Luke 24:31-16, 25-27

That same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 11 kilometres from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. And as they talked and deliberated, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself. We need our spiritual eyes opened to see the risen Christ and to know Him better.


What is traditionally called, 'The Old Testament', Jesus called Scripture. The New Testament had yet to be written and the gospels were among the last books committed to papyrus. The early church had the OT and the teachings of the Apostles. About a third of the NT consists of quotes from the OT. This series attempts, by God's grace, to reveal Jesus in various books of the OT (but not all). The writer trusts that the reader will discover something of a fresh understanding of the Great Salvation that Jesus bought for us at such a price.


  1. The Life

The first place that we find Jesus is in Creation itself. John 1:3 'Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.…' Genesis 1:27 tells us that God made man in His own image. Yet we read that God is Spirit, and that 'No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.' (John 1:18) So in whose image was Adam created? Plainly, it was Jesus.

Adam was 'good' but not complete. Even when Eve was formed as a 'suitable helper', there was something lacking. God had placed two trees in the centre of the Garden of Eden that were unique. One was the 'Tree of Knowledge' and the other the 'Tree of Life'. God warned Adam that the 'knowledge fruit' would kill him. There is no mention of the Tree of Life other than it was acceptable to eat its fruit.

Now it is clearly stated that man was created a living being. He would stay alive as long as he avoided eating from the tree of knowledge. So the Tree of Life represented something else. Proverbs 3:18 tells us that Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her. Paul told the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:24) that Christ is the Wisdom of God. So we can safely say that the Tree of Life represents the Lord Jesus. Every person who has ever lived and ever will is born with a void in their inner being. Only Jesus can fill that void. He is the Way of God and the Way to God. He is also the Truth, the Living Word of God. But He is also the Life of God. And He came that we might have His life. (John 10:10).

Many think that Jesus came to give us a better way of life or to show us how to live. This is a most shallow understanding. A cat is a cat because it has the life of a cat. A dog is a dog because it has the life of a dog. A dog might grow up with a cat and behave something like a cat. But it cannot change its nature. A Christian is a Christian because he has the life of Christ within. Even if a person tries to emulate Christ, it will never make them Christian. We are Christian by the new birth, not by anything that we do.

It’s important to know the significance of the Tree of Life. Physically, we need to eat daily. God created man to be His family and His friends. So it is that we need to “eat” the fruit of the Tree of Life daily. Lord Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). How often do we need to eat of the Bread of Life? Every day. The Lord’s Prayer includes “Give us each day our daily bread”. This is not our physical food. We don’t need God to provide what we can get from the bakery! No, the Christian life starts with “feeding” on Christ. It continues daily the same way. The Christian who imagines that he can get by without fellowship with Jesus, studying His word and prayer is deluded. As the body withers without physical food, so the spirit withers without spiritual food.

  1. The Seed of the Woman

We know the sorry story of man's disobedience in the Garden of Eden and the tragic consequences. Adam committed high treason. He followed the suggestions of God's enemy, Satan and so he himself became God's enemy. Adam and Eve were estranged from God and hid themselves in shame. They attempted to cover up, which achieved precisely nothing.

God was not surprised. He knew what would happen and had already planned for that eventuality. God's plan and purpose cannot be thwarted. (Job 42:2) God intended for man to rule and reign and that must come to pass. Adam should have defeated Satan, but Satan turned the tables. God has the last say!

Lord Jesus was born of Mary, truly Man yet truly God. He emptied Himself of all that made Him God (Philippians 2:7). He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Unlike the first Adam, Lord Jesus refused Satan's enticements. Satan no doubt thought that he had won when he crucified Lord Jesus. But that was Satan's great mistake! Has there ever been a more foolish decision? Satan brought about his own downfall when he crucified the only innocent Man.

Jesus did all this as Man. He is called 'The last Adam' and ‘The Second Man. Lord Jesus is the forefather of a new race of beings, now known as Christians (1 Corinthians 15:45)

  1. The Promised Son

There is a great deal written about Abraham. His life is covered in Chapters 12 to 25 of Genesis, out of 50 chapters in total. He is the ultimate example of faith and known as the friend of God. He was the pioneer, establishing a great nation that was wealthy and powerful. All this was given to his son, Isaac. Isaac was God's gift to Abraham. Abraham was willing to give him back to God.

Genesis 22 is the account of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Abraham, by faith, reconciled the fact of God's promises regarding Isaac and the requirement of God to sacrifice him. The writer wondered at times just how Abraham managed to bind Isaac and put him on the altar. Abraham was very old by that time. Isaac was young and strong. Can we imagine a young man today obeying his father to such a degree? Definitely not!

The writer believes that there is a principle in God's ways that requires the cooperation of a man in order for His will to be done. For example, Job suffered for no reason, and yet without complaint. God therefore allowed Lord Jesus to suffer and die for fallen man. Another example is Moses. He was willing to suffer the judgement due to Israel, the innocent for the guilty. God allowed Lord Jesus, the innocent Son, to be forsaken as if He were a sinner, so paying for all the sin of all mankind.


What God did for Israel to deliver them from Egypt is amazing. Moses could easily be crowned “Most Likely to Fail” as a leader. He’d gone from a prince of Egypt to herding sheep and goats. When God told him that he would lead Israel out of captivity, he baulked at the prospect. It is not an auspicious start to a career in any field, let alone leader of around 3 million rebellious Israelites who did not know him. God is bigger than any man and greater than any problem. Moses was the chosen one and God had His way.

Pharaoh was stubborn. The Israelites were enslaved and Egypt’s economy depended on them. Pharaoh considered himself divine and was not about to accept the demands of an unknown deity. However, God knows how to deal with the hardest of hearts. We find the account in Exodus 12.

The last plague was death. God moved to kill the firstborn of the Egyptians. Israel was to be protected, but on one condition. Each Israelite home was to be identified by the blood of a lamb. It was not any ordinary lamb; it had to be without blemish and a male. We should note that the blood was to be smeared on the outside of the door frames. The blood is for God to see. We may not understand why. It’s not important that we do understand.

John the Baptist was the last OT prophet. He said of Jesus, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1: 29).             


There are a number of references in Hebrews to Jesus being our great High Priest. The priesthood was first mentioned in Exodus 40:15. The High Priest was selected from among the priests as revealed in Leviticus 21. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of holies and that just once a year. Please read Leviticus 21 to get a sense of how seriously God took this ministry.

The High Priest offered the sacrifice of atonement for both his sins and the sins of the people. The procedures that had to be followed were complex and demanding. Leviticus 4 shows how unintentional sin should be dealt with. It’s hard to comprehend how many innocent animals died in order to atone for sin.

All this was terminated by the sacrifice of Jesus. He is Priest and sacrifice, offering Himself on the cross, not an altar, a prolonged ordeal of pain and suffering, not a quick death at the hands of a priest. We can see how much God hates sin by how Jesus died. We can see how much God loves sinners by the gift of His own Son as the sacrifice for sin.

Jesus did not stay dead, of course. He rose again and ministers still, not in an earthly temple, but in God’s most Holy Place, where He lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

The complete verse says this:

‘Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.’

The following is an aside to the main theme. The writer believes that the meaning ascribed to the word ‘salvation’ is oversimplified and so confusion is commonplace in the Christian community. What does Hebrews 7:25 mean when it says ‘save completely’? We will see.

The word ‘save’ has come to mean ‘going to heaven when you die.’ This is shallow and fails to address the real point of the gospel, which is the Kingdom of God. If we substitute the word ‘deliver’ for ‘save’, we can have a better idea of what God desires for His people.

Lord Jesus began His ministry after defeating Satan in the wilderness. It is no bad thing to minister after realising the power and authority that belongs to us in Christ. If we do not, our ministry is inclined to be theoretical and of little spiritual worth. After preaching throughout the region of Galilee, Lord Jesus came to Nazareth. There He proclaimed the gospel message, quoting Isaiah:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:18 & 19)

We can see that this is far more than a passport to heaven when we die. Some think of these things as physical or environmental problems. The problems that people suffer are psychological, of the soul, not just environmental. Some people have very little and are happy. Others cannot get enough. They are rich and miserable. Jesus came to set us free in mind, emotion and will.

