Message 8, Beginning with Moses: Christ in All the Scriptures:
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God. Although it consists of a collection of sixty-six writings by multiple authors spanning hundreds of years, it is one book with one message of salvation. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reveals how God saves sinners through His one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this session, Dr. Steven Lawson expounds upon how the promise of redemption given throughout the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ.
Well, I want to invite you to take your Bibles and turn with me to the Gospel of Luke, Luke chapter 24. And the topic that has been assigned to me, which you no doubt have seen in your conference guide, is entitled “Beginning with Moses,” subtitle, “Christ in all the Scriptures.” And so, if you recognize that, that’s coming out of Luke chapter 24.
And so I want to begin by reading this passage and, as you’re turning to it, I want to begin by just saying this: that the entire Bible is about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament says He’s coming. The Gospels say He’s here. The book of Acts proclaim Him. The epistles explain Him. And Revelation says He’s coming again. That’s the Bible in a nutshell.
The very first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” — we know that that is the Lord Jesus Christ who was God’s agent in creation. John 1, verse 3 says, “Everything that has come into being has been created by Christ,” and Colossians 1:16 says that “all things are from Him and by Him and for Him.”
And then the last verse in the Bible, Revelation 22 and verse 21: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” That’s the bookends around the entire Bible. And so the whole Bible is a “Him” book. It’s all about Him, the Lord Jesus Christ. So that’s what we’re going to talk about tonight.
And so I want to begin reading, and in verse 13. This is the passage that you’re familiar with — the road to Emmaus — and beginning in verse 13, we read “and behold two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.”
The setting is the very day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. These two disciples on the road to Emmaus do not know. They’ve heard reports that Christ’s body is missing and that He’s been raised, and they are now leaving town. And as they are leaving town, they go back home to Emmaus. No doubt they are dejected.
In fact, we’ll find out later they are very downcast and sad because this One, in whom they have put their hope, things didn’t turn out the way that they thought they were going to turn out. They thought He was going to redeem Israel and establish the Messianic rule, and it didn’t happen. And so Emmaus is seven miles — that’s important — seven miles northwest of Jerusalem.
Verse 14 — “And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.” And that refers to the last week of our Lord’s life, and the trials, and the crucifixion, and His burial. And these two men are just engaged in this conversation. They’re trying to sort it out in their own mind. “What did we miss? What, what went wrong? What did we not grasp?”
And verse 15 — “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.” The next verse tells us they don’t have a clue that this is Jesus!
And verse 15, verse 16 says, “Their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’” He’s trying to elicit a response from them.
And note at the end of verse 17, “And they stood still.” They just came to a standstill. They are in shock, and it says they were looking “sad.” I mean, they are so low they’re playing handball against the curb. I mean, they, they’re at the bottom.
And one of them — verse 18, named Cleopas — answered and said to Him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” In other words, “Where on earth have you been!? Everyone knows what just happened!”
Verse 19 — “And He said to them, ‘What things?’” And He is just reeling them in, and He’s pulling it out of them. This is, this is all a set-up! “And they said to Him, ‘The things about Jesus the Nazarene who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how our chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.’”
In other words, they wanted Him to break the yoke of Roman oppression and reestablish the theocracy of Israel. “Indeed beside all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also, some women among us amazed us when they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body. They came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of these were those who went out” — no doubt Peter and John — “went out to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said, but Him they did not see.”
Now, Jesus now intrudes and He says, in verse 25, “‘Oh foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then, beginning with Moses” — who wrote the first five books in the Bible — “and with all the prophets” — that would refer to the rest of the Old Testament canon of Scripture — “He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
Would you not have loved to have been a part of that small group Bible study? I would have! Just think about this: this is Jesus teaching on Jesus. That’s as good as it gets. He is the greatest expositor who ever walked the earth teaching on the greatest subject that there is in the universe! This is the living Word expounding the written Word. This is Jesus preaching on Jesus!
So, what do I want you to take from this? Where, where did He take them? Where did He show of Himself? It’s very clear that He sees Himself to be the central theme of all the Scripture. Here we see the primacy and the centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ!
