On the first Easter morn, the disciples were all terrified as they were hearing mixed news about their leader whom the Roman officials had killed just a couple of days ago. A narrative unique to the gospel of Luke, lets us know about two followers of Christ who were traveling back to the nearby town of Emmaus. They probably came to the city of Jerusalem following Jesus to celebrate the Passover festival, but now having lost their leader, were returning back to their hometown. They would have had a lot of questions surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus especially given the rumors that were circulating about His resurrection which made them lose their hope.
but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.Luke 24:21
When we are shattered by our life situations, not understanding God’s plan, we often lose hope. If we take our road to Emmaus, not knowing God’s plan, our God is still by our side despite our unwillingness to understand His ways.
Love… “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Fake News Exposed
Jesus, as He told His disciples, on the third day resurrected from the dead. Hearing the news of Jesus’ resurrection, many false theories were spread among the public. One theory that had been floated around was that Jesus was never dead. He somehow survived the cross and the soldiers puncturing his body, and was alive when in the tomb. On the third day, he simply walked out of the tomb and met His disples around Jerusalem and Galilee. But, Joseph of Arimethea, who showed great courage when he retrieved the body of Jesus from the officials to give Him a proper burial, would be the first person to jump with joy if he found Jesus to be alive and would not have buried him at all.
Another explanation that is often given is that the people who witnessed the resurrected Jesus were hallucinating. However, given the varied accounts of different groups of people, it cannot be ascertained that all of them were hallucinating at the same time. Some have sighted the fact that the followers were not able to immediately recognize the resurrected Jesus, was pointing to the presence of a doppelganger, a lookalike posing as Jesus. However, this theory also does not hold weight as Jesus showed His wound to Thomas and His other disciples.
The version that the chief priest concocted and circulated was accusing the disciples of stealing the body of Jesus (Matthew 28: 11-15). On seeing the empty tomb, Mary Magedeline also thought the same, when she said that “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Even Peter and John believed Mary Magdalene’s version despite the truth that was revealed to them by Jesus. False news emerges in this manner and travels faster than a forest fire. With the number of soldiers at the tomb guarding the tomb, the story of stealing the body was proven fake.
Waves of Fake News
These false theories continue to survive in the minds of many even today that Jesus did not die for the people who are reluctant to confess their sins. Some do not understand that true worshipers worship God in truth and spirit and are not hallucinating. For people who did not receive Him in their hearts, Jesus is someone who resembles the pictures they see of Him. Many people admire and adore the empty tomb irrespective of the disbelief in the resurrection. People keep their faith at bay by holding on to the satisfaction they receive when visiting an ancient Cathedral or some empty tomb in Jerusalem.
The two disciples took their road to Emmaus on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, after hearing the multi-dimensions of breaking news in the absence of our present-day media. From this, we should understand that satan can use any means to divert us from following our Master. What is the latest ‘Breaking News’ that is distracting us from following Jesus? Is it the long-awaited answer to our prayers or an unexpected mishap? The widespread “Breaking News” has concealed the completion of the redemption plan. Whatever God spoke through His prophets and the teachings of Jesus to His disciples had no effect on that day, instead, the rumors disseminated by the miscreants dominated the people’s minds, and the disciples lost their peace of mind. Jesus shed His blood and redeemed us from this miry clay. If we are sure about our redemption, fear cannot chase us.
God of Hope
but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.Luke 24:21
Not knowing that they were talking to Jesus, the two disciples confessed their disbelief to Him. Many followers of Jesus went astray seeing the response of His closest disciples. Difficult times may either speak volumes about our faith in Jesus or expose the vacuum inside us. While our faith draws many towards Him, our disbelief drives people far from Jesus. He ignites the fire in the hearts of the people who have lost hope in Him because of the faithless disciples.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
In Hebrew, the name Emmaus means “Hot Spring.” The phrase “A spring of Emmaus” was commonly used in Greek to mean “A Spring of Salvation.” When Jesus explained the prophecies of Moses and others concerning Him, both the disciples felt the burning fire in their hearts. The fire of the Holy Spirit penetrated their hearts and renewed their minds and souls so that they could recognize Jesus when He broke the bread with thanksgiving. Holy Spirit helps us in recognizing Jesus and acknowledging Him as our personal Savior.
Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.Mark 16:12-13
Paul wrote to the Romans that faith comes from hearing the word of God. Indeed, reports of eyewitnesses did not fetch hope to the disciples. Only when Jesus speaks, His words start working in us. His twelve disciples saw Jesus in His physical form and failed to see the Spirit of His Father stationed in Him. In the absence of His physical appearance, His voice rejuvenated their faith. In what perspective are we seeing Jesus? Do we allow our failures and sorrows to overpower our faith or do we train our hearts to hear His voice amidst the prevailing turmoils?
A Road to Conviction
Assuming Jesus as a stranger, the two disciples confessed their state of mind without hiding anything from Him. A genuine confession set their hearts free, and the word of God strengthened them. Projecting our faith helps us see the glory of God. At the same time, revealing our disbelief to our Savior reminds us of His glorious promises. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus did not only convict them but led them to their ultimate convictions. A casual talk with Jesus ignited the hearts and minds of the disciples to reach the ultimate conviction that Jesus is alive.
Are we able to realize the fulfillment of His prophecies day after day in this world? If not, let us take the road to Emmaus to walk with Jesus. He is ever ready to walk and talk with us. If Jesus convicts us today, we will live for our convictions. Let His double-edged sword penetrate through our hearts and ignite the power of His words to start working in our lives.