Two of Jesus’ disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus on the first resurrection Sunday, and they were distraught: “Jesus of Nazareth who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God” was dead (ESV, Luke 24:19). They “had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (v. 21), but now he was dead. Their grief touches us even across the years.
A stranger appears and walks besides them and berates them by saying, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken!” (Luke 25:26). And then Luke describes what the stranger, who was Jesus, said to them, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Jesus on the Emmaus road did not add to Scripture. He did not give them a new revelation like what we have from John in the book of Revelation, but rather he explained or interpreted the Scriptures to prove that the Old Testament requires that it be “necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (v. 26).
The disciples’ “hearts burn within” them as he “opened up…the Scripture” (v. 32), but the stranger made no claim to authority. All that he did was interpret the existing Bible for them to convince them that the Old Testament taught the suffering, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Because Jesus is not arguing from authority or adding to the Scriptures, Jesus’ interpretation is repeatable by others. The disciples and modern readers of the Bible can return to the Old Testament and find the necessity of Christ’s suffering and resurrection in its pages without the New Testament. Read more about Do You Agree with Jesus?