On the very first resurrection Sunday two Jews were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus and talking with each other about all the things that had happened over the previous days. While they conversed, the risen Jesus joined them and started asking them questions. They didn’t recognize Him as Jesus, and they were surprised that this stranger seemed not to know about all the events concerning “Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Luke 24:19). They went on for a while explaining to Jesus about His death and sharing reports of His tomb being empty. But they themselves hadn’t come to any conclusions.
At some point “[Jesus] 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” (verse 25). All these things were in the Bible.
They arrived in Emmaus and Jesus sat down to dinner with them. “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed it and broke it and give it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight” (verse 30). We might imagine them saying, “Wait! Now we have more questions!” They hadn’t had a problem with their physical sight, but now they could finally see.
Not only could they see who they had been talking with, they could see how what He had said made sense. “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (verse 32) Jesus had been clearing brush away from the signs and then showing how all the signs pointed in one direction.
Both because the Bible is a more-than-human book, and because sin is a blinding force, not seeing what is right in front of us, especially on the pages of Scripture, is a typical problem. We can be obtuse on a sentence level, we can be oblivious on the story level. But this is the beginning of a sign-clearing effort to see a way of explaining God’s plan, from beginning to end, that has been in the Bible all along but for whatever reason we haven’t recognized.
It is a Bible reading project, “beginning with Moses” and including “all the Prophets,” as well as the Gospels and the epistles of Christ’s apostles. This is a project to read and believe that “‘everything written about [Jesus] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’” This is a project to describe the things that make our hearts burn within us.