Sunday, April 11, 2021

Posted on Apr 09 2021

Bible Background: Luke alone records this story of the 1st Easter afternoon. Emmaus is about 7 miles from Jerusalem. Two followers of Jesus (two men? a couple?) are getting out of town after an awful weekend of Roman crucifixions. It appears that the powers of evil and death have won!

Digging Deeper: 1. Imagine the mood at the start of this walk: discouraged, sad, angry? The two talk! (An important reminder of what to do when we are disappointed.) Jesus joins them! They don’t recognize him-how could they?

2. In v.18-19 Cleopas can’t understand how this stranger doesn’t seem to know what has just happened in Jerusalem. Jesus plays ‘dumb’: “What things?” Cleopas actually knows quite a bit! He summarizes the story of Jesus and of the last 3 days. But there’s an important piece missing. And something about the risen Jesus is unrecognizable at the moment.

3. In v. 26, Jesus chides these two a bit, and questions them about scripture, Moses, and the prophets. Again, this is a very different concept of who and what the Messiah would be and do.

4. Jesus is invited to “stay with us…because the day is almost over.” Then, there’s this beautiful scene at the table with breaking the bread and recognizing Jesus! And he vanishes that fast! There’s no tying the risen Jesus down to a place or a moment! How might showing hospitality to strangers reveal Jesus to us?

5. Now these two disciples-who were tired and sad-are invigorated and head back the same road to Jerusalem, even though it’s getting late. This good news cannot wait! They must share it now! When they get back to the Upper Room (?) and the 11 disciples, they discover more stories of Jesus appearing to disciples and surprising them! Then they share their experience!

6. One thing to note about encountering the risen Jesus, is that there is not just one story or one way. It’s not predictable! But it’s good to ponder “How do we encounter Jesus?” In the scriptures? In Holy Communion? In our daily lives? In the face of the stranger or the hungry person? If the risen Jesus is so surprising and unpredictable, maybe we’re to watch for him anywhere and everywhere! What for you is the most precious part of the resurrection accounts?