Luke 24:1-53 KJV –  Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them.  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:  And as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,  Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words,  And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.  It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles.  And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.  Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.  And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.  But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.  And he said unto them, What manner of communications [are] these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?  And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?  And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:  And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.  Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;  And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.  And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.  Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.  But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.  And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?  And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,  Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.  And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.  And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.  But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.  And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them [his] hands and [his] feet.  And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?  And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.  And he took [it], and did eat before them.  And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. I have a copy of the famous painting by Robert Zund in the “inner sanctum”. My mom bought it for me when she learned how special the account is to me. You can read the text (in purple) and see what happened so I don’t want to repeat the whole story but I do want to share some of the things that touch me about this account.
- Cleopas & his friend are travelling after the news that Mary told the disciples and then have heard Peter & John verify that Jesus was not in the tomb. These two men head to Emmaus. It is apparent from the Bible that they were perplexed & saddened. I think they were in shock; I mean consider the events that they have experienced first hand over the past four days. Wouldn’t you be in a daze? Part of me thinks they started walking and they were not even considering where they were headed, they just knew they had to clear their heads. It is also apparent that they were discussing and trying to figure out exactly what was going on that Jesus appeared on their path and started walking along with them.
- That when Jesus asked them what they were talking about & why were they sad. Cleopas is flabbergasted at the inquiry. How could this traveler not know?! It was not something done secretly but openly and loudly. Cleopas gives a great summary of the events and then Jesus (I always picture a smile) replies to them with the same flabbergastedness “How could YOU not know it was supposed to and needed to happen?!” Then Jesus beginning with Moses – meaning the Law and working his way through the Old Testament showed and proved to them why what happened did happen. I am sure these men were absolutely stunned because over and over in the Gospels there is reference to the people being blown away by how when Jesus expounded on the Scriptures how He spoke with such authority, confidence and wisdom. These two guys were being given a survey of the Old Testament by the Savior, Messiah, & Word. Think about it!
- We are told that they were not allowed to discern or recognize it was Jesus who was the traveler. I figure it happened for one or both reasons. One, that is because they would have been so busy worshipping they would not have provided the opportunity for Him to show them what the OT taught about Him. Two, these men were already shocked and perplexed and God didn’t want to add to the confusion. What He wanted to do was help them so He made sure that He would first have the time to answer all their questions then He would reveals Himself.
- That they recognized Him immediately when He prayed, when He spoke to the Father. They knew how He spoke to the Father and the words and the tone rang true. They had heard Jesus many times bless the breaking of bread for meal and here He does it again and I am certain He did it the same way He usually did. Then you get the verification once Jesus disappears! that again when He had been expounding they were struck by the way He taught.
One of the most powerful interpretations of the events on the road to Emmaus is the following song. Please do yourself a favor and spend the four minutes to listen to it.