OPENING THE SCRIPTURES
Luke 24:32 (ESV): They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Here, the disciples on the road to Emmaus speak of Jesus opening the scriptures to them.
This implies that ordinarily the scriptures are closed.
Now, we need to understand that the scriptures contain the manifold wisdom of God concerning the knowledge and wisdom of all things:
Colossians 2:2-3 (ESV): that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
John 1:1 (ESV): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Psalms 40:7 (ESV): Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me
These scriptures tell us that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ who is the Word. So these treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in the written Word.
Furthermore, the purposes and plans of God for our personal lives are hidden in Christ and so in the Word:
Colossians 3:3 (ESV): For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Revelation 22:19 (LITV): And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and of the things having been written in this Book.
These treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden or ‘closed’, so we need the key of revelation knowledge (2 Corintians 4.6) to ‘open’ them.
Luke 11:52 (ESV): Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
Matthew 16:17-19 (ESV): And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (18) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
For instance, in Jonah 1.17 the scripture says Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days and nights:
Jonah 1:17 (ESV): And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Ordinarily this scripture is just a historical fact of Jonah’s experience.
However, by revelation the Lord Jesus was able to see that it had prophetic reference to his going to hell on our behalf for 3 days and nights:
Matthew 12:40 (ESV): For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jonah 2:2-3 (KJVR): And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (3) For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
Psalms 88:6-7 (KJVR): Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. (7) Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
Psalms 16:10 (KJVR): For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Without the key of revelation (Matthew 16.17-19) given to the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit, Jonah 1.17 and its connection to Jesus’ going to hell on our behalf and being raised from the dead would have remained a ‘closed’ or ‘sealed’ scripture which would, on the surface, seem to have no relevance to us today:
Daniel 12:9 (LITV): And He said, Go, Daniel! For the words are closed up and sealed until the end time.
It is instructive to see that it is because we are living in the end-time that the scriptures are now being opened to us by the Holy Spirit.
There are thousands of scriptures like this in the Bible that have prophetic application to our lives today
but without the key of revelation given by the Holy Spirit, these scriptures written of us in the volume of the book (Psalms 40.7, Revelation 22.19), will remain closed to us.
So we must be motivated to open the scriptures and fulfil them.
In our article next week we will see how to be motivated to open and fulfil the scriptures.