It was on the road to Emmaus when a stranger approached us as we contemplated and discussed the events over the last few days. We thought for sure Jesus was going to free us from the oppressive rule of the Romans. Then the stranger asked us what we were discussing. We were somewhat stunned. Was this the only person throughout the region who didn’t know about the Messiah, his illegal trial, scourging and subsequent death upon the cross? And, now all is lost for the Savior has disappeared. Some women went to the tomb and found it empty, though they claimed to see angels and even Jesus himself alive! Who can believe such a thing?
Then the stranger said, “Oh, foolish ones, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
Then starting with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to us in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Over the next couple of hours He shared with us from the well of knowledge and enlightened us.
As we drew near the village the stranger intended to continue on with his journey. But we asked him to stay with us since it was near the 10th hour of the day. So the stranger agreed. And, as we prepared to sit at table and enjoy the meal the stranger took the bread and blessed and broke it and give to us. Suddenly, our eyes were opened as though scales were removed from our eyes! And, we recognized him! Then, just as suddenly, He vanished from our sight. And we said to one another, “Did not our hearts not burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened the Scriptures?”
Immediately, we needed to return to Jerusalem to share what we had seen and heard on our journey with the eleven.
When we arrived and found the eleven and those who were with them and told the that The Lord had risen indeed. They told us He had appeared to Simon. We told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to us in the breaking of the bread.
Put yourself in the sandals of Cleopas and the other (unnamed) traveler. You have heard and known of Jesus. Perhaps you were one to whom Jesus granted a miracle during these last three years. You were intrigued with his healing powers, his understanding of Scripture, his compassion and understanding. You had been following him from a distance. But, in his prophecies you, like the rest, believed in being freed from the tyranny of the Roman government. He, on the other hand, wanted to free you from your spiritual bondage. So, when perhaps you saw him upon the cross, his agony in coming to death, removal from the cross, and subsequent burial, you became saddened and disillusioned. Now you are on your way back to your village.
And as you traveled the seven miles at a somewhat slower than normal pace, you are working through your disillusionment when another traveler approaches you. As was the custom in the area, He strikes up a conversation and inquires why you are saddened. In your dismay at the question you don’t realize who this person really is. So you explain how your hopes have been dashed for you had been sure your freedom would come at the hands of Jesus who claimed to be the Christ, the Messiah. Yet the disappointment is great, even though you had heard from the women that they had seen Jesus himself alive. In your disbelief, He begins to teach you, starting with Moses and Prophets and how they pointed to the events that have occurred over the last three days.
Then He reveals himself and you know the truth. He is alive and your joy is great.
Celebrate! Celebrate! For He has risen!
Your sins are washed away!
Spread the joy starting today.