Messiah and Him Crucified

In Luke 24, shortly after the Lord had risen from the dead, He inconspicuously walked along the road to Emmaus. Neither Cleopus, or Cleopus’s wife, recognized Him. Yahshua embarked in a lengthy conversation that included an untold number of connections within the scriptures. Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. They finally reached their home as it drew late in the evening. They extended chesed (lovingkindness) to their new friend, compelling their mysterious companion to tarry the night with them. They sat to eat. It was then Yahshua blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to them. With that well timed act, all the other puzzle pieces shared on the journey that day fell into place. Their eyes suddenly opened to whom they were conversing and who the scriptures testified of. At that instant of realization, Yahshua vanished. That same hour Cleopus and his wife raced back to Jerusalem to find the 11 remaining disciples and tell them of the astonishing event.

Cleopus and his wife found them gathered together and immediately reported that the rumors of Yahshua’s resurrection were true. They followed with their personal account on the road to Emmaus. No sooner had the disciples heard the story, barely having processed the news Cleopus delivered, Yahshua appeared in the midst of them. The disciples could barely wrap their minds around what was suddenly taking place. “Shalom aleichem” (peace unto you), the Lord said. I think in that moment peace was not possible. They thought they were in the presence of a spirit. Yahshua proceeded to deescalate their fear. He displayed the wounds He endured on both His hands and feet. Then, to further prove His humanity, He asked for a fish and a honeycomb to eat. Having finally calmed His friends, Yahshua now gets to the important news He wanted to bring to them; His first order of business having just raised from the dead. Luke 24:44 And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Note the redundancy of what Yahshua has shared here amongst the disciples and with Cleopus and his wife earlier in the chapter – His clear objective of directing them to Himself hidden in the Tanach. As a new revelation. But were these connections meant for just the disciples? Yahshua does say to the disciples in Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. Okay, makes sense. He’s talking directly to them in the moment. And, the disciples were with the Messiah all through His ministry. As eyewitnesses no less. We could conclude that the Lord intended the apostles as witnesses to connect the Hebrew Scriptures to their personal encounter with Him. This knowledge would then be used in order to complete the gospels and letters of the Continued Covenant. Right? But, are we limiting the scope of intent? Is Yahshua instructing all believers to make these connections? Let’s bring more evidence to light.

Peter’s teaching strategy at the beginning of The Book of Acts

The disciples were not recognized as academics. In fact, reading further into the Book of Acts we discover quite the opposite. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Yahshua. And yet by Acts 3, Peter is clearly carrying out Yahshua’s prescribed curriculum from Luke 24. Peter echoed what the Lord said in Acts 3:18 But those things, which Elohim before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Messiah should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

How did Peter know to illustrate these profound connections? He was instructed by the Messiah himself. There is a short one-verse summary in Mark 16:14 of what occurred between Yahshua and the disciples at the end of Luke 24. But the details of the crucifixion and resurrection hidden in the Tanach are left out of the Mark 16 version. We infer this once we have the knowledge of the scripture account. But in the very next verse, Yahshua gives the great commission, Mark 16:15 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Wait. What? Which gospel??? The New Testament had not been written yet. The Lord’s death and resurrection in the Hebrew Scriptures are what the disciples were sent out with.

How did Peter acquire such knowledge so quickly? After all, it says in Luke 24:45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Yet in as little as 50 days later, after Pentecost/Shavuot, Peter is filled with the Spirit and prepared to effectively teach. Did the Lord flick a switch on the side of Peter’s head and voila? No. Remember, that after the Lord’s resurrection, He remained with them for 40 days before His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Again, inferred between the lines of scripture by the time we get to Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of Elohim.

Notice Peter’s use of two connections to the Torah before the conclusion of Acts 3. Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your Elohim raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you., in connection to Deuteronomy 18:15, and, Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which Elohim made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed., drawing connection to Genesis 22:18; Peter prefaced these two connections in Acts 3:20 And He shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Preached before, meaning, couched in the Law of Moses.

This brings clarity and understanding to other lines of Scripture as well. For example, in the letters of the Continued Covenant:
Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that Elohim would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Messiah.

Paul’s conversion: parallels and comparisons to Luke 24 and Acts 3

Paul’s connection to Yahshua and His great commission was a different experience than that of the apostles. However, you’ll notice the similarities are undeniable. Paul was not a direct eyewitness of Yahshua’s ministry. He saw Yahshua in a vision on the road to Damascus long after the Lord’s ascension into heaven. Paul shares the event with King Agrippa in Acts 26. I’ll let you read the full account. We come to verse 16 where the Lord has appeared, introduced himself to Paul, and gets right to business: Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto you;

What does that mean? Seen and appear. The words themselves could be easily glossed over. However, here the Lord is laying out His purpose for Paul. Hammering out the specifics are important. Especially because Paul was instructed by the Lord to be a witness of these details. Paul’s dialogue to King Agrippa in Acts 26 provides the clues we need to decipher the meaning of each word. Once again, here is our work.

Ok. What has Paul seen? We solve this by looking at the bio Paul gave to Agrippa in Acts 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. What would Paul see as a Pharisee? The Law of Moses. The Torah Scroll. And, being of the “straitest sect,” he excelled in this knowledge.

And where would the Messiah appear unto Paul? Again, in the Torah and writings Paul was trained in. However, this time through the Spirit. Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of Elohim, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23 That Messiah should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Sound familiar?

One of the chief reasons Paul was selected by the Lord was because of a skill set. Paul’s thorough and intimate knowledge of the Torah, Prophets and Psalms. Through the work of discovering the Messiah in these writings, Paul was made a witness unto the Lord even though he was not an eyewitness alongside the disciples. What does this mean for us? As we diligently seek for our Lord, in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms, we also become witnesses.

Isaiah 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.