Although the calendar says Resurrection Sunday has come and gone, for Believers, it's never over.
Because of Christ's Resurrection Power lived out in our daily, we continue gathering every Sunday to worship and celebrate together. Our Savior is alive! He is risen indeed! He's proving it everyday through those who believe.
Those who just show up for the calendar event must view Christ like a ground hog who only comes out of his "tomb" when spring arrives, and heads back into the shadows hiding until the calendar tells him it's time to come out again.
The once-a-year spectators are missing Jesus completely!
The Resurrection isn't about Christ hiding from people. It's all about LIFE being redeemed, the power to overcome sin, the sting of death, and the grave.
Our risen Savior, forever glorified, lives in and through those who believe.
My husband was continuing to teach on The Resurrected Christ's Appearance On the Road to Emmaus yesterday, and my mind immediately went into blog mode.
Jesus appears to two obscure followers on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. This is one of the most powerful encounters revealed in Scripture. The Apostle Luke introduces them to us, but we only learn one of their names. Our class concluded it was probably because these two represent all of us - the regular, ordinary, everyday Believer.
So, why are they on the road to Emmaus?
Christ is gone, crucified. They're at a loss, struggling with their grief, and when we meet them they're at a crossroad - a crisis of faith so to speak. Their hope of Jesus, the Messiah, ever becoming their earthly King of the Jews has been crushed, so they're torn. Is what they believed true, or was it all just hype?
The road to Emmaus was familiar and could lead them back.
Back to what they knew.
Back to the familiar.
Back to life as usual, void of the presence of Jesus.
With hope dwindling, and doubt increasing, Jesus shows up in the midst of their doubt, confusion and deep grief.
But they don't recognize Him.
Jesus chooses to engage them in conversation first, asking what they're talking about. He quizzes them about what has just taken place. Though they're amazed at how anyone could not know about the events of the past few days, they oblige and spill the whole story to Him.
Then, Jesus begins to scold 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?" (vs. 25-26)
So, for the next seven miles, Jesus gives them a tutorial about Himself written throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, and how they ALL point to His coming, His death, burial, and resurrection. He walks them through the book of Moses, the prophets and more, showing them where it's written all about what they've seen and heard.
After this, they still don't recognize Him, but they also don't want this stranger who's lifted their spirits to leave, so they invite Him to their home for supper.
While at the table, Christ, their stranger-guest, begins to break the bread and serve them.
(Does that seem odd to you, too?)
And it's in this breaking of the bread that their eyes are opened to recognize Who's presence they are in.
Do you see that? Christ reveals Himself to them in the breaking of the bread just as He taught the disciples on the night before He died how to "see" and remember Him:
as a broken and spilled out sacrifice.
For their sin, for our sin, for all sin.
He gave thanks and broke the bread...
In the home of these two obscure Believers, now as the Resurrected Christ, He demonstrated again what to do in remembrance of Him, and to see Him clearly.
He had already reminded them through their tutorial of how He had to broken and spilled out for them, buried and resurrected.
Today, we continue to give thanks and break the Bread together.
It's in the breaking open of The Word where we recognize the Savior. In the breaking we're reassured of the hope within us, and it's in the breaking that we know His holy presence is with us, and in us.
When the Word is opened, distractions dissipate and our eyes become fixed on Jesus. It's in the seeing and remembering of what all He's done that causes our hearts to burn within.
After Jesus vanished from their sight, they said to one another,"Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?" (v.32 paraphrased)
Then they quickly headed back to Jerusalem to tell the eleven disciples all that Christ had told them.
All of us who follow Christ have chosen the road back to the familiar at times, back to those places we deem safe and secure. We've also found ourselves in crises of faith. But all along "the road" of our faith journey, we have access to the Bread, the Word, to break open, to reveal Him clearly, and to ignite our hearts to burn within, affirming our faith.
- Is my heart burning because of what my eyes seen in the Scriptures by Holy Spirit in my personal and corporate study of the Word?
- Am I compelled to run and tell all that the Spirit has shown me in His Word?
Lord, forgive our unbelief. So many are in a crisis of faith, full of confusion, doubt and hopelessness. Many are on a road back to life as usual, ignoring Your presence and the power of the resurrection. We need You to show up on our "roads to Emmaus" in all of Your glory, teaching us and unveiling our eyes to see You through Your Word, Your Truth. Make our hearts burn within us as we abide in You, and help us to show up at the tables of others to break bread and radiate Your glory in love and grace, proving that "He is Risen, indeed!" ~Amen.