The Resurrected Christ on the Emmaus Road
Open Your Bible
Luke 24:13-32, Acts 13:16-38
BY Erin Davis
Because of sin, it is possible to look into the face of Jesus and not see Him at all.
Luke 24 gives a snapshot of Jerusalem after the spiritual fallout of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection had occurred. Like shell-shocked soldiers, two of Christ’s disciples walked away from the sacred city where so much had just transpired and toward a future, they thought, without the One they hoped would save them.
The text only names one of the weary travelers, Cleopas. The beginning of the chapter indicates that he was cloistered with the other disciples when the women announced that they’d seen an angel at Jesus’s empty tomb (Luke 24:9). Try to imagine the emotional whiplash. “We were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel,” Cleopas confessed when a stranger fell in step with them along the way (V.21). But how could Jesus redeem their beloved nation from a borrowed tomb? What could a body so bloodied by brutality possibly do to save them? And yet, there was news.
Some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive.
So surely they were jumping for joy as they traveled to Emmaus, right? Perhaps there was pep in their step after all? No, Scripture describes them as “discouraged” (v.17). They’d been among the first to hear the remarkable news that Jesus had forever broken the bonds of death, and yet, they seem to have concluded that despite Christ’s clear promise to rise, the story of a resurrected Savior was simply too good to be true.
It’s so easy to see Him in hindsight. He did the things He’d always done: repeating the words of the prophets (v.25), giving God glory (v.26), eating with sinners (v.30), and teaching that He was (and is!) the Word fulfilled (v.27). He was as close as their shadow and true to everything He promised He would be.
Wherever you go, the Spirit goes with you (Matthew 28:20). He desires to know you and be known by you (Psalm 9:16). First Corinthians 8:3 says, “But if anyone loves God, he is known by him.” As you travel your Emmaus roads today, don’t miss Him, and don’t get over the eternity-shifting wonder of this truth that, “He is not here, but he has risen!” (Luke 24:6).