That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven milesfrom Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Luke 24:17
It’s Resurrection Sunday in this scene. But there are no Easter hats, no choirs belting out hallelujahs, no public proclamations of an empty tomb. There’s only confusion, sadness, despair. Their very eyes were kept from recognizing the one they longed to see the most.
Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some 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.” Luke 24:18-24
I love Cleopas’ tell-it-like-it-is response, “Are you the only visitor who does not know?” I can almost hear him say, “Man, have you been living under a rock the past week?”
In spite of the women’s news of an empty tomb earlier that morning, the two on the road still cannot fathom the miracle of Christ physically rising from the dead. They are still down-trodden, blinded by the circumstances at hand.
And Jesus, in turn, gives Cleopas a taste of his own tell-it-like-it-is medicine.
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24: 25-27
O foolish ones and slow of heart…
Things were certainly not what they seemed on the road to Emmaus. Little did they know, the grief, the anger, the shock, the despair would be transformed into thanksgiving and joy on that seven-mile hike. Little did they know, how God had orchestrated the bigger picture, and he had done so from the very beginning. Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?
Lord, help me to look beyond circumstances, beyond the things I see, beyond the things I think I can control to look upon you.
And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:33-35
Editor’s Note: The iris pictured above is out of Mama’s front yard. She’s got a pretty green thumb, if you ask me.