The initial salvation experience is to be born again with the knowledge that we have forgiveness of sins. From that moment on, God sets about transforming us so that we become more Christlike. God works as fast as we allow Him to. Some make rapid progress, others are hard hearted and it takes much time to soften them. Some are too proud to want to change. Others are so damaged that they can’t imagine that they could change. God works in every life according to their need.

To be specific, God works in the following areas:

  1. The will. Man is born rebellious. Sin entered the world through disobedience. Even to mention the word ‘obey’ raises the ire of many. God has to deliver us from the attitude that obedience is somehow oppressive, as if it infringes some kind of rights we imagine belong to us.

Obedience is not optional. If we seek to be kingdom people, we must learn to obey. There are 3 stages. We start off with a rebellious will. Rare indeed is the individual who is like the Centurion. He knew that to have authority means also to submit to authority (Matthew 8:9)

The next stage is a submitted will. The believer does what he believes the Lord requires of him, but reluctantly. It’s better than disobedience but not ideal (Matthew 21:28-32)

Finally, God seeks to lead us to the place where our will is in harmony with His. This is a place of complete rest and trust. ‘I delight to do your will, Oh Lord’ is the ultimate. (Psalm 40:8)

How does God bring this to pass? Man’s will is sovereign and inviolate. God gave man free will in the Garden of Eden. That authority has never been rescinded. Therefore God must use circumstance, blessing and discipline to bring us into line. God uses rich blessings, answered prayer, wonderful feelings and experiences to encourage us to go His way.

If God’s blessings do not produce the desired result, God will permit trials and tribulations instead. We could look at this as ‘aversion therapy’ where the cost of disobedience encourages us to change our attitude. Usually, we experience a combination of blessing and trials. The sooner we quit resisting God the better!

  1. God seeks those who will obey Him whether it feels good or not. People who are ruled by emotion can be full of zeal one day and helpless the next. God needs people who are reliable, who obey however they feel. So God will withdraw good feelings from us so that we have the opportunity to be delivered from the control of emotion. Lord Jesus was emotionally as low as He could go as He faced the prospect of the cross. Yet He said, ‘Not my will but yours……’ (Luke 22:42)
  1. ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.’ Romans 12:2

People bring their unrenewed minds with them when they enter the new life. We need to remember that we are born again spiritually. The mind may well argue with what the Lord reveals to us as we start our spiritual journey. We are moulded by our upbringing, education and experiences. If they are in opposition to God’s word, out opinions and notions need to change.


Numbers chapter 20 describes another failure of the Israelites to trust God. In spite of all that God had done for them, they still did not trust God to provide for them. As at the beginning of their journey to the Promised Land, the problem was lack of water. God once more provided. What the Israelites failed to see was the spiritual implications behind the natural provision. Paul tells us ‘…They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 10: 3 & 4)

We need to know that God is involved in every aspect of the Christian’s life. How much less we would complain if we had confidence in our Lord and life, Jesus. Like the Israelites, we are being delivered. The enemy is not literal Egypt. The enemy is the world, self and Satan. God has given us Jesus to be all that we need. He is our Bread of Life and our Living Water. He is with us always.

 Israel was blind to this truth. Only two who left Egypt entered the Promised Land. The rest perished in the desert. Many Christians miss God’s best because they seek to hold onto selfish desires and ambitions. God’s purpose in the “wilderness” is to break our independent self-will and bring us into harmony with His will. That is where we find peace and joy.


Moses was a prophet, he led the people out of Egypt and he handed down God’s law to Israel. Moses was not to lead the people into the Promised Land. That was for another. Chapter 18 includes God’s promise that He would raise up another Prophet. Peter, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the word of Moses:

“15The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to him. 16This is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God or see this great fire anymore, so that we will not die!”

And in Acts 3,

“21Heaven must take Him in until the time comes for the restoration of all things, which God announced long ago through His holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He tells you. 23Everyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among his people.’”

We do well to take Jesus seriously and learn to obey Him in all things. Christianity is not a philosophy to be debated or a religion to follow. It is not a duty to observe once a week so we can live as we please every other day. Jesus is Lord and obedience is vital.


