Luke 24 v 13-35 The road to Emmaus
How would you feel if your beloved friend suffered in the cruel and painful way that Jesus did on the cross? A slow and painful death along with the ridicule hurled at Jesus by his persecutors. For Jesus’ followers and disciples this would have been a traumatic and confusing experience. They had witnessed so much following Jesus through his teachings and miracles. There would have been a feeling of despair, fear and anger that the son of God was being treated in this cruel way. Even though Jesus had told them that he would soon die for our sins but rise again, the crucifixion would have been shocking and traumatic for anyone to witness, never mind his followers.
On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, two of Jesus’ followers were on the road to Emmaus discussing what had happened and that there were rumours that he was not in the tomb. Jesus approached them, but they did not recognise him. Logic would tell them that this was a stranger approaching them and they were astonished that he asked them what they were talking about. The crucifixion of the Messiah was the talk of the town.
They were distracted with the drama of what had happened, angry with how Jesus had been treated and fearful for what was to come. They spent time together and shared a meal with him. They eventually grasped who he was when Jesus broke the bread, said the blessing, then vanished from their sight.
How would we react? It is a natural human reaction to feel pain, upset and anger when something unjust happens. It can become all consuming. But how often do we get lost in the detail and not see things for what they really are?
Jesus had told his disciples he would be put to death and rise again. Maybe they weren’t expecting the resurrection to really happen, maybe they did not feel they would witness the resurrection for themselves, maybe they were suffering from post-traumatic stress and not thinking straight. The definite answer came when Jesus appeared to the disciples and their pain, upset and anger could fade with the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. A natural human reaction is the need to have physical proof. They were still fearful, of course – if the Romans could do this to Jesus, they wouldn’t think twice of doing the same to them.
But their lives were transformed. If they had not been, we wouldn’t have our Christian faith as we know it. Jesus’ death and resurrection are just as relevant and important as it was that first Easter. And we can learn so much and transform our lives too.
How often do we fully accept God working in our lives? How often do we opt for the logical explanation for everything? How often do we get bogged down with the detail? How often do we spend quiet time with God to help us find the answers? These are questions that we can only truly answer ourselves. God already knows the real answers for each one of us. One question we can confidently know the answer to is that God loves us. He’s waiting for us to spend quiet time with him and guide us.
I personally have always been a busy, ‘detail’ person with everything requiring a logical explanation. I would only read the bible and commit to learning more when I had the time – there was always an excuse not to devote time to it. I was afraid to attend bible study (but did anyway) in case I didn’t understand the subjects and looked silly. I find that now I’m approaching life differently, reading and learning are just as important as the ‘busy detail items’. It’s not until we take that step that we realise what we’re missing. Add praying, reading and learning to your ‘to do’ list. You won’t be disappointed.