Jesus in the Teen Bible

STORY 11.15 Jesus in Scripture

Two of Jesus’ followers decide to go home. One of them is called Cleopas. They feel terrible: the festival has ended with a fiasco. Disappointed and exhausted they go down to Emmaus, a few miles away from the city.

The road is crowded. Many people are traveling home now that the festival has come to an end.
One of the travelers joins the two. He wants to know why they look so sad.
‘Are you the only one here who doesn’t know what has happened in the city?’ they ask.
‘What is it?’ the traveler asks.
‘Well, there was a man we all looked up to,’ the friends explain. ‘He was a prophet, for sure. Because everything He said and did was so powerful, God had to be the source of all that. His name was Jesus of Nazareth. But the leaders handed Him over to the Romans.’
‘They crucified Him. Horrible, because we thought He was going to free Israel.’
‘That didn’t happen?’
‘No, obviously not. But now, three days later, some of our friends have discovered that He is no longer in his grave. Supposedly an angel appeared and said that He rose from the dead. But no one has seen Him.’
‘Don’t you understand what has happened?’ the traveler asks. ‘Don’t you realize that everything you’re saying has been foretold in Scripture?’

And he starts to explain to them how they should interpret Scripture. And that everything in there is about the Man they’re speaking of. All of the old books point to Him. He is the seed of the woman who will crush the head of the snake. He is the offspring promised to Abraham, the one who will be a blessing to all mankind. He is like Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, but eventually appearing as a king. He is the Passover lamb that takes away judgment. He has fulfilled the entire law by keeping all the rules, but He also received all the punishments that were intended for those who broke the law. He is the king David looked forward to. He is the suffering servant Isaiah wrote about. Like Jonah had spent three days and three nights inside of the fish, He spent three days and nights in the grave. He is the bridegroom Hosea spoke of. And so on. Truly everything in Scripture points to Him.
‘From now on you should look for Him when you read Scripture,’ the traveler continues. ‘He will come to you through Scripture.’

Cleopas and his friend are really in awe of this explanation. Is everything God had written down in Scripture about Jesus? They feel butterflies in their stomach and their heart feels warm!
The two friends want this traveler to join them for dinner.
When he breaks the bread at their home in Emmaus, they suddenly see who this man is. It is Jesus Himself!

In that very moment He disappears from their midst with a smile on his face.
The two friends look at each other.
‘Didn’t our hearts burn with excitement when He opened our eyes to the Scriptures?’ they say to each other. ‘We have to tell the others about this!’
That same night they travel back to the city – full of energy, as if a strong wind is pushing them ahead.

How do you read the Bible?
You can read the Bible like a storybook. Or like a book of law. Or a scientific book. Or a history book. But you can also read it the way Jesus wants you to read it. Then you’ll be looking for Him in the Bible. It will set your heart ablaze for Him and the people around you.

Read Mark 16,12-13 Luke 24,13-33 1 Pete 1,10-13


STORY 11.16 Jesus shares his victory

The two friends from Emmaus head back to Jerusalem to find the other followers who are laying low. They find them and explain what has happened on the road when they met Jesus.
‘You see!’ the other men and women answer. ‘He really did rise from the dead. He also appeared to Peter!’

Suddenly Jesus appears in their midst.
‘Peace be with you!’ He says.
Everyone staggers backwards.
‘It’s not a ghost, is it?’ a few wonder.
‘Why do you have such a hard time believing it is Me?’ Jesus asks.
But the followers are still a little cautious. Jesus is different than before. That’s because He is the first human walking around in a new, heavenly body. This body is no longer limited by sin, disease and death. It can do so much the old, earthly body couldn’t do.

Jesus wants them to understand that He is still the same person, even though He has been raised from the dead and glorified by God’s power. He shows them the scars on his hands and feet, these are a part of his new body too.
‘Now do you see that it is Me?’ He says.
To assure them that He is not some strange ghost, He asks: ‘Do you have something to eat for me?’ And He eats a big fish in front of them.

Then He starts to explain how they can find Him throughout Scripture, just like He explained on the road to Emmaus. He explains that Scripture has announced long ago that He would rise from the dead after three days. He points out that He had to carry the punishment for all sins onto the cross, so that everyone can now live in God’s forgiveness. Everyone who believes in Him will share in his victory. Everyone can receive his Spirit.

‘Tell that to everyone who will listen,’ Jesus says.
He blows at his followers.
‘I give you my Spirit. Go with Him!’

Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, is not there that first night.
‘I have trouble believing this,’ he says when he hears about Jesus. ‘I will believe it when I see his wounds with my own eyes and when I feel them with my own hands.’
A week later Thomas is with the rest of the group, behind closed doors, when Jesus appears again.
‘Peace be with you!’ He says again.
Then He turns to Thomas.
‘Come here with your hand,’ He says. ‘Feel the wounds in my hands. And feel my side. Don’t doubt any longer, believe!’
‘My Lord! My God!’ Thomas cries out.
‘You believe because you see,’ Jesus says. ‘But all of the people who haven’t seen this and who still believe will be even happier.’

A new body
Jesus, the Son of God, dies like a vulnerable human. But He is also the first person to rise from the dead in a new, eternal body. If you believe in Him, then you believe that you will also get a new, eternal, heavenly body. In it you will forever be recognized as God’s beloved child.

Read Mark 16,13-14 Luke 24,33-49 John 20,19-29 1 John 1,2 Isaiah 9,1-6 Isaiah 26,19 1 Corinthians 15,47-57

The Teen Bible by Willem de Vink helps teenagers to understand that everything in the Bible relates to Jesus. This book with 250 stories is published in Dutch, French and German. It is not published in English yet, but the English translation is available.