Easter is not over, Part II
A stranger walked with two of the disciples (not any of the original 12, but two other followers—as all followers of Jesus are called disciples) on the way to a village called Emmaus. They told him all about the events of that weekend, of their hopes for the redemption of Israel. Surprisingly, this stranger taught them everything, going back even to Moses and the prophets, about how the Messiah would have to suffer before entering his glory.
Scripture: Luke 24:28-35 (NLT)
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.
It turned out the “stranger” had been Jesus the whole time. And how might they have known? Their hearts burned with passion and faith!
Have you ever had a heart-warming experience of God? This is often how God works in our lives, by the work of Holy Spirit. God touches us in some real and tangible way, deep in our souls, to confirm that God’s love for us is true and that we are his children.
Notice a couple of things about when and how this happened. The warming of their hearts happened on one of the worst days of their lives, they were grieving the loss of their teacher and friend. They thought their lives were over, and yet, their Messiah showed up when they needed him most.
And how did they recognize him? In the breaking of the bread! One of the places Jesus promises to meet us is at the Table. When we share the bread and wine, in grateful memory of what Jesus has done for us, there is a supernatural power in our midst: the real presence of Jesus Christ. In this way we can be near to him as we wait for his return in the Second Coming.
Take some time today to notice the ways Jesus has been present with you in recent days.
Emmanuel God, who in Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. Who has come near to us in life and ministry, and in the breaking of the bread; let us never take for granted your presence with us, but celebrate with heart and voice that you are with us now and always. We pray through Christ, our Lord. Amen.