We are going to look in this article about what Jesus did the day of His resurrection. Specifically, we will look at the road to Emmaus. Before we do so, let’s remember the events of that day. Jesus came out of the grave early in the morning on the third day. Some of the women who loved Jesus and had served Jesus had went to the tomb, and as they got there, they found that the stone was already rolled away. Jesus was no longer in the grave. That day, two masculine figures, angels in shining garments told these women, He is not here! He is risen. The scripture tells us that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some of the other women told these things to the apostles.
Peter, full of excitement, ran to the tomb looked inside and saw Jesus grave clothes neatly folded in the tomb. John went with him and he also looked inside and believed. Mary Magdalene must have followed and then stayed at the tomb lingering there, weeping, and she met a man she thought was the gardener. But it turned out that it was Jesus. He revealed himself to her and then she went also and told the disciples that Jesus was indeed alive.
The disciples were filled with joy. And yet there was still uncertainty. Some couldn’t believe it. Others wondered, How is this possible? Soon the rumors began to spread through Jerusalem. Jesus of Nazareth body was missing from the tomb. Had someone taken his body? Did the disciples steal his body? Was Jesus truly resurrected? Was Mary mistaken?
Jesus could have done a lot of things in the hours immediately after his resurrection. If we were to look at this from a simply natural point of view. He could have supernaturally appeared in the highest court of any land. He could have appeared in Rome to Caesar. He could have appeared to the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin. He could have appeared in the Temple and showed all the priesthood and Levites that He was indeed is who he said he was. But interestingly enough, Jesus spent, a great portion of his first day as the Resurrected King, simply walking down a road to Emmaus with two disciples. What is interesting is that we don’t know hardly anything about these two disciples. One had the name of Cleopas. It is the only time he is mentioned in scripture. The other, we don’t even know his or her name.
My question is why? Why would Jesus chose to spend his first day being resurrected, in his glorified body with two seemingly non important followers, walking down the road to Emmaus, a small little place?
Luke 24:13-34 “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was [e]seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you [f]walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [g]expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. 28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He [h]indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. 30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (what we have to understand is that sometime that day, Jesus had indeed appeared to Simon Peter.) 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was [i]known to them in the breaking of bread.”
How interesting that Jesus chose on that first day of being resurrected chose to walk with these two unknown disciples. I think I know the reason for that. Because you see, the truth is that Jesus was modeling for us what he would continue to do throughout the church age. You see all of us are on a road. We are all in a sense on that road to Emmaus. We are on the journey of life. And there are many of us, who while we have heard about Jesus, we need more to fully comprehend who He is. And that is the heart of Jesus. He wants to know you personally. He wants you to know him personally. Jesus has always been the one who came to seek people on their journey.
Jesus is a personal Jesus. As I said a moment ago, He could have appeared in powerful form in front of large gatherings of people. He could have shown the scars on his hands and feet, and the place where the sword had pierced his side to multitudes all at once. And the multitudes would have known, this is King Jesus, conqueror of death, hell, and the grave. But instead, Jesus chose to reveal himself in a personal way to two individuals walking down a road.
This leads us to some important facts about the Living Jesus.
- THE LIVING JESUS WANTS TO JOIN YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY
Now let’s think about this for a minute. Cleopas and his companion were traveling home. The road to Emmaus was a 7 mile journey. It was about a two and a half hour walk. And Jesus joined them. They were just walking down the road and Jesus overtook them. Luke 24:15-16 “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.”
Like anyone, these guys were talking about the events of the busy Passover week. Now, these two were followers of Jesus. They had association with the disciples. They had put their hope in him. But they had seen him crucified and they were very sad and upset about it. They did not understand it all. They were connected enough to the disciples that they had heard the testimony of the ladies that the angels said he was alive. But they did not yet believe it.
There are a lot of people like that today. Houston is full of people just exactly like that. They have heard of Jesus. They know that holiday called Easter. They know that this is the day that Jesus according to Christians came out of the grave, but yet they aren’t convinced of it. Yeah, grandma believed it and lived by it, but they have never made a real solid commitment to Jesus. Everyone has their own journey. Grandmother’s experience with Christ won’t get you into heaven. Listen, the heart of Jesus is to join them in their journey, that before the day is done, they will come to know that Jesus is alive and is there to help them. Jesus wants to join you on your journey.