So I want you to note three things with me as we look at these verses. Number one: I want you to see the perfect unity of Scripture. Jesus here lays a very firm foundation. In verse 25, he talks about “Why are you so slow to believe,” note, “all that the prophets have spoken?” You see, Jesus understood that all of the prophets have spoken with one voice; that they have never contradicted themselves; that, as the prophets have spoken, and as it is recorded in the Scripture, that there is perfect unity and perfect harmony. No one prophet contradicts another prophet. They speak one message, one truth.
And then we see, in verse 27: “Then, beginning with Moses,” who wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, “and with all of the prophets” — that would be from, what is in our Bible, from Joshua to Malachi, the entirety of all 39 books of of the Old Testament — “He explained to them the things concerning Himself,” note, “in all the Scriptures.” What the prophets spoke in verse 25 is what is recorded in the Scriptures in verse 27.
The word “Scriptures” simply means “the writings.” It comes from the Greek word graphe which we use “graphics” in the English language. And so Jesus is referring here to the written Word of God. And so Jesus is asserting the perfect unity of the Scripture, from Moses to Malachi. It all hangs together.
Here we see the perfect unity in the Old Testament, as affirmed by our Lord, that there is only one origin of the world. There is only one entrance of sin and death into the human race. There is only one diagnosis of man’s problem. There is only one way of salvation, and there is one standard of morality. There is one design for the family. There is one flow of human history. There is one end of the age. There is one final judgment. There is one final, eternal state. It is all taught with comprehensive, yet perfect precision in the books of the Old Testament.
And when the New Testament would be written, it would simply be an extension, with perfect continuity, of what was taught in the Old Testament. So that is the first thing that we draw from this and that, in the Old Testament, there is only one way of salvation, and it is the same way of salvation that we find in the New Testament. Wherever anyone has ever been saved on planet earth, it is, as we discussed earlier in the Q and A, it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
They looked forward to the coming of Christ just as we look back to the coming of Christ. But anytime anywhere anyone has ever been converted and brought into the kingdom of God, it is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. So that is the perfect unity of the Scriptures.
But, second, I want you to note the central message of the Scriptures. And I want us to look at verse, verses 25 to 27 one more time. And Jesus now states that He Himself is the master theme of the entire Scripture. So He says, in verse 25, “Oh foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” Well, what were they to believe?
And the next verse opens it up, and Jesus said, “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” There are three key words in verse 26: “necessary,” “suffer,” and “glory.” And Jesus is explaining to them that it was absolutely necessary that Jesus would suffer first before He would enter into His glory.
And in verse 27: “Then, beginning with Moses and with all the prophets” — and with that statement, Jesus is putting His arms around the entirety of the Old Testament — “He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” He understood that the overarching master theme of the entire Old Testament is the Person and work of Christ.
And this is not the first time that Jesus has made such a statement. In John chapter 5 and verse 39, Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these” — referring to the Scriptures — “it is these that testify about me.” In other words, the entire message of the Bible is one finger pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is testifying of Christ. That is why Paul could say, in 1 Corinthians 1:23, “We preach Christ crucified.” And that is why he would say, in 1 Corinthians 2, verse 2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
And why he could say to the Colossians, in Colossians 1:28, “We proclaim Him.” Now, we would say, “Now wait a minute, Paul. You taught the full counsel of God. You taught all ten areas of systematic theology.” And we have the 13 epistles that, that Paul wrote, and we know that Paul preached on and wrote concerning bibliology, theology proper, Christology, pneumatology, angelology, anthropology, hamartiology, soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology. He taught the full gambit of theology, yet Paul says, “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Yet he taught all of these other areas of theology.
How does that square? All of the lines of Paul’s theology were intersecting at the summit and at the highest point: in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even the Father says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” And even the Holy Spirit has come into the world, Jesus said, to bring to our remembrance the things that He spoke.
And in the Great Commission, we are to go out, and to make disciples, and to baptize and to teach them all things that Christ has commanded. So Jesus is set at the pinnacle of the message of Scripture, and He is set at the pinnacle of all of the lines of of theology.
