He is Risen! We Have Seen Him!
Reading: Luke 24:13-35
And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also 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 exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. [NASB1995®]
Jesus has risen, but the disciples find it difficult to believe. The women who went to the tomb found it empty and received the testimony of the angels. The disciples saw that the tomb was empty, but they have not yet seen Jesus alive. They doubt. They are fearful and uncertain.
Here we read about two disciples on their way to a nearby city. What is their state of mind? They are confused; they are sad. Is it all over? Is it true what the women say?
Suddenly they encounter a stranger who seems to know nothing of what has happened. How does he know nothing? Where has this man been that he knows nothing of Jesus, the prophet, whom they hoped was the Redeemer of Israel, who was killed by political and religious authorities?
He who walks next to them makes them see what happened to this prophet (himself!) It was precisely what had been announced about the Messiah. Hadn’t Jesus told them? Didn’t Moses and the prophets foretell it?
It is already night, and they ask this stranger to stay with them. When Jesus breaks the bread, the veil falls from their eyes. They recognize him. It is Jesus! Alive! He is standing before their eyes! Didn’t their hearts burn when they heard him share the Scriptures and how they heralded the suffering and victory of the Anointed One of the Lord?
There are two things I would like to draw attention to in this passage.
First of all, it is God who opens the eyes of the disciples so that they can see and understand the wonder of what is before their eyes. Jesus opened their eyes to the Scriptures. He showed them how He is revealed through the Bible. And then, He allows them to recognize Him.
All mankind is aware of God, but unless He reveals Himself to us, we cannot truly know Him, much less love Him and become His children. The Gospel, in Jesus, opens our eyes, transforms our inmost being, and makes us born again.
And something else impacts me in this passage. It’s night, but the news is too important. In the same moment, the disciples set out on their way and return to Jerusalem, to encounter the others. They have seen Him; they have been with Him! Jesus has risen! That is what they need to share with the rest of the followers of the Lord.
What they thought was the end was only the beginning. Christ has overcome! His kingdom will become evident among all men, everywhere.
MEDITATE: What impact does it have on us to know that our Lord has overcome death itself? How do we live, and how do we share the news of His victory?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader