1. So beginning with Moses ... Jesus reveals this careful plan:
2. Christ Affirms this Sacrificial Plan to the Disciples
From before the dawn of time when the Lord Almighty planned his glorious creation, he knew that man, the very pinnacle, would fall. He was well aware that his justice would require a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sin that would spread to all the sons of Adam. But God also had a plan to rescue man and restore him to righteousness and truth. A complete plan that would require the most cruel death that man could devise. Crucifixion. It would be the only way to save man. How would God reveal this plan? His eternal Covenant is recorded in every book of the Old Testament. As Jesus walked with the two going to Emmaus, he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Lu 2425-27 Men have always been slow to hear, but the prophets and men of God in every generation unfold the truth. We do not know what Jesus taught these two, but the following is an attempt to trace this 'unfolding' of the mercy and grace of Almighty God revealed to sinful man throughout the Old Testament so that we may believe and be saved.
1. So beginning with Moses ... Jesus reveals this careful plan:
Why did he begin with Moses? Surely he was the Lawgiver. The Law that no man has yet been able to keep, and thus all men stand condemned by it. Yes, that is true, but Paul a Pharisee of the Pharisees, reveals the purpose of the Law was not just to tell us how to live righteously, but the Law was 'a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ'. Gal 324 Our inability to keep the Law reveals how much we need Christ to not only redeem and forgive us for our sin, but to enable us to be 'born again'.
Moses was the one whom God chose to deliver Israel out of the slavery in Egypt - the slavery of sin that afflicts us all. How did God achieve this? Israel escaped at the 10th and last plague by sign of the blood of the Passover Lamb. This sign instigated by Moses 1,500 year earlier revealed the plan of God for Jesus to be the Passover Lamb. What better place than to reveal Jesus had to be this Lamb.
Moses was chosen to lead the chosen people to the promised land - to the longed for time of righteousness, truth and justice. He opens our eyes to this sure hope and fills our hearts with longing. In the Jewish feasts he instigated, the first was Passover, then comes 'First fruits' (Pentecost) and then finally Tabernacles, this perfect living and walking with God. But before Tabernacles there was also the feast of 'Trumpets' - 10 days of repentance, of heeding God's warning, which culminated with Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. These two Jews going home to Emmaus would have been well versed in this, but Jesus had to remind them about the need for the costly Atonement that only the Son of God could offer. On the day of Atonement two goats had to be offered to gain forgiveness. Lev 16.
Moses also made the Tabernacle with the Ark and the Mercy Seat. Here the precious blood was sprinkled to show that one day God would have to offer the perfect sacrifice to which all the earlier sacrifices pointed.
Moses was obviously a good place to start. Jesus then went on to tell then about what all the prophets revealed.
Joshua told the people of Israel that they could not just simply decide to follow or serve Almighty God. Josh 2414-27 Why was this not possible. In one word, Compromise. They thought they could retain all their various idols and then worship God. But God had demanded: No other gods, No idols. (First two Commandments). Our corrupt nature first needs to be changed by God's mercy and grace; we cannot just make a resolution to follow Jesus. Joshua built a cairn of stones to be a witness to this fact.
Isaiah the prophet revealed there would be a 'Suffering Servant of God'. He would have no special beauty, he would be despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows. He was pierced for our transgressions, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and the Lord had laid on him the iniquity of us all. He poured out his life unto death, for he bore the sin of many ... Is 5213 - 5312 Jesus would surely have reminded them of these familiar, but misunderstood verses. Just like the Ethiopian would just a few years later. Act 826-40
Jeremiah lived in a day like today, when wickedness and deception was growing faster than weeds in a wet summer. He knew what Almighty God had planned - exile and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Babylon. So he had to tell the people God's verdict. "Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you." But then a moment later he would also tell them: " 'But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the Lord, 'because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.' ... 'So you will be my people, and I will be your God'." Jer 3012,17,22 Jesus would bring this healing. Jesus would have to atone and pay the redemption price. No one else could do so. This is what the OT prophet revealed. Though most only wanted a Messiah, a king to defeat the hated Romans and restore Israel.
Hosea also revealed how he would have to pay a price to restore his unfaithful, adulterous bride. Hos 31,2 117,8
Daniel had served God in Babylon for 66 years. He prayed earnestly for Jerusalem 3 times every day. Then Gabriel came with God's answer which he reveals in Dan 9. Almighty God had a very specific plan, however the seventy sevens years are counted. A definite time is decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. There was going to come a day when the Anointed One would come and he will be cut off and will have nothing. Dan 924-26 He would achieve God's plan, be crucified and apparently have nothing - only atone for man's wickedness!! O what a plan, what a God. They, and even we some 2,000 years later would have to wait for the longed-for day of everlasting righteousness. It would also surely come, but not yet. It will come with equal certainty in God's own time. This prophetic truth would surely have warmed the hearts of the two dejected disciples as Jesus spoke with them along the way home.