It’s hardly surprising that God chose Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua was one of the two spies that had faith. Caleb was the other. Moses took Joshua under his wing and made him his assistant. True leaders are ready to train others to take their place.

Joshua was a faithful servant of God and Israel prospered under his leadership. It is unfortunate that Joshua failed to train a successor. Lord Jesus made sure that there were 12 who would continue the work of the gospel after He left this earth.

Joshua learned something more of the character of God when He had an encounter with the One we now call Jesus.

Joshua 5:14 & 15

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?”

“Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as Commander of the LORD’s army.”

Then Joshua fell face down in reverence and asked Him, “What does my Lord have to say to His servant?”

The Commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”

And Joshua did so. Joshua knew it was the Lord! No doubt he’d heard about the burning bush from Moses.

We are familiar with the Jesus of the gospels. He walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee and ministered healing and deliverance. He cast out demons and confronted the religious leaders of the day. He was surely the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

However, as “Commander of the Lord’s Army” we see a different aspect of the person of Christ. When Joshua questioned him, Jesus said that His loyalty was not to man but to God. Again we hear the command, “Take off your sandals”. This is as Moses was instructed and for the same reason. “Holy Ground” is wherever the Lord is.

Joshua showed how a man of God should respond to God’s presence, with reverence, an ear to hear and a heart to obey. The Commander of the Lord’s Army was about to give instruction as to how Israel would defeat the enemy. God will instruct us how to overcome, if we will but hear and obey.

Matthew 17:5

While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!"

Let Jesus be our Commander in Chief in life’s battles. Alone, we are helpless against the relentless attacks of Satan. In Jesus, we are always victorious.


The book of Judges shows us God’s holy character. Israel succeeded to occupy part of the Promised Land. However, their obedience was incomplete. They compromised with the nations that God had instructed them to destroy. Instead of peace and prosperity, they suffered at the hands of the nations they were supposed to defeat.

There are several references in the NT being judge of the living and the dead. These include 2 Timothy 4:1, Acts 10:42 and James 5:9. We are also told that

 “…. it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

God appointed judges to lead Israel back to Himself. While Israel was under the authority of the judge, they were blessed. They reverted to their rebellious ways when the judge died. Christians need to take God seriously. Jesus is not the “meek and mild” nomad in the land of Israel. He is the Risen Lord, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If we want victory in our own lives, we must give Him His rightful place on the throne of our lives.


The story of Ruth is one of disobedience to God’s word, catastrophic loss and complete redemption. It would be helpful to read this for yourself. Briefly, a famine in Israel, no doubt the result of Israel’s sin, motivated a family to move to a Gentile nation, Moab. After a time, Naomi’s husband and sons died. She was left with her two daughters in law, both Moabitesses.

The famine ends in Israel. Naomi considered herself unmarriageable and barren. She decides to go back to Israel. She tries to talk her daughters in law to stay in Moab. At least they could find husbands there. Ruth insists on going with Ruth and Orpah goes back to Moab.

Naomi and Ruth created quite a stir when they came to Bethlehem. Yet they had lost everything. Nevertheless, God had the answer, as He always does.

The Law of Moses required that something of the harvest be left for those who had nothing. Ruth was a worker. She went into the fields to get food for herself and the aged Naomi. She was noticed by Boaz, who treated her kindly and with dignity. He offered her protection. In turn, Ruth remained loyal to Naomi.

The principle of redeemer-kinsman is found in Leviticus chapter 25. What a wonderful society we would have if the principles laid down in God’s law were followed today.

Boaz is a type of Christ. He was related to Naomi. He had no obligation to help Ruth. Yet he took her as his wife and bought the land that Naomi could no longer use. Ruth was not even an Israelite, yet she became the grandmother of King David. Ruth had no part in God’s covenant, yet she is one of the ancestors of the Lord in His humanity.

Even if our lives have been ruined by self, sin or circumstances beyond our control, Jesus is well able to restore us and transform us. If we will humble ourselves and draw near to God, great blessings are in store. Ruth took the wise advice of her mother in law. Because of that,