Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Creation Redeemed - Luke 24:13-29

Summary Thought: Luke 24:13-49

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. - Luke 24:21a

The word redeem simply seems to buy back or to set free. The Jews in Jesus’ day thought that God’s Messiah was going to come and set them free from Roman rule. It’s hard to know if that’s what the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were referring to when they talked about redeeming Israel. Did they understand that what Jesus came to do was to set people free from sin and not a temporary human empire?

Whatever they might have thought, they figured all the hopes they had were dashed when Jesus was crucified. But now it had been three days. Perhaps they were remembering Jesus’ references to the sign of Jonah and other mentions of him rising after three days. The woman had also reported an empty tomb and angels proclaiming Jesus was alive. But still they were confused and unsure of what was going on.

Enter Jesus, who opens their minds to understand the Scriptures, which at this time meant what we call the Old Testament. There are a couple of important points to get out of this. First, it’s impossible to understand the Bible without Jesus opening our minds. Don’t be surprised when an unbeliever scoffs at what the Bible says and dismisses it out of hand. The message of Christ crucified is, after all, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23).

Which brings us to the second point: Jesus is everywhere in the Old Testament. We often think Jesus doesn’t show up until over halfway through the story as a babe in the manger, but that’s not true. He’s just not mentioned directly by name. A family of eight saved from a flood? Jesus is there just as Peter later points out by connecting the flood to Baptism. A father is asked to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22)? That’s just pointing to God the Father sacrificing his only Son. God speaks to someone? Jesus is the Word of God (John 1). Isaiah writes about a suffering servant (Isaiah 53)? Who is that suffering servant, but Jesus?

The entire Bible is the story of a merciful, loving creator who has a plan to save His creation.

“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

The plan came to fruition in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are included in the plan through our Baptism, when we are brought into the Church and given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who opens our minds to understand the Scriptures. We recognize Jesus, just as the disciples did, through the breaking of the bread (Communion). In the Divine Service, through the preaching of the Word and the giving of the Sacraments, we receive the forgiveness of our sins and are set free (redeemed). We are given a foretaste of the last day, when we will see our Redeemer face to face.

“I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 29:25-27)
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