But WHY did their “hearts burn within them”?

“Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road?” is how The Message phrases Luke 24:32. It wasn’t how they felt a few verses earlier, however. They were in a state of shock at Jesus dying and now they were moping their way to the village of Emmaus trying to make sense of it.

That’s when Jesus joined them and asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They “were kept from recognizing him” (verse 25) so they were able to talk their hearts out as to what was troubling them. Cleopas answered: “We had our hopes up that Jesus of Nazareth was the One, the One about to deliver Israel” (verse 21). But now Jesus was dead, and his body had disappeared too (verse 23).

It tells us what they saw in Jesus. It wasn’t salvation from their sins, it was salvation from their enemies and the deliverance of their nation. And Jesus didn’t try to correct that either. All he said was, “You’re so thick-headed. Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said?” – with the emphasis on the word “all”, because INCLUDED in what the prophets said was the clear fact that “these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory” (verses 25-26).

It had been there all along, you two thickos, Jesus said, that the Messiah would deliver Israel as promised by his death. So three days ago their nation had been delivered, and Jesus was now King of the world in all his glory, exactly as the prophets had said he would be.

What? You mean it’s all done and dusted and Jesus now rules the world? That’s right, Jesus replies, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (verse 27). And that’s when their hearts burned within them, as verse after verse from the Old Testament hit them between the eyeballs that Jesus truly was the Messiah, because he’d fulfilled ALL that the prophets had said, including suffering and death, which Moses and Isaiah had clearly written about.

Jesus had also told them before he died WHAT all those prophecies were leading up to. “Remember how he told you while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful me, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” (verses 6-7). So that’s what all that prophecy was about, and it had happened exactly as Jesus had said, which meant he’d also now entered his glory as King of the world.


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