After his resurrection Jesus began to appear to his followers. It was necessary for I’m to do this to prove to them all the things he had told them. He spoke to them many times of the resurrection, but they still could not grasp it and did not believe until they saw him with their own eyes. Here in this section of the scripture we see how he spoke to two of his disciples as they travelled on the road to Emmaus and eventually their eyes were opened to see the truth, both of Jesus return and the truth of why he died and was resurrected.
The Road to Emmaus
Two of Jesus disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus discussing all the events of the previous few days. As they walked Jesus drew near and asked them what they were discussing. The two men were amazed wondering how anyone could have been a recent visitor to Jerusalem and not know of the recent events and the death of Jesus.
They spoke to Jesus of how the chief priests and the rulers of the Jews delivered Jesus up, condemning him falsely to be put to death. How he died and suffered at their hands. And how they had thought Jesus may have been the one who was to redeem Israel.
We see that in spite of having walked with Jesus and listened to his words hey suffered doubt. The seeds of doubt were in their minds and they did not know what to do. They were afraid that perhaps this Jesus was not really the one and that they had been wasting their time for the previous few years.
But then they also told Jesus of the strange happenings when several of the women amongst the disciples went to the tomb. They found the tomb empty and were met by angels who declared the Lord was not there but that he had risen. These two disciples were much perplexed and in a quandary over all these things.
Jesus Responds to their Concerns
After hearing them out Jesus responded to their concerns. He did not yet reveal himself to them, but spoke to them of all these matters. In verse 25 he said, “Oh foolish men 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?”
So in the first instance we see that the Lord upbraids the men for their lack of faith. He tells them that they must believe the writings of the prophets and compare those to the life of Jesus so that they can understand the truth.
This is an important point, not just for them, but for us also. When we are in doubt our first point of reference needs to be, “What does the scripture say.” We need to take hold of the scripture and as much as possible study it and take hold of it so that we can rightly assess and judge any matters that come against us.
Jesus then continued on and showed these two disciples from the scriptures all the things that were written about him. He began in the books of Moses and continued through the prophets to show and instruct them from the scriptures, he truth concerning himself.
Jesus Reveals Himself
As they journeyed and evening began to fall, they came to a village and invited the Lord to stay with them, for they still had not recognised him as he hid his identity from them. So Jesus went in with them and as they sat down to eat, he broke the bread, blessed it and gave it to them. Then there eyes were opened as Jesus did this act, and Jesus vanished from their sight.
They were amazed for they now knew who they were talking to. In their excitement they arose that very hour and returned to Jerusalem during the evening and night, they found the eleven disciples and told them all that had occurred.
They specifically mentioned how the Lord had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. And here the eleven now had more witnesses to the resurrection of the Lord.
Lessons For Us Today
There are several things we can learn from the encounter of the disciples with the Lord on the road to Emmaus.
First we see that the Lord showed them all the things concerning himself from the scriptures. It is essential that we too study what the scriptures say so that we can know and understand the truth. Even the Father counselled the disciples at the transfiguration to, “Listen to him.” (Mathhew 17:5) So we should carefully listen to all that the Lord has to say to us in the bible.
Then we see also that Jesus counselled the disciples not to be faithless but to believe. They had the Lord standing right beside them teaching them though they did not know it at the time, and still they had doubts. There is an analogy in this for us. For we too have the Lord beside us teaching us too, so we too should listen and believe. And for us Jesus pronounces a blessing as he said in John 20:29, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Finally we see that Jesus tells the disciples plainly that all of these things had to happen. It was necessary that the Lord be put to death and suffer on our behalf so that we could receive the grace of God and be set free from sin. He had to die as the perfect sacrifice so that through baptism into his death we could enter into his death and be released from sin and the law. And when he was resurrected we too are lifted out of the waters of baptism to commence a new life in Christ as new creations, made by the graces and power and the hand of God.
(Picture sourced from www.ChristiansUnite.com)