Everything Must Be Fulfilled

Jesus had died on Friday and had been in the grave for a couple of days. Now, it was Sunday and the women went to the tomb to fully prepare his body for burial. They had left him on preparation day and didn’t return on the Sabbath because of the commandment that they must not do any work on that day.

But when they returned back, they didn’t find Jesus in the tomb. Instead, it was empty! And the same with Peter who went running there along with John after they had heard the report back from the women. And they all wondered what was going on. Where was Jesus?

A couple of the disciples – Cleopas and another man – headed toward Emmaus, and Jesus caught up with them on the road and explained to them what the scriptures said about him. They went running back to the rest of the disciples to report that they had seen Jesus and that he was truly alive, and it was at that point that Jesus appeared to all of the disciples at once.

They couldn’t believe it! Here he was, standing in their midst, showing them his hands and his feet, allowing them to see him and touch him. And what was more, Jesus ate something with them so that they could see that he was real. He wasn’t just a figment of their imagination. Otherwise, they would still have the fish that they had given him. He wasn’t just an apparition, or a spirit. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to take and digest the fish. No, he and his full body were there and functioning in the physical world.

But like Jesus had done with these two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus explained to the disciples yet again all that had been written about him. He reminded them that the scriptures spoke about him. The law and the prophets pointed to him:

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Luke 24:44

And now, everything was being fulfilled, and it was being fulfilled in their presence. They were witnesses. They had seen all that Jesus had done. They knew the truth of what Jesus was saying because they knew the Old Testament scriptures and they knew what had happened in their midst. Now, Jesus was helping them to draw the connection between the two. He was helping them to see the fulfillment because now they would speak of this to others as well.

We don’t necessarily have the luxury or privilege of being the ones who are there to see, but we have the words of those who were there. They have testified to what they saw and have explained to us what they had done with Jesus, allowing us also to see the connections. Even further, through the Holy Spirit, we also can confirm the fulfillment of the prophecies. We can read what was done in the books of the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, and we can affirm that Jesus did fulfill the prophecies as well as became the real life example of many of the traditions and celebrations that the Jews would hold, and still even continue today.

This is an important part of our testimony. Jesus performed an incredible miracle of resurrection, but then he took his disciples directly into the scriptures to prove that they spoke about him through the fulfillment of what the prophecies said. Let us see and be able to also explain the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Without the Old, there is no New. The scriptures are one story, the story that God is telling. It is the story of Christ.

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