And as we preach the full counsel of God, it is Jesus Christ whom we are showcasing. Bibliology is, in reality, the Word of Christ. Theology proper: Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He certainly is the heart of Christology. Pneumatology: He — it is the Spirit of Christ. Angelology: Jesus says that they are ministering to Him. And we are made in the very image of God in Christ: that is anthropology. Etc, etc, all the way down to eschatology, and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So as we come to the Old Testament, we are not surprised that Jesus would make such an expansive statement as this: that, beginning with Moses and with all of the prophets, they testify of Him, and that He explained Himself in all of the Scripture.
So, what, what do we take from this? Well, the first thing that I want to say is I do not believe that Jesus is teaching that He is in every single text of the Old Testament. That is not what He is teaching. The road to Emmaus, verse 13 tells us, was seven miles. The average person walks seventeen — in one mile, it takes 17 minutes to walk one mile. The total walk would’ve been 119 minutes, which is less than two hours. This was not a walk to the North Pole. This was a walk to Emmaus.
And so Jesus only had time to address the high points, to address the mountain peaks. So Jesus did not even have the time to go into every nuance of the Old Testament in this text. In fact, it takes — to read the entire Old Testament, the average person, it takes 40 hours. Jesus had maybe an hour and a half. And so He can only address those major places where He would be found.
And so, where are we to look for the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, He says, in verse 26: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into glory?” I first want to comment on the word “necessary.” It was necessary for Him to suffer and necessary for Him to enter into glory because the Old Testament had prophesied of these things. “And the grass withers and the flower fades away, but the Word of our God abides forever,” and everything that was recorded in the Old Testament of the prophecies of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was necessary that they would be fulfilled with great precision. Now Jesus, according to verse 26, addressed those portions of the Old Testament that foretold and foreshadowed that it was necessary for Him to suffer. That was the part that they had missed. That was the part even the disciples missed. They saw only the glory. They did not see the groanings and the crucifixion. And so Jesus now must correct their misunderstanding that, before He would enter into His glory, the Old Testament stated again, and again, and again, that He must suffer. And His suffering is inclusive in His sin-bearing, substitutionary death upon Calvary’s cross.
Well, where in the Old Testament do we find the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ? And it begins in Genesis 3 and verse 15 — the protoeuongelion, the first mention of the gospel. God Himself is the preacher in the garden, and the congregation is the Devil, the serpent. And God proclaims that the heel of the seed of the woman must be bruised, but He will crush the head of the serpent. But He will be bruised, and He will suffer. But He will recover from that suffering. And even in that is a foreshadowing of the Resurrection.
And then there was the animal in the garden that must be slain, and be skinned in order to clothe Adam and Eve, and that too, a foreshadowing of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And then, in Genesis 4, the blood of Abel’s sacrifice must be shed in order for it to be a better and more acceptable sacrifice.
The ram caught in the thicket must be offered up by Abraham in Genesis 22. And it was a foreshadowing of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ, a substitutionary suffering.
And the Passover lamb must be slain, and the blood must be applied to the lintels of the door. But there must be a death. There must be a death of the one who is innocent on behalf of the one who is guilty.
The entire Levitical sacrificial system was a foreshadowing of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Leviticus 1 through 5, we read that the head of the house must slay the young bull and offer up the blood. He must skin the burnt offering. There is suffering in the Old Testament in foreshadowing the coming of Christ. The goat must be slain on the day of atonement.
The bronze serpent must be lifted up in the wilderness. The cursed man must hang on a tree, in Deuteronomy 21. And the greater Son of David must cry out, in Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And this psalm goes on to talk about the suffering of this one. He would be surrounded by many enemies who are like roaring lions. They must pierce his hands and his feet. They must count his bones. They must divide his garments.
It was foretold in the Old Testament of His sufferings that He must be betrayed by a friend who eats bread with Him. He must be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. He must not have a bone broken. He must be pierced, and looked upon as a public spectacle.
The Servant of the Lord passages in Isaiah 42, 49, 50, and 52 and 53 speak of how He must suffer. He must be the despised one. He must be abhorred by the nation — Isaiah 49:7. He must give His back to those who strike Him and His cheeks must be plucked out, or His beard must be plucked out.
