In a recent post I discussed why the two disciples on the way to Emmaus were so sad and we saw that Joshua had explained to them from “Moses and the prophets” that he had to suffer.
I had often said to myself that I wished I could have been there and heard what Joshua had said to them as I am sure many others have wished. So I thought why not give it a try.
The Clarification from the Scriptures
It turns out it is not a trivial task at all. Here I was with all of my notes, reference works and my trusty Google and I find many references in the scriptures referring to the coming Kingdom of God and not so many about the suffering!
Let’s look a little bit closer at what Joshua had actually said to them: “Oh, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe…” (Luke 24:25)
It does not come across in the typed translation but Joshua was full of compassion when he asked how foolish they were – he was not denigrating them at all, he was as human as they were and understood how they felt. He too had been excited that Father had chosen and anointed him to be the king in Father’s Kingdom, just as King David had been.
But now he was excited, pumped as the modern saying goes. He, a human being, had with the Father’s spirit guiding him, submitted to Father’s instructions and allowed Satan’s people to murder him, hanging him on a tree, the most shameful punishment for terrible sinners (Deut. 21:22-23). Most crimes that required capital punishment were done by stoning, but for serious offences the offender would be hung on a tree. Anyone hung on as tree was cursed. He knew that Satan was the accuser of the brethren but now he, Joshua was alive again knowing that he had defeated Satan. It was now possible to have everlasting life so that we his brothers and sisters could take part in God’s kingdom, which is going to be so different from the kingdom’s of the world that are under Satan’s rule.
So really they were already aware of what the scriptures said.
The Learning Process
We discussed the process of how we learn facts in a previous post and it has bearing on this discussion. Please do read it if you have not yet had the chance, we are going tp refer to it a lot
Quite naturally these disciples were very excited about the good news of the Kingdom of God. That is what God had wanted. Joshua was a dynamic speaker and was clearly anointed by God, who made it clear by performing all those miracles through Joshua! He cured lepers, made a man blind from birth see, and raised a man back to life who had been dead for four days! All miracles that the scribes had said was impossible! So the confidence level of those memory circuits in their brain was high!
But the suffering king did not fit in their understanding. So the confidence in the validity of those memory circuits was not strong. Yes, they knew about the prophecies that the Messiah was going to suffer but as Joshua had put it, “their hearts were so slow to believe!” Joshua had to fix that, give the memory circuits behind those facts greater value and validity.
They did not have much time on the road to go into many scriptures. And there was no need, they knew them.
If they had Google handy they could have looked for A Comprehensive List of Messianic Prophecies – this lists over 300 prophecies talking about the Messiah and is an excellent resource, especially as the have categorized the list. So I could have taken all the suffering prophecies and said that that is what Joshua had given them.
As useful as this list is, it is not comprehensive. God has shown his brilliance by allowing events to happen so that the events themselves become prophecies, i.e. types of future events that God is bringing about. The long account of Josef being sold into slavery, eventually ending ruling Egypt as Pharaoh’s vice regent, the growth of Israel in Egypt, and the Passover, the Exodus, and entry into the promised land are steeped in Messiah prophecies as types. And we will try and look at those in the some detail in future posts as they are so exciting and inspiring,
Joshua wanted the short time he would be walking with them to make their faith even stronger and give them back their excitement and joy. So what was needed now was to give these disciples an
1) understanding of the problem,
2) the role Satan had played, and
3) that God had designed a solution from the beginning.
4) That Joshua had willingly agreed and did what God had asked him to do, and
5) it had worked out well as he could attest!
Joshua could now really speak on these issues like someone with experience and authority. Joshua would have focused not on that he would have to suffer, but the why he would have to suffer.
The Starting Point
I think Joshua would have started with Moses and described again how Satan had deceived Adam and Eve.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it…” Gen 3:6
They had believed Satan’s lie and opted for deciding for themselves how to live. We know how that attitude of competition and selfishness had totally damaged human society and the environment.
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity
between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15)
This is the why Joshua had to suffer. Satan was jealous of the beings that God had creates “in his image” and he was either trying to spoil the creation as he had with Adam, or he was pointing out to God that his people that God loved so much, were not really up to snuff. So Joshua would probably have started reminding them of the story of Job, how Satan was accusing God that his protégé Job was only good as long as God was blessing him.
“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.” (Job 2:1-3)
It was serious business with potentially serious consequences as they had seen in the case of Job, which really was the case of Satan vs God. God had to formulate a plan to end the accusations of Satan once and for all.
And he did formulate a plan and this is the why Joshua had to suffer.
Satan was jealous of the beings that God had creates “in his image” and he was either 1) trying to spoil the creation as he had with Adam, or 2) he was pointing out to God that his people that God loved so much, were not really up to snuff.
Whether discussed any of the prophecies of how or what he suffered, I am not sure but I think he would only have brought up Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 to show that God knew centuries beforehand what Satan would get to do to him that God had inspired his prophets to record it in advance. This would stress that although it was really awful – as they had personally witnessed the broken state Joshua had been in while hanging on the tree – God was still very much in charge.
“Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.“
“But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They [b]shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He [c]trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”“
Joshua would have concluded, See, there was no need to be so sad, God is supreme! Yes, Satan has tried very hard to prevent God from setting up a just kingdom and preventing human beings, of all things, to be rulers in that kingdom. So I willingly with God’s help, became the Passover lamb as Moses had prophesied in type in the Exodus account. God’s kingdom is still very much on track!