On the Road to Emmaus

Lenten/Easter Devotion

The Miracles of Jesus

On the Road to Emmaus

Luke 24:13-35; Isaiah 53:1-6

As we’ve all experienced, the road of life takes many twists and turns. Some of the twists and turns are good, and some of them are not so good. We experience many ups and downs throughout our lives. There are times when we have many successes, a good job, a great vacation, and happy families. But there are times in our lives when things don’t go very well. A family member passes, we fail a course at school, and we may walk into work on a Monday morning with a pink slip awaiting us.

Two of the disciples had one of those negative twists occur to them. Jesus had been crucified; He was dead. They had followed Him for a long time, and now, everything seemed hopeless. As they took the road from Jerusalem towards Emmaus, their lives took a sudden turn for the good.

On the Road to Emmaus

Now that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles24:13 Or about 11 kilometers from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So, he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.”

Looking back at the scripture reading, we see two of Christ’s disciples walking on the road to Emmaus, which means they were walking away from Jerusalem. These men were walking away from the place where Christ died at Golgotha. (Perhaps they were disillusioned, or they had given up hope. They said as much to Jesus as He walked with them. They said, “We had hoped He would be the redeemer of Israel.”)

While the two disciples are walking along the road, a third person joins them. Living on this side of history, we know it to be Jesus because the bible tells us it was Him. (For some reason, Jesus kept them from recognizing Him. He wanted time to talk with them and explain the scripture to them.

Looking back at the scripture reading, what opened their eyes? What suddenly caused them to recognize Jesus? (They said it was the breaking of the bread, not necessarily as in communion, but as a shared meal.)

They also said that their hearts burned as He (Jesus) explained and revealed the scripture to them. God’s word will always explain what we don’t understand. But, we have to read it, digest it, and apply it in our daily lives. They said, “We had hoped He would be the redeemer of Israel.” Once the scriptures were explained to them, they realized Jesus was the redeemer they were hoping for.)

No sooner did Jesus disappear while seated with the two disciples; the men decided to return to Jerusalem. (They wanted to report to the Apostles and Christ’s other followers that they had seen Him, Jesus, He was alive.)

The passage from Luke states that Jesus revealed the scriptures to the two disciples on the road. Here is some of what the prophet Isaiah foretold about Jesus.

Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely, he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds, we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.”

Everything that Jesus did on earth was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ fulfilled the scriptures. He lived a perfect life. He taught us how to live ours as servants to all. Jesus did die on a cross, and three days later, He rose again from the dead, for you and me so we may have eternal life with Him and the Father.  No greater love than this has ever been shown.

Dear Jesus. Just like you opened the two disciples’ eyes on the road to Emmaus, we thank you for opening our eyes through the scriptures. We are blessed. Living on this side of history, we see the prophecies of the Old Testament. We can read, see and understand how those prophecies about you were fulfilled in the New Testament. Thank you for opening our eyes. We know you are the Messiah, the Savior of the World. Amen.

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