It says in Isaiah 52:14, He must have his appearance marred more than any man. Isaiah 53:3: He must be despised. He must be forsaken of men. Same verse: He must be a man of sorrows. He must be acquainted with grief. He must bear the sins, bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. He must be pierced for our transgressions. He must be crushed for our iniquities. He must suffer our chastening and our scourging. He must be oppressed. He must be afflicted. He must be cut off from the land of the living.
Time does not permit us tonight to walk all the way through every portion of Old Testament Scripture, but suffice to say, there is this clear message that this Messiah who will come, He must suffer rejection. He must suffer death. He must be One who will be cast down before He will enter into His glory. That is what His own disciples missed. That is what these two disciples missed. This is what we more clearly understand in the light of New Testament Scripture.
Oh, the message of the cross is an offensive message. The message of the cross is one of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ as He bled and died in the place of sinners. He laid down His life a ransom for many. It is a message of great sorrow, and suffering, and sin-bearing that runs throughout the Old Testament.
But also, in verse 26, we see that is was necessary also for Him to enter into His glory. His suffering was not the end of the story. The suffering was simply the means by which He would enter into glory, because following His rejection would be His reign, and following His death would be His diadem.
In Isaiah 53 and verse 10 so clearly speaks of this prophetic necessity that He would enter into His glory after His suffering. We read, “He will see His offspring.” Now that’s strange. A man will be put to death, but He will see his offspring? “He,” referring to God the Father, “will prolong His days,” referring to the Son of God. “The good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied.” Verse 12 of Isaiah 53: “I will allot Him a portion with the great and He will divide the booty with the strong.”
Daniel 7, verse 14, speaks of Him entering into this glory as He approaches the Ancient of Days. And it says, “To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples and nations and and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion and will not pass away.” This, too, is the entire message of the Old Testament.
It’s basically two-part. It is His suffering and it is His glory. And in the short time that Jesus had on the road to Emmaus, He put His arms around the entire Old Testament. It says, “It is filled with the gospel message. It is filled with the message of Me.” And while Christ is not the subject of every Old Testament passage, He is the speaker in every Old Testament passage. And every Old Testament passage plays its part, like putting bricks in a wall, to support the whole message that the Lord Jesus Christ — the Messiah, the Son of David, the Seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham — He is coming, and He will bring salvation to His people.
And this is exactly what the apostles went out, in the book of Acts, and proclaimed. They simply preached the Old Testament, because there was no New Testament at this time. And as they preached Christ, they used the Old Testament to preach Christ, and thousands were converted. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, what does he do? He quotes Joel 2:28 to 32. The last verse says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Peter then goes into an exposition. What is the name of the Lord? And he will say it is “Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with many signs and wonders that you put to death but God raised from the dead.” He then goes to Psalm 16, verses 8 through 11. He then goes to Psalm 132, verse 11. He then circles back to Psalm 16. He then comes to Psalm 110, verse 1: “The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for you.’”
The entire sermon on the day of Pentecost that proclaimed the gospel of the Person and work of Christ was Joel, was Psalm 116, Psalm 132, Psalm 110. And if we had time tonight, which we do not, but we could go through Acts chapter 3, and that great sermon that Peter preached after he healed the lame man. It’s just an exposition of Christ in the Old Testament.
And what does Stephen do, in Acts 7, as he is before the Sanhedrin? He walks through the whole Old Testament that leads up to the Lord Jesus Christ. And in Acts 8, the Ethiopian eunuch, and Philip pops into the chariot, and, “What are you reading?” and he’s reading Isaiah 53. “Do you understand what you’re reading? ‘No, not unless someone explains it.’”
And it says he preached Jesus to him using the Old Testament. And we see the same on the mission field with, with Paul, as he preaches through Galatia. And as he comes to Thessalonica, in Acts 17, he goes into the synagogue and explains to them the Lord Jesus Christ in all of the Old Testament.
So what Jesus is doing here, on the road to Emmaus, is what we must understand that the thread that runs through the Old Testament is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into this world. And He is there in prophecy. And He is there in type. And He is there in foreshadowing. And He is there in so many different ways. He is there in Christophanies. This is the central message of the Old Testament.
If you read the Old Testament and you do not see the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re reading the Old Testament in a dark room with your eyes closed and the Bible’s upside-down. And you’ve got blinders on, and then sunglasses on top of that.
Now, finally, what is the proper response? I want you to look at verse 32. I must quickly wrap this up. They continue on into Emmaus, and Jesus gives the appearance that He is going to continue His journey. And they beg him and persuade Him to stay. And so Jesus stays with them and actually serves them food.
And then suddenly vanishes, verse 31. “And their eyes were now,” at last, “opened, and they, they recognized Him,” and as soon as they recognized Him, verse 31, He vanishes into thin air. This is just like on the, when He appeared in the upper room. He, he didn’t open the door; he just walked right through the walls. And He just appeared in the upper room. He just appeared on the road to Emmaus. And now, in His resurrection body, He just vanishes. Notice what they said in verse 32. “They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’”
You want your heart to be on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to have a zeal for God? And do you want to throw off lukewarm-ness? Do you want to be lit up for God? And do you want to have a spiritual pulse and a spiritual heartbeat? Do you want to be able to say, “My heart is burning for God and burning for the Lord Jesus Christ?” Then read the Old Testament, and let Jesus show you Himself in the Old Testament. And read the New Testament, and see the greater light of the New Testament be shined upon the Old Testament.
But what is important is that you see Jesus. What is important? The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. And the main thing in the Bible is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on a mission of salvation, on a mission of redemption, that He would save His people from their sins.
And as we find ourselves here tonight, we could not gather this many people together in one room and every one be born again. As you would find yourself here tonight, and if you come, are coming to the awareness that “I have never believed upon Jesus Christ. I have never committed my life to Christ,” I call you to believe upon Christ tonight. He entered this world born of a virgin.
He lived a sinless and perfect life. He lived the life that you and I could never live, and His perfect righteousness is what is credited to our account when we believe upon Christ. He was qualified to go to the cross, and there He was lifted up to die upon Calvary’s cross. And God transferred the sin of all the people who would ever believe upon Him and He transferred that sin to Christ.
And Him, who knew no sin, God made to be sin for us. He suffered, and bled, and died upon that cross. He gave His life that you and I might have life. He shed His blood to make the only atonement for our sin. He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. They took Him down from that cross, having made the atonement for sinners. They buried Him in a borrowed tomb. And on the third day, He was raised from the dead, and He then entered into glory on the day of His ascension. He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. And the Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
You must believe in this One who suffered upon Calvary’s cross. He suffered the wrath of God in the place of those for whom He bore their sin. And He has now entered into glory. And if you’ll commit your life to Jesus Christ, He will take you into glory one day, when He returns or when you die.
There is salvation in no other name. “For there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There is one God and one Mediator between the Lord — One God and one Mediator which is the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life a ransom for many. If you will commit your life to Jesus Christ; if you will deny yourself, and take up a cross, and become a follower of Christ, if you will enter through the narrow gate that leads into the kingdom of God, if you will take that decisive step of faith, and surrender and submit your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, He will receive you.
And one day, when you die, He will take you home to be with Him in glory. And He is preparing a place for all those who will commit their life to Him.
This is the message of the Old Testament! This is the message of the New Testament! This is the message of the entire Bible — that our all-loving, gracious God has provided salvation in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ. And Jesus, as He walked on the road to Emmaus that day and looked into the Scriptures with them, He said, “They testify of me. And they speak of my suffering and my glory.” And may you know what it is to enter into the kingdom of God, and enter into His glory one day when He comes for you. Let us pray.
Father in heaven, we thank You for the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ in all of Scripture. We praise you that He steps out of the pages of even the Old Testament as the central message, as the object of our faith, as a Savior and Lord. And Father, thank you that you have opened our eyes, that we might behold our need of Christ and see who Christ is.
And for any here tonight who have never come all the way to faith in Jesus Christ, oh God, I pray that tonight would be that night, and that they would surrender their life to Christ and enter in to the kingdom of God. Father, we pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.