We live in a snapshot in time.
An 80 year life represents about 1% of the world’s history. So 99% of it we haven’t ever experienced, just read about. And of that 1%, it probably represents an experience with less than 1% of what the world as a whole went through in that time frame.
So when we are confused by current events, it’s not surprising. Why? Because current events are connected to past events. Without context of past events, we may not fully understand or enjoy the importance and impact of current events.
Did I lose you? I hope not.
Let me put I this way. One of the best history teachers I had was able to connect the dots from the past to the present. He made sense of the present because he made the past understandable.
He was a devout Christian and now is in heaven. But maybe he learned his methodology of teaching history by mimicking the history teaching of Jesus.
To bring clarity and certainty to the present, Jesus explains the past.
The afternoon of Jesus’ resurrection, two followers of Jesus were walking from Jerusalem to a little town of Emmaus about 7 miles from Jerusalem. Along the way they were discussing the events of the past weekend. When a supposed stranger came up to them pretending ignorance of current events. Here’s what happened (Luke 24:13-34).
Luke 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
I would have loved to be a fly buzzing above this conversation. Jesus took them all the way back to the books of Moses…which covers the history of the world and God’s people since the beginning of time. What did he do? “…he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Talk about a history lesson. I wish it were recorded in detail. But impact on Jesus’ students was clear.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
An amazing history teacher just connected the dots from creation to the cross…and it all made sense.
Jesus is not just a current event in 30 AD. Jesus is the culmination and center of events throughout history!
Apply: Been a while since you studied Old Testament History? Here’s a book you might enjoy that may mirror a bit of Jesus’ history lesson to the two Emmaus disciples. “Sinai to Calvary” by John Jeske. https://online.nph.net/connecting-sinai-to-calvary.html
Prayer: Dear Jesus thank you for being part of every moment in history. Give me understanding of how the Scripture testifies about you. Open my eyes to see my place in your salvation story. Amen.