Pastor Tim’s Devotional
The heavens fill with shades of red and pink as the brilliant light of Easter morning becomes the setting sun of the first day of the week. Two of Jesus’ disciples walk down a deserted country road. Gravity pulling them slowly along as they descend from the hill country of Jerusalem. Filled with a mix of wonder and doubt they do not notice the drama unfolding before them in the desert sky.
Suddenly they realize they are not alone. A stranger draws near to them and asks them what they have been discussing as they walk along. Standing still in the twilight they both stare at the stranger as if awakening from a dream. How could he not know? How could anyone in Jerusalem not know about the things that had taken place?
With soft, sad eyes, the disciple named Cleopas tells the stranger about Jesus of Nazareth. His heart overflowing with grief as he remembers his friend, crucified dead. The great prophet, mighty in word and deed, the hope of Israel, was condemned and handed over by the chief priests and religious leaders to die. Cleopas pauses to collect himself as the first faint star begins to shine in the night sky, he continues, telling the stranger of the reports of the empty tomb made by the women who spoke with angels that morning. Angels who told them Jesus was alive.
With hearts raw and hurting the two disciples listen as the stranger asks them, “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory? Is this not what Moses and the prophets foretold? Why are your hearts so slow to believe in what you seen and heard?”
As they walked along, the stranger opened the scriptures to them, and they found their hearts beginning to burn. Arriving in Emmaus, they invited the stranger to stay with them for the evening, inviting him in. As they gathered around the table their dinner guest became the host. As he took the bread, they noticed the scars on his hands, as he blessed it and broke it and gave it to them, they recognized the face of their savior and friend.
Jesus disappeared and the two disciples nourished by his presence began to praise God. Ascending the road to Jerusalem under the bright starlight of the night sky, they arrived to find the other disciples gathered together rejoicing, “The Lord has risen indeed!”
We find this treasured resurrection story in Luke’s Gospel. In its simple beauty the early church found a pattern of Christian life and worship. In Luke 24:13 we are told that Emmaus is a seven-mile journey from Jerusalem. One mile for each day of the week. On our weekly journey we too are joined by the risen Christ. As the disciples poured out their hearts to him, so do we pour out whatever is on our hearts to the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit opens the scriptures to us, we find comfort, our hearts strangely warmed. As we invite the risen Christ into our lives, our hearts burn with the desire to praise God, and so on the first day of the week, we gather with sisters and brothers around Christ’s blessed table, and proclaim with joy, that Jesus Christ, our friend and savior, is alive!
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
God Bless All of You!