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Ambassador Camp

This week I have had the privilege of speaking at Ambassador Camp in Lake Waccamaw, NC. It has been awesome! Such a great camp, with amazing staff, and really wonderful campers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here this week.

For our evening sessions together, we have been opening our Bibles to Luke 24 and I have been talking about the conversation that took place between an unrecognized Jesus and two downcast travelers on the road to Emmaus.

I find the event to be fascinating. Why were their eyes kept from recognizing Jesus as they traveled? Why didn’t Jesus just tell them who He was from the beginning?

Instead of revealing His true identity, Jesus took these two disheartened disciples through a Bible Study. Luke tells us that the two travelers experienced a sensation of their hearts burning within them while He talked to them on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to them (see Luke 24:32)

What passages of Scripture did Jesus share with them?

Luke does not give us a definitive answer to this question, but he does say that beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (see Luke 24: 27).

I can’t help but feel like Jesus likely took them back to Genesis 1:1 as a starting point for the conversation. I am convinced that the four most difficult words in the entire Bible are: 


If you can believe IN THE BEGINNING, GOD… you can believe everything in the Bible.

If you can believe that God alone existed, outside of space and time, and that He created everything we can touch, see, feel, experience, and know about (which I do believe, by the way), then nothing else in the Bible should be too difficult for you to believe.

Surely Jesus took these two travelers back to Genesis 1:1 as the starting point, helping them to understand that He who began a good work will bring it to completion.

But that is just where He likely started. The walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus is roughly 7 miles, so the journey would have easily taken anywhere from two to three hours. Luke tells us that Jesus began with Moses, but also interpreted to them all the Prophets. 

The following is just a small sample of passages that Jesus may have shared with the travelers from Moses and the Prophets (I will follow each passage with a SUGGESTED MAIN POINT and reference New Testament fulfillment):

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15, ESV

THE MESSIAH WILL BRUISE SATAN’S HEAD [Hebrews 2:14 | 1 John 3:8]

3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on [passover] every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses… 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male… 6 keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

Exodus 12:3–6, ESV


And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp. Their skin and their flesh and their dung shall be burned up with fire.

Leviticus 16:27, ESV

THE MESSIAH WILL SUFFER OUTSIDE THE CAMP [Matthew 27:33 | Hebrews 13:11-12]

7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Numbers 21:7–9, ESV


22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Deuteronomy 21:22–23, ESV


12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 …and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

2 Samuel 7:12–13, ESV


12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him… 14 … I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”

1 Chronicles 17:12–14, ESV


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22:1, ESV


8 They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.” 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

Psalm 41:8–9, ESV


22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:22–24, ESV


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14, ESV


But you, O Bethlehem… who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Micah 5:2, ESV


“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.”

Malachi 3:1, ESV


This is only a small sample of the potential passages of Scripture that Jesus may have interpreted for the two travelers. Some scholars point to more than 400 references to the Messiah in the Old Testament, all of which were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament!

Did you read that?! That is crazy! points out that The probability of Jesus fulfilling merely eight of the sixty major prophecies is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.

If you read what they have written on their website, they go on to say: 

To put these odds in perspective, imagine that the entire state of Texas is covered with silver dollars two feet deep and one of them is marked. All of the silver dollars are then thoroughly mixed. A blindfolded man is then instructed to reach down and pick up the marked coin on his first try. The chances of that occurring are the same as Jesus fulfilling just eight of the sixty major prophecies. But consider, He fulfilled them all! The probability of Jesus not being the Messiah is mathematically impossible.

According to Moses & the Prophets… 

The Messiah would be a descendant of Adam, Abraham, and David. He would be preceded by a messenger who would prepare the way for His coming. He would be humble, born of a virgin, and would ride on a donkey. 

He would be born Bethlehem, brought out of Egypt, called a Nazarene, and would launch His ministry in Galilee. He would teach the wisdom of God accompanied by the power of miracles. 

He would be a light to the Gentiles and a shepherd to Israel, but would be rejected by both. Ultimately, He would be killed by His own people, betrayed by His own friend, and pierced for the transgressions of all.

He would be silent before His accusers, die among criminals, and be buried with the rich. But His death would be a sacrifice that would bring about the healing of many, and He would rise from the grave to rule and reign forever.

Jesus didn’t wait until His death, burial, and resurrection to start making these connections, by the way. We all know this familiar verse from His conversation with Nicodemus (the very first episode of Nic at night…)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16, ESV

But did we catch how Jesus connected this truth to the prophetic foreshadowing of Moses in the wilderness?

Let’s remind ourselves of what Jesus said to Nicodemus in the verses leading up to John 3:16.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

John 3:12–15, ESV

In the days of Moses leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, the children of Israel grew impatient and rebelled against God. 

5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Numbers 21:5–9, ESV

We are in the same circumstance as the people of Israel were back then. No, we may not be dealing with physical serpents, but we have been bitten by spiritual serpents. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We have all rebelled against God. We are experiencing a spiritual death that is destroying our physical bodies, as well. 

In the days of Moses God provided physical salvation through a bronze serpent set on a pole (which is where our modern symbol for medicine comes from, by the way). Anyone who looked upon the bronze serpent would live.

In the same way, God has also provided spiritual salvation through His Son, Jesus, hanging on a cross for the sins of humanity. Today, anyone who looks upon Jesus and trusts Him alone for the forgiveness of sins will truly live!

Trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation does require faith, but it is also the most logical thing you could possibly do. 

Hundreds of years before Jesus ever walked the earth as a man, the prophet Isaiah wrote this about the suffering servant, the conquering King, the merciful Messiah:

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53, ESV

All we like sheep have gone astray, but that doesn’t have to be the end of our story. Don’t die in your sins, look to Jesus and live!

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