Find Me In Scripture ~ 20200426 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
04/26 Obey Jesus: Find Me in the Scriptures; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20200426_find-me-in-scripture.mp3
This is the second Sunday after the resurrection. Acts 1 tells us Jesus
This is day 15 of Jesus’ post resurrection appearances to his disciples. Before he ascended he charged his disciples to make disciples who would make disciples who would make disciples,
So we are looking at what Jesus commanded his disciples. Last week we looked at Jesus’ appearance to doubting Thomas, where he presented him with the evidence and commanded:
Jesus commands us to come to him, to believe that he is the I AM, the Word who was with God and who was God, come in the flesh to rescue us. He requires that we turn from whatever else we are trusting in and depend on him alone, that we trust him completely.
The Emmaus Road
Today I want to look at Luke’s account of Jesus appearing to some disciples on the road to Emmaus that first resurrection Sunday.
Do you hear where these disciples are at? They are lost, confused. They had hoped that Jesus was the one they had hoped for, but then the Jewish leaders had him crucified. Now his body is missing, and there’s some crazy rumors that he is alive. We just don’t know what to believe.
Do you hear what Jesus says? He rebukes them for being slow of heart to believe the prophets. He says they should have known that the Christ must suffer these things before entering into his glory. He rebukes them for not knowing their Bibles better. Not just that they didn’t understand something they should have known, but that their hearts were slow to believe. They were slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets had spoken. They embraced some of it, but not all.
The Scriptures Fulfilled; It Is Written
If we look back early in Jesus’ ministry, in Luke 4
Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah, and claims to be the fulfillment of that prophecy. Today, this has been fulfilled!
When Jesus was coming down with his three disciples from the transfiguration mountain in Mark 9, he charged them to tell no one until he was risen from the dead, and they were wondering what this ‘rising from the dead’ might mean. He said:
He just revealed to them his glory, and now he asks ‘how is it written that the Son of Man should suffer?’ He is pushing them to believe all of Scripture. It is not going to go the way you think. The Son of Man should suffer. What do you do with these Scriptures? Where do they fit?
At his last supper, when he predicted that he would be betrayed by one of them, he said:
The Son of Man goes as it is written of him. When they went out to the Mount of Olives,
Jesus quotes Zechariah 13:7 and says it is pointing to what is about to happen. Then, after Judas betrayed him with a kiss, and he was taken,
Let the Scriptures be fulfilled. The Scriptures must be fulfilled, and they were being fulfilled in Jesus.
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for breaking the commandment and making void the word of God for the sake of their traditions (Mt.15:3,6). He said:
Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He came to accomplish every dot, every iota of the Law. He came to be the summation, the culmination, the end goal of all the Scriptures.
The Central Focus of the Scriptures
Notice the central focus of the Scripture according to Jesus is his suffering and death in place of sinners. His work as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is why he came and what it all was pointing to. Listen to what he said in Luke 18 on his way to Jerusalem.
It is the sufferings, the death, and the resurrection of the Messiah that is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms.
To the disciples after his resurrection, on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24,
Imagine being in on that Bible study! The risen Lord himself, the very Word incarnate, taking them through the word written, interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Jesus taught that all the Scriptures were meant to point us to him.
Obeying Jesus about the Bible
We are looking at what it means to be a disciple, a learner, a follower of Jesus. We are looking at what it means to obey all that Jesus commands. We need to follow Jesus on what he teaches about the Bible, the word of God. Jesus commands us to find him in the Scriptures, to meet him there, the living Word in his word written. It is all about him, and to rightly use God’s word, we need to see Jesus there.
Spiritual Blindness and Inability
But we have a problem. We can’t. We can’t see Jesus. We are unable. We are blind to him. And it is a satanic blindness. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 that
Remember, Jesus told his disciples plainly what was about to happen to him,
The risen Lord walked with these two disciples on the road and gave them Bible study,
When they arrived at the village of Emmaus, Jesus went in to stay with them. It says:
Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Him!
These disciples rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples,
Then Jesus appeared to the whole group gathered there in Jerusalem.
Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He opened their eyes to recognize him! We can’t, we can’t see Jesus in all of Scripture unless and until Jesus opens our blind minds. This is a sovereign creative act of God, illuminating our minds. Remember, God loves to give good gifts to those who ask. He loves to pour out his Spirit on all who ask him (Lk.11:9-13). If you are struggling to understand the Bible, ask! If it is confusing, a big book of rules and regulations, if it is heavy and oppressive, full of duty rather than delight, ask! Ask him to open your mind to see that it’s all about Jesus. That he came to do what you could not and to fulfill every command so that you could enjoy him in relationship. Ask that the promised Holy Spirit would show you Jesus (Jn.15:26). Ask God to do a supernatural creative act in your heart.
God is the one who gives this light, and you and I are blind without it, so ask!
How To Find Jesus in The Scriptures
In John 5, Jesus rebuked the Jews for missing the main point. He said:
The Scriptures bear witness about me. They studied the Scriptures, but they failed to hear the voice of God. They memorized the Scriptures, but they failed to have God’s word abiding in them, because they failed to see that the Scriptures were meant to point to Jesus, to bear witness about Jesus. They failed to believe in Jesus. The point of the Scriptures was not to try to earn life by obeying all the Scriptures, but to come to the only one who could perfectly fulfill all the Scriptures. They refused to come to Jesus and find life in him.
So, be ready to believe in Jesus. Put your trust in him completely. Recognize that it is all about him, and seek to meet him in the pages of his word. And ask. Ask God to show you Jesus in all of Scriptures.
That is the most important instruction I can give you.
See Jesus in All of Scripture
Get to know Jesus in all of Scripture. Get to know him through the gospels. They are eyewitness accounts that invite you in to his life and teaching. Sit at his feet and listen to him. Learn from him. Watch him interact with real people, people like you, people with needs.
But Luke tells us that the story of Jesus doesn’t end with the ascension. In Luke volume 2 (or the Acts of the Apostles) he tells us that his gospel was about all that Jesus began to do and teach until he was taken up (Acts 1:1-2). The book of Acts is about what Jesus continues to do and teach through his followers in his church. And the book of acts doesn’t end. It actually leaves us hanging in chapter 28 with Paul in prison in Rome awaiting trial and likely execution, for two whole years,
Like Mark’s gospel, the story is left hanging. And you are invited in. We, the church, are the continuation of the story of what Jesus began to do and teach.
The New Testament letters are instructions to the church on how to follow Jesus, what the gospel is, what is central, what to believe, and how to live life walking with Jesus, in step with the gospel.
But the New Testament also gives us a lens with which to read the Old Testament.
Jesus was active in Creation with his Father. Throughout the narratives we see people like us, struggling to believe the promises, some turning their backs, some believing, and we see the consequences of those decisions. Paul tells us (1Cor.10:4) that the ever present life giving Rock in the wilderness that accompanied the wandering people of God was Christ. We see the Lord make extravagant promises to his people, and we learn that “all the promises of God are ‘Yes’ to us in Jesus Christ (2Cor.1:20). We read laws we can’t keep, showing us our need for rescue, and creating a desperation for one who would keep them in our place. We see the tabernacle and temple, the one place people can meet with God, but only through the appropriate sacrifice. And we see that Jesus came to pitch his tent among us, came to be God with us, came to give his own life as the once for all sacrifice that would finally take away our sin and conquer death forever. We read poetry that expresses discontent with the way things are, longing for things to be made right, and we read poetry that expresses hope, a longing for the one who would come to set all things right, for God himself to come down. We read disconcerting things about a suffering servant who would bear our sins and be punished for what we deserve, (Is.53) and we hear him cry out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’ (Ps.22:1). We read the prophets, rebuking the people for their hard hearts and wandering lusts, telling them to turn back to the Lord, telling them that one day he himself would come,
And we see in the final Revelation, that Jesus is coming back, and he will wipe every tear from our eyes, and we will join the angelic hosts through eternity worshiping,
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org