ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED
Luke 24:41-49 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them. 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. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
Jesus had just now appeared in the presence of His apostles, and possibly other disciples, as they had secluded themselves behind the closed doors of a home in Jerusalem. This they did for fear of being persecuted by the Jewish religious leaders as followers of Jesus. As proof that He was their Lord, He showed them the wounds the nails made in His hands and feet, and also the place where He was pierced by a sword on His side by the Roman soldiers that carried out His crucifixion. As the lesson text begins, Luke records that they yet believed not for joy, and wondered.
These disciples were simply overcome and awestruck by the appearance of Jesus among them. Although Jesus had told them many times that He would be raised on the third day after His crucifixion, His appearance was still so sudden and unexpected, that they were totally lost in bewilderment. The phrase often used at such times of confused perplexity is that the news received "was too good to be true." As further evidence of the resurrection of His human body, Jesus asked, Have ye here any meat? That is, to prove that He had returned to life, He asked, "do you have any food that I might eat and nourish My body?" Since Jesus desired food as nourishment, they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. Historians tell us that this was an ordinary meal for the Jewish family at this time; fish was a common staple and honey was easily found in the Palestinian countryside. Being offered this food, He took it, and did eat before them. Not only would this satisfy His hunger, but it would also serve to satisfy their apprehension as to whether Jesus had returned to them in a human body, rather than a spiritual one.
In various scriptures preceding His crucifixion, Jesus had prophetically told His apostles of the impending death that He would experience after entering Jerusalem during the holy days celebrating the Passover. He also told them that on the third day He would arise from His tomb and walk among them once again. Two scriptures, which recorded His prophecies, are found in Mark 10:33 and Luke 18:33. It should be noted that a true prophecy is not valid unless it is subsequently fulfilled. Certainly Jesus' appearance to His apostles at this time was sufficient proof that His prophecies were true and now had been fulfilled.
The misunderstanding of Old Testament prophecies had been a problem to the entire Jewish nation, and was primarily due to the human wisdom used by the Jewish religious scholars to interpret these prophecies. This is exactly what Jesus had taught His apostles and many other disciples ever since He had begun His earthly ministry some three to four years previous to this day. Jesus told them on this occasion, that all during this instruction period, His followers failed to understand and accept Old Testament prophecies concerning Me. Over three hundred prophecies foretold of the coming Messiah that was fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of God. In Genesis 49:10 we find the prophecy that the Savior would descend from the tribe of Judah; Micah 5:2 said that He would come from the town of Bethlehem; from Daniel 9:25-26 one can determine the dates of His birth and death, Malachi 3:1 and 4:5 identifies His forerunner as John the Baptist; Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12 tells about His earthly ministry; Psalm 22:1-18 describes His crucifixion; Psalm 16:8-11 tells of His resurrection; the inspirational teaching in Psalm 2 tells of His ascension as well as His second coming; Psalm 110 verbally pictures His kingdom having dominion over all nations.
These, as well as many other Old Testament prophecies, foretold the complete scriptural story of Jesus as the Son of God and the promised Savior of the world, from His lowly birth, to His kingship from heaven as He is seated at the right hand of God. These prophecies had already been, or would later be fulfilled. With this explanation, opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.