My Easter Prayer for You, “The Road to Emmaus”
By Peter Grasso
I pray that this reading will add a blessing to you and your family during this Easter celebration.
The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-34)
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Two of Jesus’ disciples were heading home to Emmaus (7 miles east of Jerusalem) with their tails between their legs, in shame and in defeat. Jesus has already been crucified three days ago. They witnessed first hand the miracles of Jesus and listened intently to his teachings of the law, of grace, and of mercy. They also witnessed his brutal death. They were now heading home, downcast, sad, and according to the Greek translation of “sad” [skuthropos], they were also very bitter and angry. Their hope of a victorious prophet that would liberate Israel from their captors was dashed to the ground. Furthermore, there was rumor that this prophet was resurrected by a few women, which only added to their confusion.
There are times in our lives when it appears that all hope is gone. The storms have increased. The burden is too heavy to handle. Morality and societal decay is all around us. The foundations of moral clarity have been so compromised that we are left with confusion, hopelessness, and without a hero.
It is during this time that the Lord draws near. Yet, for many of us, we cannot see Him in the midst of the troubles. We don’t understand why we where left as orphans – so we think.
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Notice how Jesus did not join in the pity party? Instead, He rebuked their unbelief. He called them “foolish”, “slow of heart to believe” in what was already predicted by the prophets before them. He then expounded to them the scriptures concerning him and the reason He had to go to the cross of Calvary.
The Gospel of John, Chapter-1 is one of my favorite chapters in the New Covenant teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The opening verses reads:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Then in verse 14, “The Word became flesh [Jesus] and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” [Emphasis Mine]
The Word of God is LIFE, LIGHT, GRACE, and TRUTH. Yet, these sad souls, like many within our nation today, do not understand the light nor do they draw to it. They are content in living spiritually defeated lives; they live in the darkness; refusing to turn to the light as they move further away from the source of light and in deeper in sin as they walk the road leading back to their old ways; the road to “Emmaus”.
Many within our nation do not comprehend the need for a savoir. Easter is a nice story to most but they don’t comprehend that they are in darkness and the resurrection of Jesus is the light they need in order to survive. Many do not even fear God, read his Word, pray, or fellowship with the creator of their soul. Jesus pursues those who are lost but sadly, as in verse 16, “their eyes were restrained [by the hardness of their heart], so that they did not know Him [see the light].” Jesus therefore had to explain why he had to be crucified for all humanity and for their sake.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
Jesus will pursue you but will never beg you into following him. He will pass on by if you choose not to invite Him to stay. He will not cast his pearls before the swine that are obstinate, prideful, or arrogant. Jesus “resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Yet, Jesus will stay if it is your sincere desire to fellowship with Him.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Once Jesus fed them the Word, the eyes of their understanding were open. They no longer needed his physical presence. For the WORD was GOD, and it now RESIDED WITHIN THEM.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
When the Spirit of God is revealed within your heart, you cannot continue down the same path any longer. You are transformed by His grace unto good works. 1 John 3:9 states:
9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
Therefore, the obstacles before you become opportunities to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. As with eagles, you are enabled by the Holy Spirit to set your face into the storm. By God's Righteousness you can rise above the storm by the promise of his Word and by the resurrection power that resides within you.
Dear Father God,
Thank you for giving us your precious son Jesus as atonement for our sins. Thank you for the transforming power of your Word; for the simplicity of its truth; and for your unfailing grace.
We are living in a time when many within this nation have lost hope, are sad, dejected, angry, and alone. Father, thank you for pursuing the lost and brokenhearted even when we continue to walk away from your moral precepts. Father, please open the eyes of our understanding so that we may see sin as through your eyes. I ask for this so that every one of us may truly value the saving grace of the blood sacrifice of your son who was nailed to the cross of Calvary.
Father, I beseech you to remove the pride within this nation that is obstinate and rebellious to your truth. Humble our hearts so we may receive and understand your truth. Restore your standards of morality within our nation – one street, one community, one city, one county, and one state at a time. Allow for the celebration of Easter not to be one of rabbits and chocolate eggs but one of intimacy and reverent reflection as we remember what your son Jesus did for us.
This I ask in His precious name. Amen.
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