaking of bread. They recognized that He was the bread of life and that His Body was broken for them also. How do we know Christ? Do we know Christ when we partake of His broken body? No, not physically, not in the literal sense, but when we realize that we are one with Him, and that His body was broken also for us. When we read and study the Bible we are actually partaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, because Christ is the Word of God. That was the understanding of the two men at Emmaus when they saw the Bread, that was representing Christ, was broken before their eyes. Then suddenly they knew Him! He made Himself known to them. And that is a fundamental principle. He has to make Himself known to us. For example: Do you know Abraham Lincoln? It is easy for us to say that we know about Abraham Lincoln, but who of us could say that we know Abraham Lincoln himself? In order for us to know Abraham Lincoln, he would have to make himself known to us. But that is not possible, because Abraham Lincoln is dead. But the Lord Jesus Christ is alive. He can make Himself known to those to whom He wants to make Himself known, like to these two disciples on the road to Emmaus. And today, just like in history past, we cannot know the Lord Jesus unless He makes Himself known to us. That is not our decision, but it is His decision. In fact, if it depended on our decision, nobody would be saved. None of us wants this Gospel whereby God takes all the credit and takes all the initiative and makes us come to Christ entirely by His grace. But that is the Gospel of the Bible. After our eyes are opened and the Holy Spirit opens our understanding we begin to better understand God’s Word. And that is what we see here with these two disciples on the road to Emmaus. We can read the Bible all our life and only know about Christ. But what is one of the signs that we know Christ? Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? Is that not also the language that we also find with the OT saints? Listen to what Jeremiah said in Jer 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (2X) How are we called by His name? His name is Christ, and we are called Christians, meaning “of the family of Christ.” And “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). His name is Israel, and we are called the Israel of God (Gal 6:16). His name is Firstborn, and we are the church of the firstborn. Heb 12:23 says, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven.” His name is The Light of the world, and He called us also the lights of the world (Matt 5:14). He is the Chief Shepherd, and we are the undershepherds (Acts 20:28, John 21:15-17). He is the Holy One of Israel, and we are also called “holy”, meaning “set apart” (1Pet 1:15-16). When our eyes are opened to the Gospel in the OT, and we find total harmony of the OT with the Gospel in the NT, our spiritual world takes on a new dimension, and we delight to study the Word of God to find more of these nuggets of gold. God uses the Scriptures to open our understanding. And that is another fundamental principle, for God says in Rom 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our faith will be strengthened by reading and studying God’s Word, and we delight in it. God says in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.