“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself…They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:27,32)
Why is it that the Scriptures remain “closed” to some people? After all, there are plenty of scholars who have a vast amount of knowledge concerning the content of the Bible, but seem to remain spiritually unaffected by it. What is the secret to not only understanding the Scriptures, but more importantly, believing them?
Cleopas and his companion certainly knew what the prophets had written concerning the Christ – that wasn’t the issue. Jesus points out that they are “slow of heart to believe,” indicating that their problem is not a mental or intellectual one, but a spiritual one. Even though Satan had just suffered his humiliating defeat at the hands of Jesus, he is still putting up roadblocks to the Gospel message in the hearts of these two men.
On the way to Emmaus, Jesus comes along and tears down these roadblocks. As they walk with the risen Lord, a new understanding of Scripture comes into their hearts and their heads – an understanding not just of what the Scriptures say, but what they mean. Their eyes are opened to how the promises God has been making to His people for thousands of years find their fulfillment in Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Unless Jesus walks with us, and we with Him, the Scriptures remain closed and empty. He is the Word of God made flesh, and without Him the Scriptures are void of life or meaning. Thankfully, it is not up to us to “find” Him in the prophecies and passages of the Old and New Testaments; He comes alongside us and walks with us as we read and study His Word, opening the Scriptures to us and opening our hearts to them.
The miracle of Jesus coming to us in the Scriptures is quite apart from ourselves or anything we can do to “make” ourselves believe. Like Cleopas and his friend, we are all lost and hopeless without Him coming to guide us on the road of faith. Our choice in the matter comes after this occurs, when we decide if we will continue walking with Jesus or take another road, pushing Him away. Sadly, the Scriptures will remain closed to some forever because they continually walk away from Jesus as He comes to them on the road of His Word. But the longer we travel by His side, the greater our yearning to have Him stay with us forever.
As the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us in the Scriptures, God’s promises burst forth in brilliant light and hope. Then an amazing thing happens; the fire of the Spirit ignites a flame within our own hearts. Our spirits burn with a zeal and fervor to share the news of our risen Lord with all those whom we meet, telling them what we have heard. And as they hear the Gospel message, Jesus comes also to them, offering life and salvation by opening the fullness of His Word to their hearts and minds.
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:30-31)
Prayer: Lord God, as You feed and nourish me with the Bread of Life through Your Word, open my eyes that I may see You more clearly each day; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.