Easter was only a few weeks ago, but the Easter story is one of the most important things we will ever hear. One of the stories around Easter is the road to Emmaus, found in Luke 24:13-35.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him…
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself…
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. (vv.13-16, 27, 30-31)
The Road to Emmaus by Carl Bloch
In a spiritual way we too can experience the Emmaus road:
1. They had lost someone dear
Not just grieving a death but they had lost their way in life. They no longer had Jesus with them to guide them.
A man and his daughter walked up Penyfan mountain. They started down by a different route when a thick mist came down, a common occurrence on Penyfan. It was easy to lose sight of other people and the path. They thought they knew where they were going but it soon became clear they were on the wrong path, which led around the mountain, not down. We can live lives like that, where we lose our way. Where we find ourselves in unexpected places. The man and his daughter met someone who gave them directions, and then the sun came out and burned off the mist so they could see the way.
We all need a clear sense of direction.
2. They had lost hope
But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. (v.21)
Their hope had been buried in the tomb with Jesus. They knew the messianic prophecies and had hoped Jesus was the one who would rescue them. With his death all hope was gone.
We all have hope in other things: abilities, possessions, money, human leaders. Sooner or later they let us down. We need a sure hope that will not fail.
3. A question of faith
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (vv.25-26)
How will you respond to Jesus? Jesus asks the question, ‘Who do you say I am?’
There is historical evidence for the historical Jesus. He really lived and died. But he wasn’t just a man, and his life and death have eternal consequences. Will you keep looking until you find the sure hope you’re looking for? Will you listen to the Easter story and believe it for yourself?
The present time is often spoiled by regrets from the past and worries about the future. Your unchangeable past and your inevitable future can only be changed by Jesus.
[adapted from a sermon by Pete Orphan at Pantygwydr Baptist Church)
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk