“Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:31).
Sunday 3:30 PM
On the Road to Emmaus
It had been a long, confusing day for Cleopas and his friend. It all started early in the morning with wild rumors about Jesus rising from the dead. They thought it might be true, but a moment’s reflection led to the inevitable conclusion. After all, they had been there at Golgotha on Friday afternoon. They saw his body being taken down from the cross.
Jesus was dead.
That much was clear.
His body looked awful.
It might be nice to hope for a resurrection, but not after what they had seen. No one could come back from what he had been through. But how do you explain that to the nice man who joined them on the road? He seemed to come out of nowhere.
It was Jesus, but they didn’t know it.
When he heard their mournful story, he called them “fools and slow of heart to believe.” But he wasn’t talking about what they had seen. He was talking about what the prophets had written in the Old Testament. That was the ultimate proof of the resurrection. Jesus had risen in fulfillment of promises made hundreds of years earlier.
God keeps his promises.
That’s the message of Easter.
After sharing a meal together, Jesus revealed his true identity the two men. Then suddenly he disappeared. Filled with joy, Cleopas and his friend hurried back to Jerusalem to spread the news:
Jesus has come back from the dead!
Death has been defeated!
Once you know Jesus is alive, you have certainty in your heart. He stays long enough for them to believe but no longer. There are times when we all say, “Lord Jesus, it would be wonderful if you would stay a while longer.” And the Lord answers back, “My child, I am with you even though you think I’m gone.”
We all live somewhere between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We are on the long Emmaus Road journey together. There are times when we feel alone and overwhelmed. Doubts creep in, our heart gives way, and we feel like we can’t go on. Then Jesus comes to us and says, “You are not alone. You were never alone. Even when you thought you were alone, I was with you every step of the way.”
Child of God, behold the risen Christ! You can never be alone again.
Every Easter we celebrate the great triple truth of this holy day:
The tomb is empty.
Jesus is alive.
We are not alone.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Father, we thank you for promises that death cannot destroy. Let faith rise to banish our fears. May those who doubt, doubt no more. Fill our hearts with Easter joy because Jesus lives today. Amen.
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