Have you ever read a book that grabs your soul? A book that hooks you and brings you in so far that all you can think about and all you want to do is read for hours on end? Love stories get me. Not the cheesy, predictable romance novels by Nicholas Sparks, but the books with real, deep, and true love. They fascinate me because pain is always involved and sacrifices have to be made. These are the books I can’t put down. I think it has something to do with my sappy heart, but all humans, especially women, long to be a part of an authentic love story. Most people do not view the Bible as a captivating love story but as an old, wise book. It is a love story, though! All Scripture points to the Gospel, and it’s important to read the entire Bible in order to fully understand the greatest portrayal of love mankind has ever seen—Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
In Luke 24:13-35, Jesus clarifies this love story for two disciples who had the facts out of order. This passage teaches us the benefits of taking in Scripture and making it a daily discipline to feed our soul.
All Scripture Points to the Gospel
Cleopas and his friend try to explain the phenomenon of who Jesus was, his death, and resurrection, but they don’t fully understand. Jesus, who they don’t recognize at the time, reprimands them for not believing Scripture and says, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (v. 25). Jesus tells them that the Old Testament (OT) is the key to understanding Jesus because the entire Bible has one message: Jesus is the Messiah who brings salvation. Verse 27 says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
Jesus walks them through all the Scriptures to show them the promises of God. Genesis 3:15 is the first picture of salvation right after Adam and Eve sinned: “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.” The story of salvation continues in the book of Exodus, which shows not only God’s wrath and judgment of sin but also His grace for His people. The animal sacrifices of the OT point to the blood that must be spilled in order for sin to be forgiven. The prophets record detailed prophecies about Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection. Jesus stresses the importance of reading all Scripture. Think about it like this. If you were watching a new movie, you wouldn’t skip to the middle of the movie and start watching it…nothing would make sense! You have to start at the beginning of the movie to fully understand the rest of it. In order to completely understand the weight and power of the Gospel, you have to start at the beginning of the Bible. All of God’s Word paints a bigger picture.
All Scripture Reveals Truth
When reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit in believers reveals the truth to them. Verses 31-32 say, “And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?’” On our own, we can mistakenly distort our view of God. For example, the men doubted that Jesus was the true Messiah because they did not understand the prophets. Jesus must open up our eyes and hearts to have the correct view of Him.
As you hear, read, and study the Scriptures, truth should be extracted that will change your heart, making it burn within you. God’s words are living, and they are life. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” John 6:63 says, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Personally, I struggle with having a correct view of God. I often view Him as a Father and friend who loves me, which are both true! But when I read the entire Bible, I learn that He is also a Judge, Warrior, King, and Shepherd. A correct view of God comes from the truth revealed in Scripture. By walking Cleopas and his friend through the Bible, Jesus opened up their eyes to realize who He was—the Resurrected King.
All Scripture Is Applicable
The men “rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem.” They were going to tell the other disciples that Jesus had risen from the grave and was indeed the Messiah. God’s Word requires action. Their understanding changed; therefore, their lives changed. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” When we experience the truth of God’s Word, it is not just for our own knowledge; it is to teach, rebuke, correct, and train others and ourselves in righteousness (1 Timothy 3:16). The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) commands us to teach and share God’s Word so that people are saved. All Scripture points to the Gospel, so all Scripture should be shared. When we share God’s Word, we are applying it to our lives.
Let’s imagine that you are sitting in a coffee shop with your best friend, who is not a believer. She suddenly asks why Jesus had to die. How would you respond? Do you know the Scriptures well enough to help your best friend understand the Gospel? I am not trying to scare you or make you doubt your relationship with Jesus. I am trying to push you. Bible reading is a spiritual discipline for a reason. It is something we have to work at! So push yourself in this area for the sake of others.
I’m challenging you to read the Bible all the way through because Jesus proved it’s worth. Those men believed in Jesus as their Savior because He explained it all to them. I know this is daunting. It’s a commitment, and follow-through can be hard. I am also asking you to respond to Scripture, so that truth leads to change. When I started reading through the Bible in its entirety, I was captivated by this love story. I was mesmerized when I realized that humanity made a fatal mistake that put us in bondage. I became giddy with hope when I read that we have a Lover who is coming. The OT describes what our Lover will be like and that He will never give up on us even when we betray Him. The New Testament reveals that our Lover is Jesus and how He came to set us free. The whole Bible teaches me the great sacrifice God made for me. All Scripture is important because all Scripture points to the Gospel, reveals truth, and is applicable to our daily lives. Let’s feed our soul by reading it all and learning about the ultimate love story that is more real and powerful than any novel we will ever read or any love story we will ever experience.
Lord, thank You for being God, for freeing me, for loving me, and for teaching me. Help me to see the truth in all Scripture. Give me a love for Your Word and help me stay disciplined to take in Your Word. Help me to apply Your Word to my life, so that I can have a correct view of You, fight sin, and share the Gospel. I love You.