As the Sabbath dawns, the women come to Christ’s tomb to prepare the body with spices. To their astonishment, the bolder that covered the tomb has been rolled away. They look inside and see that the Lord’s body is not there, and they are greatly perplexed. Two angels standing by in their shining garments ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’ ” (Luke 24:1-7). The women run to tell the others.
You know the story. We can only imagine what must have been going through the minds of the disciples. Yes, Jesus had told them what would transpire, but it is doubtful that they understood all the implications. No wonder they were hunkered down in the upper room in prayer, trying to figure out what to do next.
Luke goes on to record that two of them head back to the village of Emmaus, about a journey of seven miles from Jerusalem. They’re talking together about all the things that have happened. We can only imagine that they’re confused, disappointed, and discouraged. Have you ever found yourself in such a place in your journey of faith? I know I have.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a man joins them who they do not know. Actually, they do, but they don’t recognize Jesus because, well, He is out of “context,” to say it nicely. The Stranger asks them what they are talking about and why they are so sad. One of the two, Cleopas, can’t believe his ears. This man is totally out of the loop if he isn’t aware of the events of the last few days. The whole city is abuzz with the news of the latest crucifixion and the missing body. The stranger asks, “What things?” So Cleopas clues Him in, as if the Stranger didn’t know!
The Stranger responds, “ ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27). After having dinner together, the eyes of the two travelers are opened and they finally realize they have been with Jesus. Immediately, they return to the upper room to tell the others. And Jesus does a repeat performance for them all.
The Chronos Lesson: Notice that when the two disciples were feeling so low, Jesus showed up. But He didn’t reveal Himself to the disciples. To me that would have been the sensible thing to do to put them out of their misery. But instead of giving them a quick emotional fix by revealing that He is indeed alive and well, Jesus took the opportunity to give them something even better--how to take heed and take heart through the Word of God.
For the next few hours, Jesus methodically unveiled to the disciples the revelation of Himself throughout the Scriptures. All the while, He kept His true identity veiled. He knew He would no longer be present with them in the natural. He wanted to give them a way to take heed and fix their eyes on Him as seen in the Scriptures. Our eyes need to be on Him, and not the circumstances around us or even the outcome we think should happen. To understand the times, Jesus knew they needed to see the mystery-plan revealed in God’s Word.
This is the power of the revealed Word. After hearing what the Scriptures revealed, they were so unburdened of their confusion, disappointment, and discouragement that they got their second wind, turned around, and walked the seven miles back to Jerusalem to share the revelation with their fellow disciples!
When Jeff received the call of God to teach the Church about Christ’s return, he began his own sort of Emmaus Road journey that so far has lasted just over 40 years. Only this time it has been the Holy Spirit who has led Jeff through all the Scriptures concerning the things of the end. It was the Spirit who helped him put together the pieces of the prophetic puzzle scattered throughout God’s Word. It was the Spirit-inspired connections that enabled him to put together the various scenes of the whole puzzle, using what he calls the keys to understanding the times.
It is in this vein that we have been traveling through the Scriptures in this series, so that the eyes of our understanding can be enlightened. I hope you are enjoying your own Emmaus Road journey. 1/31/22