Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)
On the road to Emmaus, the two disciples get more than a handful of education from the risen Christ. Jesus took them through the entire scriptures, which at that time was the Old Testament, and pointed to himself in its pages. One commentary I read said that from the proto-evangelion to Malachi 4, Jesus is proclaimed throughout. We all know the proto-evangelion:
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15)
Jesus is the seed of the woman, and he will destroy Satan on the cross. That is what has been proclaimed from the first. But what about Malachi 4? What about the Last Proclamation?
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord of hosts.
“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4)
Once again, we have the gospel relayed to us in just a few short words. The first verse is about the last day, when all who have rejected God will be destroyed and left without foundation to grab hold of to save themselves.
The second verse is for those who fear the Lord's name--the faithful. The sun of righteousness, the light of the world, Jesus Christ will come forth and heal all wounds of believers. We will be filled with such joy that we will resemble calves that have been cooped up all winter and are now released into the fields to frolic. It is a beautiful sight.
The third verse states that all that will be left of the unfaithful will be ashes that would dirty the feet of the faithful on the last day.
The fourth verse exhorts all believers to keep in mind the Law as a benchmark to living in the faith as we progress through the Lord's sanctification process. Knowing the ten commandments reminds us that only the Holy Spirit can keep us in Christ's righteousness and not we ourselves.
The fifth verse tells us that God will be sending Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord. Indeed, God sent John the Baptist to proclaim repentance before Jesus came. We, as the Church, are to proclaim repentance for the forgiveness of sins to the world before Jesus comes again.
Finally, the sixth verse tells us this proclamation will turn the hearts of children to their fathers and vice versa. The brotherhood of believers does reconcile earthly relationships, but the gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ turns the hearts of all of God's children toward their heavenly father, and Jesus' death on the cross satisfied the wrath of God and turned his heart toward all those who have faith in Christ's blood. This is the gospel, found everywhere in the Old Testament and expounded in the New. Take up and read and believe.