“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 (Luke 24:21)”
“The asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us’? (Luke 24:32)”
“Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread (Luke 24:35)”
The story of the (2) men who were heading to Emmaus from Jerusalem just after the major events surrounding Jesus’ death (and resurrection) had taken place is a story about hope. It is a story about hope lost – for the men hoped that Jesus was the one to redeem Israel. When the men witnessed Christ’s crucifixion on the cross and heard about the empty tomb, they thought it was the end. Jesus was dead and their hope of any savior was gone. It was time to move on.
This story, though, is also about hope revealed. While they are walking on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appears to them – though they are unaware of it. Thinking that he is some stranger, completely oblivious to what has just taken place, they share the events of the death of Christ and the empty tomb. However, Jesus then starts sharing with them all the details within Scripture about what truly was to take place. When the men have reached their destination, they urged Jesus – still unaware though that he is Jesus – to stay with them to eat a meal. Now when Jesus breaks bread with them, their eyes are opened, and Jesus is revealed to them. They declared “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? The hope which once was lost was now revealed to them. Jesus was alive, just as it was foretold.
This story concludes with hope being proclaimed. Just as soon as they are made aware that Jesus was in their presence, they returned at once to Jerusalem. It did not matter that it was in the middle of the evening and they had just gone seven miles away from Jerusalem; the news about Jesus needed to be proclaimed. Then they told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. The men, who had lost hope in the promise of a Savior had this hope revealed to them, and they then went to proclaim it to others.
With the current state of events, it can be easy to lose hope. The ongoing spread of a virus, the difficult circumstances for people unable to work, the economic and emotional struggles, and the uncertainty of the pandemic has brought a weight upon us. On the other hand, there have been moments where hope has been revealed as people share creative and new perspectives surrounding how they are handling the current situations. Finally, there is the ongoing story of hope found within scripture – Jesus has been raised. The victory over death and darkness has been won. The power of sin and evil has been defeated.
It is this story of hope being revealed that God calls us to proclaim. No matter the earthly situations we face each day, the story of Jesus’ resurrection continues to hold true. This is good news, and as we proclaim this news, the hope that may have been lost can now be experienced once again. Whether we are trying to walk away from what is happening, or just holding out within our homes, Jesus finds a way to meet us where we are at, to reveal to us the power and the presence of who is in our lives, and to restore in us the hope of the resurrection.
Jesus Christ has Risen! Alleluia !!
Pastor Arlyn ><>