Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”
He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.”
Then He said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about Himself in all the scriptures.
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
A Family Perspective…
The two disciples were ‘looking sad’. Obviously – they had just witnessed the events of Good Friday. But they had also been there for Easter Sunday and had heard the reports of Jesus’ resurrection from the women – but quite plainly did not believe it.
When Jesus joined them on the road they did not recognise Him. All day they did not recognise Him, until He broke bread. It was only looking back that they began to realise that Jesus had been with them the whole time.
When bad things happen in our life, we become like the two disciples. We let ourselves become overwhelmed by events and very often fail to recognise any sense of hope. It is sometimes almost impossible to see Jesus walking alongside us on our journey. It is only when we look back that we can recognise him in the love and kindness of the people close to us, who walk alongside us in our trials. As Christians we are also called to be the character of Jesus in this story. We are called to walk alongside others in their day to day trials and tribulations, all the time revealing Christ to them through our love.
The road to Emmaus is a symbol of the Christian life. This story is about ordinary despair, and ordinary Monday-morning drudgery. It enables us to see that the risen Lord gives hope and joy, when all we see is disappointment, discouragement and despair. It enables us to see the world, not as a place of death, decay, and defeat, but as a place waiting, groaning toward God’s final victory. It is the joyful, hopeful meaning of Easter that overcomes our despair.
The change that took place within the two disciples has been described like this. “Their lives prior to this moment were like a smouldering fire that gives no light, just smoke to cloud things up. But once they came into the presence of the Risen Lord their hearts were ablaze! A burning fire gives light for all to see, and they saw, understood and believed! All because of the Risen Lord! Jesus’ victory became their restoring hope. It became the anchor of their lives” – Author unknown.
Thought for the week…
The Resurrection offers us Hope and Joy.
Help me to recognise You in my ordinary day to day trials. Restore my hope and my joy.
Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.