During Holy Week, I have been reflecting on the encounter between the Lord Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus just after the crucifixion and resurrection (Luke 24:13-35).
The two disciples in the story did not recognize Jesus when he first drew near to them. Perhaps they were mired in disappointment and heartbreak because the one in whom they had placed their hope had just died a criminal’s death. They had known Jesus as their leader, healer, and teacher; they had upended their lives to follow him. Jesus’ execution alongside common criminals would have been a shock to their worldview and expectations. Perhaps they felt jealous that the women got to see and speak with an angel at Jesus’ tomb, and wondered why they had not been chosen for those encounters.
But what did Jesus do in this story? Jesus listened to them. He heard them out—all of their questions—and he worked with their doubts as he explained about himself through Scripture. Even though their recognition of Jesus came slowly and gradually, Jesus was content to work through it with them. Jesus stayed and broke bread with them until their eyes were opened.
For many of us, this Lenten season has been one of unexpected turmoil, anxiety, and loss. The story of the road to Emmaus reminds us that Jesus is nearer to us than we realize. As the Lord Jesus meets us where we are, in the midst of our confusion and doubt, may he open our eyes to see our lives and circumstances as he sees them—full of God’s grace and mercy, full of opportunities to love and serve others, full of evidence of the power and victory of Christ’s resurrection over the darkness of this world.
Will you join me today, and all of us at International Ministries, in celebrating Jesus’ resurrection? Let us embrace together Christ’s Resurrection power and joy as we share stories about what God is doing in our lives and around the world. May our testimonies encourage one another toward hope and perseverance as we face the days to come in faith and in community.