Open Your Bible
Luke 24:1-49, Psalm 16:9-11
BY Erin Davis
Spiritually speaking, we’re all olms.
Olms are salamanders that live deep in the caves of Croatia. Because their days are spent in total darkness, they have no need to see. After spending generations away from the light, their eyes have become covered by layers of pink skin, rendering the olms blind.
As we read the account of Resurrection Sunday, the people mentioned move into the background. Our minds want to focus on Jesus, our resurrected Savior. But for the reality of the resurrection to have its full effect on our hearts, we also need to consider the ones who were too blind to see that their risen Lord was standing right in front of them.
Take a second look at the apostles. Jesus Himself had told them He would not stay dead (John 2:18–22; Matthew 12:39–40; 16:21). And yet when they first heard that He had risen—just as He promised He would—the words of the women who’d reported the news to them “seemed like nonsense… and they did not believe the women” (Luke 24:11).
Then there are Cleopas and another unnamed disciple, who literally walked alongside the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus but “were prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). They’d dismissed the possibility of His resurrection, and even explained the events of His own death to Him. I imagine they sighed as they looked into the face of their risen Redeemer and told Him, “We were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel” (v.21). After they’d finished eating dinner with Jesus, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him,” and then He “disappeared from their sight” (v.31). And when Jesus again appeared to eleven of His closest friends, “They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost” (v.37).
Cave salamanders—every single one of them.
Jesus appeared before them in His glorified body. He walked beside them on the road, stood in their midst face to face, and yet they simply could not see the truth about who He was. This is a picture of our true spiritual condition. Living with sin, generation after generation, has blinded us. On our own, we do not recognize our desperate need for the light of our Savior. Faith has become unnatural to us.
Yet, God has mercifully called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9). He has given us eyes to see that the resurrection is not a fairy tale, and it is more than a historical event. God has gifted us the faith to believe that this is the moment that Jesus defeated death, so that we may be made alive in Him.
Jesus is real. He is risen. He is returning. Thank God! If you can peer into the empty tomb found in Scripture this Lenten season, and declare, “He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:6), praise Jesus that He fulfills His promises. And then repeat the words of the blind man who was given sight, “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25).
As you bask in the hope granted us on resurrection morning, consider anew the deep darkness Jesus saved you from, and celebrate the incomprehensible truth of what Christ’s resurrection really means for us: we have been remade, from salamanders to saints, and brought from darkness into His eternal light.