One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the road to Emmaus. There are so many beautiful gleanings in this passage of Scripture and no insignificant details. One of the beautiful things about the word of God is that it is applicable for every day. So grab your Bibles, and let's dig into the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the loveliness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In Luke 24, we meet two disciples of Jesus walking back from Jerusalem (city of peace), discussing what has happened to Jesus. In this passage, we know Jesus has been crucified, and although He has risen, there is some skepticism, even a root of unbelief. We'll pause here because we are given the number two, an intimate gathering of the smallest plurality. I was reminded when Jesus sent the seventy-two and the twelve disciples out; He sent them out in pairs. It's important because something special happens when we come together and discuss Jesus.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18v20.
Back to the disciples, they are going to Emmaus, which in Hebrew means warm spring. Somehow, the name seems appropriate for what's about to happen to them (keep the name in mind). They were having a conversation, and Jesus drew near amid their confusion, despair, and discouragement. Beloved, Jesus does the same with us. When we are going through a difficult season, God is not afar off; instead, He meets us in the midst, offering hope and bringing salvation.
The disciples, much like most of Israel, had gotten off course. They saw Jesus as a means to an end, primarily the end of Roman occupation and control over them.
“But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened.”Luke 24v21.
As followers of Jesus, we sometimes forget the larger narrative, especially during periods of uncertainty and adversity. Jesus came to liberate them and us but from more than the circumstances of this life. He came to put an end to sin and death, justifying us righteously before God by His blood.
Somehow, this story seems appropriate for our world today. There is so much unrest as it was in the time of Jesus. I think we can all agree; the world doesn't need new legislation, politicians, propositions, products, medications, formulas, or religion. The world needs the Gospel; the world desperately needs Jesus. So how does true change happen? How do men's hearts get pricked, minds changed, and lives transformed? Jesus, Himself is going to show us.
What we notice is Jesus did not reveal Himself right away. Why? Indeed, He could have shown them His nail-pierced hands, which would have immediately ended their sadness, but He didn't. My pastor mentioned how it was more critical for them to see Jesus in the Scriptures because, in that way, we are all on the same ground. Consider John20v29:
“Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus shows us how to restore people and ourselves in the faith. I want us to see it is not only what Jesus says, but what He does. Jesus came alongside them, affectionately directing them in the Truth. Jesus didn't condemn or judge them; Instead, He bathed them with the word, sharing the Scriptures concerning Himself.
“It was necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things.” Then, He began“with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24v27.
We are emancipated from the preoccupation with self and situations of life, able to walk with Christ-confidence as we fix our eyes on Him.
As we continue to read further, we see as they walked, it became late, and Jesus was going on go further, “They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. Luke 24v28. There is another Scripture which says something very similar in Mark 6v48, “He saw them straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Very early in the morning he came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them.”
My heart tugged when I read this, and I don't want us to miss it. Jesus desires for us to enjoy Him. Please allow that to sink in. It's pretty amazing. The same God that spoke everything into existence; desires us to want Him. Jesus knows humanity has a deep longing that can only be satisfied by Him. Yet, He will not force Himself into our lives. He is a Gentleman. We must accept His invitation and allow Him entrance. We must come to a point where we hunger and thirst for Him.
“But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.” Luke 24v29.
Herein is the promise extended to all of humanity. When we accept Jesus' invitation of salvation, we are completely changed. He comes in and fills the hidden, broken, and empty spaces with Himself. As we abide in Him, experiencing His love, we see His beauty are changed from glory to glory, becoming instruments of righteousness, hope, and restoration for His Kingdom.
The culmination of this passage is the Lord’s Supper. As believers in Jesus, we receive Holy Communion, and we do so in remembrance of Him. The Holy Communion was given to us to sustain us, beloved. The Apostle Paul mentions the importance of this New Covenant meal in II Corinthians. And before we go on, we know this meal is important to the Lord because Paul was not present the night Jesus ate this meal with His disciples. Therefore, the Lord Himself shared the intimate details with Him.
When we receive the Communion, we are not appraising ourselves; instead, we appreciate the finished work of Jesus—discerning the bread ~ His body broken that we would walk in wholeness and the cup ~ His blood for the remission of sins. As we partake, we rejoice that we are made the righteousness of God in Him. I also want to point out; we are not taking communion; we are receiving communion. Although we prepare the elements, it is the Lord who has supplied this New Covenant meal.
There are many views on what opened the eyes of these disciples, and I am not here to debate it. However, may I submit the culmination of events, particularly the Communion.
The disciples were hearing all the things concerning Jesus, starting with Moses. Here are some to consider, “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.” Genesis 14v18. Exodus 12, where the Passover was instituted—moving forward to the time of Jesus where He fed the four and five thousand with the loaves and fishes. These few reveal the beauty of our Lord Jesus and bolsters faith in His love and plan for our lives. If you haven't read these scriptures recently, take a moment to do so. I was drawn to the wording in the miracles loaves and fishes, by the passage here in Luke 24. "He blessed, and then He broke it and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people."
“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew Him, and He vanished from their sight.” Luke 24v30-31.
Friends, the Passover Lamb, was reclining at the table with them, “He blessed it and broke it and gave it to them.” Reflecting on the passage makes it impossible to ever see the Holy Communion the same. I get chills each time I ponder it. As we receive communion, we are communing with our Lord Jesus. When we come to the word, it is our opportunity to experience Him. As we embrace every facet of His Person, His word radically transforms our lives.
I pray you've enjoyed our time in the word. May our eyes continue to be open to see Jesus in His fullness, and our hearts burn with love as we wait eagerly for His return.
“And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24v32