Father Paul's Homily on April 14 and 15, 2018
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).
The story is told in Luke 24. It is Easter and there is no joy. Two disciples are on the road to Emmaus, a little village about seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walk along the dusty road, they leave Jerusalem far behind. They were followers of the man called Jesus, the rabbi from Nazareth, the teacher and miracle worker who claimed to have been sent by God. For a long time they had followed him. As much as anyone could, they truly believed. And then came the terrible events on Friday. Jesus had been crucified. After his death, he was buried in a tomb. Although they had heard rumors that the tomb had been found empty early that morning, they could not and would not and did not believe any wild stories about a resurrection. Down the road the two men walked, deep in their sorrow and despair. Suddenly a stranger joins them and walks with them. When he leaves them, they are changed forever.
First their hearts are burdened.
Then their hearts are burning.
Then their hearts are bursting.
Such is the power of the risen Christ. They recognized that it was Jesus Christ. Jesus rebukes them for one thing and only one thing–for failing to understand and apply the Scriptures. But he tells them they should have known and believed what God had said. There are clues throughout the Old Testament that the Messiah would suffer and then would enter his glory. The Bible predicted the following about Jesus Christ before he was born:
1. That he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
2. That he would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
3. That he would be born into the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10).
4. That his ministry would begin in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1).
5. That he would work miracles (Isaiah 35:5, 6).
6. That he would teach in parables (Psalm 78:2).
7. That he would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
8. That he would be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9).
9. That he would be sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
10. That he would be accused by false witnesses (Psalm 35:11).
11. That he would be wounded and bruised (Isaiah 53:5).
12. That his hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16).
13. That he would be crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12).
14. That his garments would be torn apart and lots cast for them (Psalm 22:18).
15. That his bones would not be broken (Psalm 34:20).
16. That his side would be pierced (Zechariah 12:10).
17. That he would be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9).
18. That he would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10).
Don’t miss the point. The whole Bible testifies to Christ. And as the afternoon of the first Easter Sunday wore on, the two disciples listened with rapt attention as the third man, the stranger they did not recognize, explained how the Scriptures all pointed to Christ. We must not make the same mistake these two disciples made or else we too will be fools and slow of heart to believe. The Old Testament is full of Christ. He is on every page. He is the true theme of the Old Testament—by type, teaching, sacrifice and prophecy.
He is the prophet greater than Moses.
He is the priest greater than Aaron.
He is the king greater than David.
He is the captain greater than Joshua.
If you want to find Jesus, just open your Bible because the whole book is about him. If you want to understand the Bible, look for Jesus. He’s there on every page. The whole purpose of the Bible is to point us to Jesus. He’s the theme of every book from Genesis to Revelation. I find great encouragement from this story. Where is your Bible? Open your Bible with true faith that the Word of God is true. He is with us even when we are slow to believe. That’s why the two disciples couldn’t wait to get back to Jerusalem. Even though it was late in the evening, they had to go back and tell the others what they had seen and heard. Once you encounter Christ, nothing will ever be the same again.
If Jesus is alive, there’s no time to waste.
If Jesus is alive, then death has been defeated.
If Jesus is alive, then heaven is more than a dream.
If Jesus is alive, then our sins are really forgiven.
If you believe that Jesus is alive, then you are at the door of salvation! Amen.
(Your comments are welcome!)
Fr. Paul Preejo (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)