David was shown much about the manner of Messiah's death, though he knew nothing about the cruel, maximum pain of Roman crucifixion. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ... Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; ... All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: "He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. ... Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. Ps 22
God revealed to Noah a great salvation truth that is lost in the English translation. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. No doubt Noah did exactly that (Gen 622). He faithfully painted all the inside and all the outside of the huge boat with black tar. But the Hebrew word that is translated 'pitch' is used on another 94 occasions in the OT, where is variously always translated as atone, pardon, reconcile ... So Noah looked at the tar and saw atonement, the salvation of God. Jesus instructed his followers to see and taste the bread and wine that is for us the same sure atonement and deliverance from certain destruction. Did Jesus tell the two walkers about the Ark and how the eight were saved?
When Abraham was about 120 years old God spoke to him and told him to take his precious son of promise, Isaac, and sacrifice him. Abraham did not question or hesitate for an instant. He believed that in the same way that Isaac had been born so God would also resurrect him!! Heb 1117-19 As Abraham and Isaac journeyed to Mt Moriah (now Temple Mount in Jerusalem), Isaac said, "The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" And Abraham answered prophetically, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Gen 228
When they reached the Mount, Isaac was willing to be bound, in the same way as Jesus was wiling to be crucified. Isaac was spared, and Abraham sacrificed a ram - but for Jesus there would be no such substitute. Abraham realised the significance of God's instruction and provision. He did not call the place 'God has provided', but "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided." Gen 2214
Jesus may well have reminded them about the cry of the greatest prophet, John Baptist, when he saw Jesus down near the Jordan river: "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" Jn 129 Almighty God did not wave a magic wand to take away all the wickedness of men. There had to be a perfect sacrifice. All the Jewish sacrificial offerings could never achieve this; but they did all point towards this great and awful day when the Son of God would be crucified and thus pay the ultimate price for our forgiveness.
On each of these occasions, and probably many more, Jesus told them how the Saviour had to die to save them. It was a fantastic revelation and an antidote to their "we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel." Lu 2421 For this is precisely what Jesus had done. No wonder they later said, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" Lu 2432
2. Christ Affirms this Sacrificial Plan to the Disciples
During his ministry, Jesus told his disciples on at least 16 separate occasions that he, the Christ, the Messiah,
was going to have to suffer and die to redeem sinful men. It was the very purpose of his coming. There was
no other way for men to be saved. None of the disciples understood this until the resurrected Jesus revealed
it first to the two returning to Emmaus and then to the apostles. Lu 2425-27, 44-47
Two angels also told the women on resurrection morning. Lu 246-8
|At Passover in Jerusalem||Jn 218,19
Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
|During talk with Nicodemus||Jn 314,15
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
|While preaching at Capernaum||Jn 651
I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
|After it was revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Son of God||Mk 831 Math 1621 Lu 922
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
|When descending the Mt of Transfiguration||Math 179-13 Mk 99-13
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
|After delivering boy with evil deaf and mute spirit||Lu 943-45 Math 1722,23 Mk 930-32
And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marvelling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, "Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men." But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
|At Tabernacles in Jerusalem||Jn 1014-18
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
|On the way up to Jerusalem||Lu 1831-34 Math 2017-19 Mk 1032-34
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
|Also on the way up to Jerusalem||Math 2028 Mk 1045
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
|While Jesus taught in Jerusalem||Math 2133-42 Mk 121-11 Lu 209-18
Listen to another parable: "There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,' they replied, 'and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.'" Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes'?"
|End-time teaching in Jerusalem||Lu 1724,25
For (the coming of) the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning ... but first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
|While in Jerusalem||Math 262
"As you know, the Passover is two days away - and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
|During further teaching in Jerusalem||Jn 1223,24
Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
|At last Passover||Lu 2215,16
And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God."
|At last Passover||Lu 2236,37
He said to them ... "It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment."
[The apostles would have known that Is 53 also says, 'He was despised and rejected ... we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted ... the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all ... he was led like a (Passover) lamb to the slaughter.']
|Two angels also tell women on resurrection morning||Lu 246-8
"Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words.