What were the “scriptures” these despondent disciples were reading as they walked along the way?
The disciples were walking along discussing everything they knew about what had happened to Jesus. When this man (Jesus, His identity hidden from their sight) came and walked along with them, they told Him how Jesus was betrayed and turned over to the Priests and then was crucified; how He rose from the dead three days later and was seen by some of His companions; and of how the tomb was found empty and the body nowhere to be found.
Jesus, amazed at how slow they were to understand the meaning of His death, told them through the scriptures of Moses and the prophets everything that would befall the Messiah and that everything Jesus went through happened exactly as Moses and the prophets said it would.
To whom were these scriptures pointing?
Every scripture Jesus related to the disciples told them all that had to happen to the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled every one of those scriptures in exacting detail. Everything the prophets proclaimed about the salvation of Israel, and also the world, directly pointed to the coming Messiah.
What was the role of the Holy Spirit in their search?
The role of the Holy Spirit in their search was to prepare their hearts for the words that Jesus would say to them, and for the acceptance of those words once Jesus’ identity became clear to them. The Spirit keeping them in the dark as to Jesus’ identity, I believe, was to give the disciples a chance to really absorb what they were bring reminded of what the prophets had said about Jesus. I believe this because the disciples were having a hard believing that Jesus had really been seen by others because they hadn’t seen Jesus with their own eyes. Once Jesus showed Himself to them they saw that the words of the others were true – Jesus was alive. They could disbelieve the words of others, but they couldn’t disbelieve their own eyes.
How is this text relevant to the message of the Old Testament?
Upon a first reading, the Old Testament seems to be just a history book – who did what when and to whom. But when you read the Old Testament carefully you begin to see that it is a history of how God wants to reconcile with the people He created. There are “types” of Jesus all throughout the Old Testament, from Abraham to David we see a little bit of Jesus in those who were truly following God at every turn in their lives. All of the prophets, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Malachi, tell of Jesus’ deeds on this earth, including the outcome of His being beaten, to His death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. Like all the others, the disciples on the road to Emmaus either forgot or didn’t believe the prophets when they were first told of these things. Even today there are people who can’t believe that Jesus would kill Himself for anybody. Like these two disciples, they will need to see Jesus face to face in order to believe that He exists.
Provide a short synopsis of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament explains how much God loves us and wants to forgive us, while the New Testament shows us what Jesus had to go through to bring us back into that relationship that God so greatly desires with us.