Friday, March 23, 2018

On the Road…

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Have you ever wondered about the two guys on the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24? How could they be so close to Jesus and miss Resurrection Sunday? I mean, this is later that same day, as in, the women went to the tomb “early this morning” (verse 22). But here comes the doleful duo, faces so long they could eat corn out of a Coke bottle. They’re looking at the afterglow of the Mightiest Moment in History and seeing the headlight of an oncoming train.

You know the story. Neck-deep in their discussion about everything that had happened, who shows up? The text doesn’t say where He came from, but Jesus came up and walked along with them (verse 15). What did he say?

Shalom, fellas. Howzitgoin? Or maybe, You look like someone just offered you a pork dinner with a bacon chaser. How ’bout, Mind if I join you? I’m due at the Ascension in a coupla days. Whatever the initial greeting, Jesus asks, What are you discussing together as you walk along? Lowder translation: What’s up, guys?

Jaw unhinged in astonishment, Cleopas answers. Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and purported resurrection from the dead were all over Jerusalem. Emmaus was probably about seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. Not exactly an ocean away. These two men couldn’t believe that anyone in the area didn’t know about it! (After all, the crucifixion, Jesus’ death and burial were all in the last chapter. See Luke 23.)

But neither of these men recognizes Jesus. Where has this guy been? Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days? (verse 17)

Well yes, Jesus could have answered, “Now that you mention it, I am only a visitor to Jerusalem. I stopped there en route to paying the sin penalty for all mankind.”

But Jesus doesn’t say that. What He doesn’t say is significant. He doesn’t lecture, nag, or chide. He doesn’t wave a red flag or dispatch a bolt out of the blue. Jesus doesn’t even declare, “Fellas, it’s me!” He simply asks, “What things?” (verse 19)

The reply is interesting: About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people….

Curious verb choice, isn’t it? Was. Not is. Past tense. After all, these men had hoped that Jesus would redeem Israel, deliver her from under the heavy boot of Rome. But now it’s too late. Jesus is dead. Buried in that borrowed crypt. Sure, some women claimed they’d been to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty, but they were clearly a cup and a saucer short of a place setting.

What was Jesus thinking? Did he smile? Suppress a grin? Nope. He proclaims this teary twosome foolish and slow of heart to believe. (verse 25) Then he gives them a refresher course in Moses and the Prophets 101.

Incredibly, they still don’t get it. (Ah, the benefit of 2000/2000 hindsight!) As the trio approaches a village, Jesus acts as if he’s going further. They urge him to stay the night with them, which he does. Can you imagine their faces at the table later when Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, breaks it and gives it to them?

Hmmmm… this seems a little familiar….Haven’t we seen something like this before… Do you remember that afternoon in Bethsaida, with the loaves and the fishes….? Remember when Je….. Hey!!!!!

Do you recognize the risen Lord? Have you left the “big city” and set out for Emmaus? Keep walking. Keep looking. Remember you’re only a visitor on this earthly sod, and you never know whom you may meet on the road. Somewhere up ahead you’ll recline at a table. Bread will be broken and served by nail-scarred hands. Soon, perhaps in the twinkling of an eye, the dust of the day and the weariness of the walk will fall away and you’ll be a visitor no more. You’ll be Home.

Kristine Lowder makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Chris, and their four sons. She is the author of eleven books.

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