Scripture is Foundational
After the resurrection, two of those who had been following Jesus for some time were on their way from Jerusalem back to their home in Emmaus. They weren’t part of the inner circle of twelve, but they were readily identified as “disciples” of Jesus (Luke 24:13–35)
They knew some things about Jesus. They knew of his public ministry and the power of God evident in His life. They knew that He had been delivered over to the religious leaders and had been crucified. They knew that He had said something about being raised from the dead on the third day. But they were having trouble putting the pieces together. They had heard the reports that Jesus was alive, but they couldn’t quite make sense of those reports.
Luke tells us that they were talking together about what they had heard (24:14). But there was more. Luke uses another word to say that they were even debating the issue (“discussing;” 24:15 NASB). And when Jesus met up with them (but kept them from recognizing Him) we read that they were “exchanging words” (24:17). The sense of that expression is that they were “throwing words back and forth.” Apparently, these two disciples just didn’t know how to make sense of what it meant to say that Jesus was alive. (Remember, this kind of thing hadn’t ever happened. We may think, “They should have understood!” But it was harder for them to get their minds around these events than we might imagine.)
So we have discouraged and confused disciples of Jesus who had questions about what it meant to say that He was alive. They weren’t sure about the resurrection. What do you think they needed? Certainty about the risen Jesus! But Jesus doesn’t simply offer them that “proof”–although He could have.
He spent time with them looking to and reflecting on the Scriptures.
Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, [Jesus] explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)
Jesus did ultimately open the eyes of these disciples for them to recognize Him and see that He really was alive. But Jesus appeared to privilege thinking Biblically, anchoring even the reality of resurrection in the Scriptures.
This is part of why The River is so committed to helping people learn to read and understand Scripture. We want people to have personal, experiential life with Jesus. That is where we “taste” life. But the tracks on which that life runs is the Scripture. To make sense of our experiences with Jesus, we need to truth of Scripture.