The Glorious Resurrection

Jesus On the Road to Emmaus

Luke’s account of the resurrection and post-resurrection activity has been my favorite gospel account, partly because of the hilarity of a risen Jesus walking around with unsuspecting Christ followers who did not recognize their Lord in his risen glory.

Luke 24:13-35 (TNIV)
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles [a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

I’m amazed that Jesus did not just find the disciples, say his peace, and get back to the right hand of the Father quicker. But thankfully, God the Son was and is a “people” person. He chooses to reveal himself even to those of us whose faith is shattered by circumstance and unrealized expections of others. He walks with us as he did with Cleopas, piercing the darkness of our own hearts and minds with his presence.

Jesus asks the questions and then reveals himself to the two on the road as the Answer. He opens up their minds to the Scriptures and all that they reveal about him. He fellowships with them, coming to their homes and breaking bread for them. Notice that “their eyes were opened” to who was sitting with them when Jesus took, blessed, and broke the bread (24:30-31). I wonder if Jesus used the same wording he used on the night of the last Passover (Luke 22:19). Or maybe Cleopas and his friend remembered the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:41).

Whatever the case, the resurrected Jesus gives us a foretaste of what was to come: he revealed himself then and he is still revealing himself now. Without the resurrection, the revelation of Jesus would be rooted exclusively in the past. Jesus would be just another history lesson decorated with cobwebs and sprinkled in dust. But Scripture and the testimony of history shows that Jesus, the resurrected Son who overcame death and the grave, is revealing himself all over the place, even on the internet.

To him who wasn’t content to be raised from the dead alone but died and was raised so that those who believe in him could be raised with him on that glorious day: to him be glory, honor, and power forevermore.

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