After my blog post a couple days ago, a friend messaged me and referenced Luke 24:32. It’s a verse within the road to Emmaus narrative, at the moment that Cleopas and his friend realise who this man who they’ve spent the last few hours walking, talking and eating together is…
They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’
As I reflected on this verse I was reminded that throughout life there will be times when things won’t make sense, but to journey on with the tensions and questions because in time, revelation will come, understanding will arrive.
Having that verse highlighted to me was also quite significant because a year ago I prepared a reflective monologue based on Luke 24:13-35 which was particularly significant to me in my journey at the time, having just completed the candidating process and being accepted as a student presbyter at the time.
On this Easter Day as we remember that Jesus rose from the grave, has the victory and is alive forever more. Centuries on we too journey from the tomb with tensions and questions just as those two did on the Road to Emmaus…
Journey from the Tomb
I’ve got such exciting news to tell you. I feel like I’m about to explode I’m so excited. We were so confused but now things finally make sense.
Let me start at the beginning. You must have all heard about what happened to Jesus in Jerusalem. He was arrested, put on trial and they crucified him. We’d been following him, we and the apostles, and Mary and the other women.
We all thought he was the Messiah, the promised prophet. But now he was dead. We all felt lost, heartbroken. Our hopes and dreams for what Jesus was going to do we’re shattered. We we’re worried what the authorities would do next. Would they come after us?
So Cleopas and I we’re heading back to Emmaus. It’s a long walk and we were talking about what had happened. A man we didn’t recognise came along beside us and we began talking to him. What we couldn’t understand is that he didn’t know what had happened to Jesus in Jerusalem.
So we began to tell him what had happened to Jesus. How he’d been arrested, beaten, humiliated and crucified, and how our friends had gone to the tomb this morning and his body was gone. They said they’d seen a vision of angels who told them Jesus was alive. We didn’t know what to think.
But this man we were talking to started to talk about the scriptures and what the prophets had said about the Messiah. He was talking about the scriptures in a way I’d never heard before. He went right back to Moses and the other prophets and we talk and talk about them.
The rest of the journey went so quick, it was no time at all until we got to Emmaus, so we urged the man to stay with us, it was almost night time anyway.
By talking to him things had started to make sense, though we we’re still struggling to get our heads around it all. So we sat having a meal together, we continued talking and then the stranger took the bread and broke it.
At that moment I don’t know what happened, but suddenly we realised something… this stranger was Jesus. How we didn’t see it before I don’t know! It was as if we had been kept from seeing him until that moment. But now it all makes sense, Jesus is alive! And all that’s happened is what the prophets wrote about. We we’re there with the risen Lord, but before we had chance to say anything to him he disappeared.
We could think of nothing else but telling the others so we raced back to tell our friends in Jerusalem. What a day! We forgot that the authorities could be after us, that fear had gone.
We told them how he’d appeared to us, how he talked to us about the prophets and the scriptures, how he’d broken the bread. That Jesus is alive. The Lord had also appeared to Simon.
And now I can tell you too! Jesus is alive!
We’ve met the risen Lord and now we’ve been transformed. What a journey. We’d lost hope, but now he’s alive and he’s given us hope again!
We were lost, we didn’t know where to turn, but Jesus found us.
We were feeling broken, but now Jesus has made us whole.
We were blind, but Jesus showed us the scriptures and what the prophets said, and now we can see the truth. When he broke the bread, we could see him.
We’d been fearful of what the authorities would do next, but after meeting the risen Lord those fears were gone.
We’ve had such an experience, we’d had a first hand experience of Jesus.
He really is ALIVE!
Image: © Dan Balsdon.
Rocky Path at Holyhead, Wales, Summer 2014
Journey from the tomb: © Dan Balsdon, 2016
A reflective monologue from one of the companions on the road to Emmaus, based on Luke 24:13-35