Small Voice Calling > The Call > Moved to Tears > Prophecy
The Song: Prophecy
He wasn’t scared of dying
He’d made that commitment
Fulfilling the old prophecy
His bargain he had kept
He was due some satisfaction
But he was deeply troubled
And that’s why Jesus wept
The Bible: The road to Emmaus
The Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 24, Verses 13 to 49 (Luke 24: 13 – 49).
Jesus was laid in his grave just before nightfall on Passover eve. Later that weekend, on Sunday afternoon, two people were walking and talking on the road to Emmaus, a village some seven miles from Jerusalem. They were debating the Big News from the City – how the man many had hoped would free Israel from the Roman oppressors had been tried and crucified; and how, just this morning, some women had gone to the grave to anoint the body, but found the grave empty; and, more startling yet, had been told by an angel that Jesus was alive!
They didn’t notice the stranger who joined them on the road until he asked them what they were talking about. “Where’ve you been these last few days?” they asked him. “Everybody’s talking about it.” “About what?” asked the stranger. “About Jesus, of course!” they said, and told him the whole story.
When they had finished their tale, the stranger said, “Why are you so slow to believe everything the prophets foretold? Surely you knew that the Messiah had to suffer these things?” And he explained to them all the prophecies in the holy scrolls that were being fulfilled as they spoke.
When they got to their destination, they invited him in for a meal. As the stranger broke a piece of bread and offered them some, they finally realised who it was – Jesus! – and in that moment he disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared on the road. Spooked, but excited, they ran back to Jerusalem to find Jesus’ friends and tell them what had happened.
Later the same day, Jesus appeared out of nowhere to these same friends in Jerusalem. He said, “This is what I meant when I told you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, had to come true – how the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that a message of repentance and forgiveness must be preached to every nation, starting in Jerusalem. You will be my witnesses to these things; but first you must wait in Jerusalem until you are armed with power from above.”
Unfortunately for us, the ancient scrolls didn’t have chapter-and-verse numbering, so nobody was able to write down the references for the scriptures that Jesus said referred to himself. So we have to read the Bible for ourselves to find the prophecies.
Go on, give us a clue
Here are five for you to look up…
From the Law of Moses
- The first hint of the Messiah – Genesis 3: 15. See Two Trees for Ralph McTell’s retelling of the earliest story in the Bible.
From the Prophets
- The Songs of the Servant – Isaiah 40 – 55 (especially 42: 1 – 9, 49: 1 – 7, 50: 4 – 11 and 52: 13 – 53: 12). The characteristics of this mysterious ‘servant’ are personified in Jesus – see, for example, Matthew 12: 17 – 21.
- Riding on a donkey – Zechariah 9: 9. This familiar ‘Palm Sunday’ image was fulfilled five hundred years later – see Matthew 21: 1 – 5.
From the Psalms
All prophecies are for their own time. As for these prophecies, their time had come.