You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
The story of Christ in Christmas doesn’t end on Calvary. When Jesus showed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus what the Scriptures said about Himself, I think He also reminded them about the certainty of His resurrection.
In Luke 24:21-24, the two disciples who were walking home from Jerusalem said, in essence, “We put all our faith in this Jesus guy. We thought He was going to deliver us from Rome. Instead of doing that, He ended up getting crucified. And to add insult to injury, now His body is missing. I mean, if He was the Messiah, why couldn’t He even keep His own body in the grave?”
Yet the Scriptures predicted Christ’s resurrection. You say, “Where do you find that in the Old Testament?” One place is Psalm 16:10. David wrote, “You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” This had an immediate fulfillment in David’s time. David said, “I am confident that I am going to live after I die.” But it also had an ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah. God would not allow His Holy One, the Messiah, to remain in the grave long enough for his body to decay. He would raise Him from the dead.
You say, “How can you take something 900 years before Christ and relate it to the resurrection? Isn’t that stretching it?” Not at all. The apostle Peter made the same application in Acts 2:31. When Peter preached at Pentecost, he talked about the resurrected Christ and quoted Psalm 16:10. Jesus also told His disciples several times that He would be raised from the dead. Jesus must have said to these two men, “Doesn’t it make sense that maybe the reason the tomb is empty is because this Jesus you had placed your hopes in did just what He said would do?”
By this time, they were getting close to Emmaus, and the disciples invited Jesus in for dinner. Look what happened: “When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:30-32).
What caused the hearts of these two followers of Jesus to burn as Jesus was talking to them? I think it was this: When they put it all together, they realized that if Jesus really was the fulfillment of all these prophecies, then they could trust in everything Jesus said to them about their life, their death, and their eternity. That lecture on the road to Emmaus was not a dry theological discourse. It meant that everything predicted about Jesus in the Old Testament was fulfilled. Because of that, we can bank our life and our eternity on what He has promised to us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christmas on the Road” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.