As we celebrated on Easter morning, Jesus did not stay in the tomb but rose from the dead. After his resurrection, he appeared many times to individuals, small groups and to as many as 500 at once. He was alive in their midst as He talked, ate and shared himself with them confirming his life and assuring them of his victory over death. As we move along the road towards his ascension and return to heaven 40 days after his resurrection, we will come face to face with Jesus’ divinity and power over death. Join me on this journey as I look at each of the appearances over the next 40 days.
One of my favorite post-resurrection appearances is the encounter of the two on the Road to Emmaus. Overcome with grief because of Jesus’ death and disbelief over what the women said about seeing Him alive, these two followers of Christ were walking along the Emmaus Road discussing all these recent events and reports. Jesus joined them on their journey without disclosing his identity. As they walked they were surprised that he did not know about all the events that had just occurred in Jerusalem and told him their hope that Jesus had been the long awaited Messiah. “ Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27
Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there and listened to Jesus explain all about Himself? A little later in the story when they were sitting down to eat, Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread and began to give it to them. Right then, their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus. He then disappeared from their presence. Even though it was late they quickly returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about their encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.
Jesus came to these two when they were in grief, despair and confusion, and He cleared up their thinking, encouraged and enlivened them. Can you remember a time when Jesus came to you in prayer or through the actions or words of another believer to give you hope and encouragement? Jesus promises that He will be with us wherever we go. Just like these two, we need to look and recognize His presence with us and the hope that He brings.
I pray that my Lenten Blogs have brought you hope and encouragement these past 6 weeks. I have been mightily blessed by being with you and in the scriptures each day. I am still pondering the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and all the truths gleaned from Colossians. I pray you will bask in the hope of the empty tomb knowing He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed!