One of my favorite post Resurrection stories can be found in our reading today in Luke 24. It’s the story of two men and their walk home after celebrating the Passover from Jerusalem to Emmaus. If you read it just straight through and let it stand as it is, this story is amazing, but when you take a closer look, this story has some powerful implications for you and me today. Let’s join the two men as they walk on the road to Emmaus.
Luke 24:13-18 (NLT) 13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
Although there’s lot to discuss and break down in this story, I want to simply point us to one key movement in the message; the two men went from sadness to gladness, and it was all because they were reunited with Jesus, once again.
I love the way the King James reads in (v. 15), “15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But what Jesus encounters as he got closer and closer to the two men was sadness. We can hear the anguish and disappointment in their voices, 21 “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.
Here’s a point for us to consider today: Not only were these two geographically far away from Jesus, but their faith was far away from Jesus as well.
Have you ever put your hope in things only to find yourself walking away disappointed?They had put false expectations on what they though Jesus should do. It’s easy to put our hope in things or people and suddenly find ourselves overshadowed by our circumstances. Like these two, it becomes easier and easier to fall into depression, loose focus, doubt, forget, fall away, reject, to give up and give in.
Thank God that in spite of:
- Our clouded situations and circumstances…
- getting lost frequently along the way…
- the times we decide to run away from our difficulties…
There is a God who not only comes looking for us, but also DRAWS NEAR and TAVELS WITH US until we see again!
Luke 24:27 (NLT) 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Jesus didn’t just draw near and walk with the two men, he also coached and discipled them…”as they were going... (that’s another Reflection for another day)”.
As they approached their destination, because Jesus gave us the wonderful gift of free will, and because he wants to be invited in, Jesus acted as if he were going on. But the two men begged him to stay the night. I’m moving fast, but at the table that evening for dinner, Jesus took the bread and blessed it, but then he broke it, and when he broke the bread their eyes were opened and they recognized it was Jesus! Suddenly their situation changed dramatically!
Look at the change…
- (v. 17) “sadness written across their face”
- (v. 21) “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel”
- (v. 33) They got up and went all the way back to Jerusalem!
- (v. 35) Excited to tell the story of how Jesus drew near!
Jesus’ death and Resurrection gives Him the opportunity to walk with us, teach us, and provide hope in the midst of sadness and confusion. No matter how confused, no matter how depressed, and no matter how far we run, he is always there, drawing near.