After Jesus had been raised from the dead, He appeared to two of the disciples who were traveling on the road between Jerusalem and Emmaus. These men did not recognize Jesus until some time later. As Jesus walked with these two men He asked them what they were discussing. They told Him that they had hoped that Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, that He might be the promised Messiah they had been waiting for.
To these things, Jesus spoke:
Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. ~Luke 24:25-27
In this brief paragraph, Jesus tells these men and us, the key to understanding all of the Bible. Jesus took these two disciples through the text from the prophets of the Old Testament, and related them to Himself as the One who had fulfilled all that was written for the Messiah.
When these two men saw Jesus stretch out His hands to give them bread to eat, they saw the scars from His crucifixion on His wrists and recognized that this was the same Jesus they had seen crucified, but was now alive.
In Luke 24:44-48, Jesus reiterates his former teaching regarding the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, now to eleven of the disciples who were gathered at Jerusalem.
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. ~Luke 24:44-48
Here we see the key that unlocks all knowledge about the Bible: The purpose of the Old and New Testament scriptures are to reveal the Savior of the world whom God promised in Genesis 3:15, to the whole world. God called the prophets to write descriptions for the Messiah and tell us what He would be like, what He would say and do, and to look for One who would fulfill all the words written by these prophets.
Jesus tells His disciples, after He had been crucified and risen from the dead, that these events were predicted by the prophecies of the Old Testament and that “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
Jesus said that these things were written and it was necessary for the Christ, or Messiah, to suffer death on the cross and to rise from the dead on the third day, so that God’s plan of salvation could be known and understood by the whole world.
Apparently the disciples had learned this lesson well, for we read in Acts 8:30-33 that Phillip is directed by the Holy Spirit to pursue a chariot that is driven by an Ethiopian servant to the Queen, who is reading from the Prophet Isaiah, concerning one of the primary prophecies of the Messiah in chapter 53
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” ~Acts 8:30-33
We see this attribute of scripture many times throughout the New Testament where a prophecy that was written for the Messiah and was recorded in the Old Testament, is highlighted in the New Testament as Jesus is fulfilling what is written. From this we can see and understand the purpose of all the scriptures.
God wanted to leave us with an empirical evidence from history to validate the identity of Jesus. He called unique men to write about future events that would surround the coming of Messiah to earth, and demonstrate that Jesus is the One to whom these prophecies were written about.
Just as Jesus had told the Disciples that after He was crucified and risen from the dead, He would “bring to their remembrance, all things concerning Him,” God also brought to the minds of the Old Testament prophets, the precise events that would take place for Jesus later on in the New Testament. He did this so that we could know with certainty that Jesus is the One to whom these prophets were writing about.
This attribute of the Bible is unique amongst all other religions and their writings. Only the Bible contains these precise prophecies that we can measure by the record of history and validate that what God said about the coming of the Messiah, was indeed true. Every prophecy that was written for the Messiah, Jesus has fulfilled these in the pages of the New Testament.
After teaching the Bible for nearly 40 years in Europe, Asia, and the United States, I realized that the entire text of the Old Testament was to prepare us for the arrival of Jesus. Everything that Jesus said and did was to fulfill the words that were written for Messiah in the Old Testament.
When we carefully read and study the words of Jesus in the New Testament we see that He was carefully and methodically directing His every move, to fulfill all of these prophecies. In my book “Prophecies of the Messiah,” and “These Things Were Written,” I document over 400 Messianic Prophecies that were written in the Old Testament and fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament.
The prophecies are extremely detailed and specific and contain events that Jesus would not have any power to personally direct, such as the time and place of His birth, the words that were said to Him, the manner in which He was tortured and killed, and the time and manner in which He was raised from the dead.
When we read the text of the New Testament we discover that the disciples of Jesus did not understand all the things that Jesus had been saying and doing at that time. It was not until after He was risen from the dead and Jesus brought these things to their remembrance, that these men knew and understood what had happened. As they put the pieces of all that Jesus had said and done, together into one coherent story, they realized that He had perfectly engineered His life to fulfill these 400 Old Testament Prophecies.
If you would truly like to understand what the Bible is about and what the true purpose of Jesus’ presence on earth was, understanding these prophecies is fundamental to that understanding.
If you think that the Bible is just one of many religious books and the life of Jesus is nothing remarkable, knowledge of these prophecies and how Jesus fulfilled each one, will change your mind about the Bible and the life of Jesus.
Categories: Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Fulfilling Daniel's Chapter 9, Jesus is the Messiah, Messianic Prophecies, Messianic Prophecy Bible, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Prophecy proven by History, Reliability of the Bible, Resurrection Proven by Secular Sources, Robert Clifton Robinson, Studying the Word of God, The Crucifixion of Jesus, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The Historical Jesus, The Resurrection, The Second Arrival of the Messiah, These Things Were Written