Not only were they discussing the event of the week, but they had certain feelings. There are two other verses that show us the feeling that these two disciples had. Jesus himself noted that they were sad. Luke 24:17 “And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
On your journey of life, on your road to Emmaus, as you walk are you sad? Have you ever met someone and in just a moment or two of talking to them, you know, you perceive that they are sad? My there are so many things in life that can make us sad. We suffer loss. Family and friends die. At times, jobs are lost. Your dog dies. You have quarrels. Divorce touches your life. Your children get involved in things they shouldn’t. Or maybe it is abuse, addictions, pain touches your life. I want you to consider how many this morning got up and drank their coffee, sat out on the patio of their apartment with a heavy heart. Why? They are walking sad. Jesus, the Living Christ wants to join them on their journey.
And then, these two disciples were sad because their hopes had been dashed. They had placed their hope that Jesus would be the one who redeem Israel. Luke 24:21 “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” What they meant by that was that they were hoping that Jesus would become a political leader who would once again bring Israel into prominence and through off the shackles of Rome. What I want you to see, is that they were hoping. But know their hope was gone.
That phrase…we were hoping…speaks volumes. People still use that phrase.
We were hoping that our marriage would get better…but we are losing that hope.
We were hoping that our daughter would go on to college…but we are losing that hope.
We were hoping that the CT scan wouldn’t show what it did…but hope seems gone now.
We were hoping that our finances would be better.
We were hoping that our kids wouldn’t be rebellious.
We were hoping that she could overcome her addiction.
I was hoping for someone I could be with by now.
I was hoping to be further along in life.
I was hoping that this would be a job I would really enjoy. And on and on the list goes.
I have good news today. Hope does not have to die! Because there is one by the name of Jesus. He is alive today. He can walk into your life and he can bring Hope. His name is Hope. His name brings Hope. His presence brings Hope. And it is not just hope for this life. This life is but just a shadow, a vapor, a moment or two. Jesus brings hope for the next life. I can’t promise anyone that if Jesus joins you on the journey of life that there won’t be ups and downs. Every road has its difficulties. But the one thing I can promise is that he brings hope.
If you are reading this article, you don’t need to be sad anymore. You don’t need to have your head down. You don’t need to be stressed. You don’t need to worry. There is one by the name of Jesus. He is the healer. He is the provider. He is the way-maker. He is the chain breaker. If Jesus joins me on my journey, what will he do? Not only does the Living Jesus want to join you on your journey, and enter into the conversation you are having about your life but another fact about Jesus is
- THE LIVING JESUS WILL POINT YOU TO HIS WORD
These two disciples, Cleopas and the other had a lot of questions. On the road to Emmaus Jesus gave them answers. Can I just say that God is not put off by your questions. The church for too long has not listened to people enough to really hear the questions that they have. You may have questions this morning. Why is something a sin? Why of all the people in my circle of friends, did this happen to me?
And Cleopas and his companion had questions. They didn’t get it. They weren’t sure who Jesus was. They didn’t know why the Jewish leaders had him put to death. They didn’t understand that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was Jesus was all a part of God’s plan. There was a lot of things in the Old Testament that they needed to grasp. They needed the scriptures to be explained. And so what Jesus did Jesus do? Now understand, that at this point, they didn’t recognize Jesus. Here is what happened. Luke 24:27 “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
We don’t have a list of all the scriptures that Jesus used. But we can make the same study. He proved to them using the scriptures that he was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. If you want Jesus on your journey and you have questions about things. You are going to have to realize that all the information is right in your Bible. He is who he says He is! Moses pointed to Jesus. The prophets spoke of him. One author who studied prophecy claims that there are 355 prophecies that are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Over 100 prophecies, just in his life, death, burial, and resurrection. I don’t have time to explain all of that today. I can tell you that on the journey of life, He will point you to the Word.
One of the great men of our day is a man by the name of Lee Strobel. Many years ago now, his wife became a believer in Jesus. He did not want that. So, being an investigative reporter he decided to prove that Jesus was just a fake. So he began to investigate the bible, and the claim that Jesus had risen from the dead. Today, he is a strong believer, pastor, speaker! Why? Because its true!
And then another powerful fact is that
- THE LIVING JESUS IS WAITING TO BE INVITED IN.
Jesus wants to be invited into your life. I want you to know this about the Living Christ. He is King. He is God. He is Lord. All authority in heaven and earth is given to Him. He could demand that every person on earth, recognize Him for who He is and he could demand that everyone follow Him. But he doesn’t. Do you know why? He wants you to choose to follow him. Do you know what he does? He waits for you to invite Him in.
That is what happened to these to disciples. Luke 24:28-29 “Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He]indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.”
Jesus wanted them to invite Him in. He had walked seven miles on the road to Emmaus with them. He had explained countless scriptures in two and half hours. And now he waits for them to see what they will do. He could have continued further, leaving them to go to their place of residence alone, but he wanted to see, did they want him. And they said, Come on sir. Come into my house. Jesus is waiting for an invitation. He is waiting for you to open the door. Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” There is a famous painting of Jesus standing and knocking at the door. The thing about the painting that is impressive is that there is not a latch on the outside. You see the door has to be opened from the inside. He is waiting for you to open the door.
There are a lot of people who think, there is no way with everything that I have done. With all the sins I have committed. All the stuff I have been involved in. All the heartache I have been through that Jesus wants anything to do with them. They think that that Jesus wants nothing to do with them. And yet, all the time he is knocking. He just wants you to open the door and let him in. The whole reason why he went to the cross was to provide a way for you to come to Him. He took your sin and mine and the. Lord laid on Jesus all of our sins and iniquities. He became sin that we might become the righteousness of God.
God will forgive you because your sins have already been punished in the person of Jesus. No one is excluded from his grace because they have messed up too much. All you have to do is just open the door. Invite him in. The Living Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is saying. I am knocking, open the door.
And then another fact is that
- THE LIVING JESUS WANTS TO OPEN YOUR SPIRITUAL EYES
To put it another way, Jesus wants to reveal himself to You. I love the what happens next! Let’s look at what happened. Luke 24:30 “Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”
This actually is a very interesting verse. Let’s think this through. Wasn’t Jesus a guest in Cleopas’ house? Shouldn’t Cleopas have been the one taking the bread and serving it? But yet we see Jesus taking the bread. He takes on the role of leadership. When the Living Christ comes into a person’s life, he begins to lead. The guest becomes the host. And Jesus did something that he had done numerous times in the presence of many of his followers. He took bread, and broke and gave it to them.
Now there is a lot of speculation about this act. Could it have been that they had talked with the disciples who had been at the last supper, and this act of breaking of bread was fresh upon their mind, because they heard of what Jesus had done at the last supper. Or could it be possible that Cleopas and his companion had been there on one of the days when Jesus fed the multitude. Both of those days Jesus took bread, and broke it and blessed it. Did they see the feeding of the 5000? Did they see the feeding of the 4000? Or had they been with Jesus when he had done this before? Maybe they were part of the 70 and had spent time in his presence.
Others have speculated that as Jesus broke the bread that the disciples saw the nail prints in his hand. John tells us that Thomas had said, unless I see the nail prints in his hands and feet, I will not believe. And we know that Jesus appeared to them and Thomas was present. He said, here look, you can see for yourself. I am who I say I am. The nail prints are still there. So maybe it was the fact that they saw the nail prints in his hand.
I don’t know about you. But one day we will see the Living Jesus face to face. He will still have those scars on his hands. I for one want to say thank you!
But whatever it was. The scripture tells us that something happened. Luke 24:30 “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.” Their eyes were opened. Was it the scars? Was it the way he broke the bread? Was it the revelation of the Holy Spirit to their hearts? I don’t know! All I know is that their eyes were opened.
The bible says that the enemy of our souls has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. 2 Cor 4:4 “whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Today if you are here and you don’t know Jesus. He wants to open your spiritual eyes. And how crazy that day must have been for them. Boom, in an instant. Jesus disappears. The one who had spent, at least three hours with them, maybe more, instantaneously disappears. All of the realization of the resurrection hit them with full force.
- If Jesus is alive, there’s no time to waste.
- If Jesus is alive, everything we believe is true.
- If Jesus is alive, then death has been defeated.
- If Jesus is alive, then heaven is more than a dream.
- If Jesus is alive, then our sins are really forgiven.
- If Jesus is alive, then all his promises are true.
- If Jesus is alive, then we can never truly be alone again.
There is a powerful lesson in here for you and for me. Sometimes an explanation of the scriptures is not as powerful as experiencing his power and grace for yourself. Don’t get me wrong. When I read the word, like those disciples, my heart burns within me. But when I think of the moments when I have had fellowship with him. That is when my eyes are opened, and I know he is real.
On your road to Emmaus, I want for you to experience Jesus love, grace and power for yourself!
Will you invite Him in today?