Luke recorded the life and ministry of Jesus so that his friend Theophilus could have an accurate basis for his faith (Luke 1:1-4). The events of Jesus’ life fulfilled both general and specific ideas prophesied in the Old Testament. Luke noted that even before Jesus was born, angelic messengers and Jesus’ family spoke of Jesus in light of the Old Testament. In the final two chapters of Luke’s Gospel, Luke recorded Jesus’ own use of the Old Testament. After His resurrection, Jesus repeatedly announced that Scripture’s storyline pointed to what He had just accomplished in Jerusalem.
(1) In Luke 23:30, Jesus cited Hos 10:8 to describe the fate of Jerusalem. In Hose 10:1-10, the prophet lamented Israel’s unfaithfulness. The people were false and idolatrous, wealthy and secure. Disaster would come upon them, Hosea prophesied, even to the degree that the people would cry out for rocks to fall upon them (Hos 10:8). As Jesus tottered toward Golgotha, He prophesied to those gathered around Him that the situation in Jerusalem would deteriorate to the point where people would want rocks to fall upon them (Luke 23:30), just as Hosea had prophesied.
(2) In Luke 23:46, Jesus expressed His trust in God by quoting Ps 31:5 as He was dying on the cross. Before Jesus succumbed to death on the cross, He was able to speak for a time (Matt 27:45-56//Mark 15:33-41//Luke 23:44-49). Luke wrote that Jesus quoted from Psalm 31, where David felt surrounded by his enemies and cried out to God, “You will free me from the net that is secretly set for me, for You are my refuge. Into Your hands I entrust my spirit; You redeem me, LORD, God of truth” (Ps 31:4-5). What the Jewish leadership had arranged by deception, Jesus understood to be from God, and so entrusted Himself to the Father.
(3) In Luke 24:25-27 and 44-46, Jesus explained to various groups of disciples that His suffering and death fulfilled what the Old Testament authors prophesied concerning the Messiah. While Jesus was walking on the road to Emmaus with the two disciples, He asked them, “Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). Luke reported that Jesus then interpreted for them the prophetic statements concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). After Jesus suddenly disappeared from their sight, the two Emmaus disciples scurried to Jerusalem, where Jesus met them and the other disciples. Jesus ate in their presence (Luke 24:41-42) and again explained His death and resurrection as the fulfillment of all that was written “in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44).