By Grace G. Booth/Guest Columnist
The Picayune Item
Two disciples traveled the road to Emmaus so caught up in their disappointment and grief they didn’t recognize the Risen Savior walking along beside them. Jesus spoke and asked them about their conversation. Still, they knew Him not. The disciples began their commentary of how the One they thought would deliver Israel had come and done wondrous things but had been taken by the chief priests, condemned to death and crucified. Their hope had died along with Christ on the cross.
As they walked, the travelers continued to explain to Jesus about the women who went to the tomb and their incredible report that He was not there. Jesus’ body was missing! The two, no doubt, were questioning all of these reports surrounding the Prophet whom they had heard teach and seen do so many mighty deeds and speak such powerful prophetic words. Yet, they didn’t know Him! He was with them as they walked, but they didn’t recognize Him. They were so engulfed in their own bewilderment, rehearsing the tragic events ending His life.
When Jesus began to unfold the prophecies concerning His life and death, He chided them and called them, “O foolish ones, slow of heart…” He unfolded the Scriptures, starting with Moses and the prophets to show them that suffering had been part of God’s plan to bring His son into great glory. He led them through prophecies concerning Christ’s crucifixion, suffering and death.
Three days earlier a dramatic turning point had occurred but they remained in their grief unaware. Christ walked with them now and He reasoned with them. Still, they didn’t know Him. They remained in sorrow and disappointment oblivious that the pivotal point had marked Christ’s life and would affect theirs. Christ’s risen body stood by them and had been walking with them.
Only after the Christ sat at the table with them that evening breaking bread with them did their eyes open to see their risen Lord. After communion with Him they recognized Him and believed. Christ broke the bread, blessed it and gave it to them. The act of partaking of His blood and body brought them into the intimacy of knowing Him. Once their eyes opened, they couldn’t wait to tell the disciples back in Jerusalem. They related how the Christ had walked and talked with them along the road, but they had not known Him until the breaking of bread.
How often has our risen Lord desired for us to know Him, but we didn’t recognize that He was near. How many times have our circumstances confounded us causing us to miss Him as we stayed so focused on our grief. We didn’t realize how dramatically things had already changed. We remained fixed on our problem, so consumed by its impact, we missed looking for true resolution. In just three days, Christ had risen, had conquered death and provided a hope for man’s future beyond the grave. Still, at times we respond as though all hope is gone.
When troubles and trials surround, if only we would look up, beyond the sadness, the pain, the grief. If only we would look into the eyes of the Lord and remain quiet in communion with Him in the breaking of bread! Then, our eyes would see. They would see who He is and what He had done, to know Him as risen Lord and Savior. He bids us come. Come and taste of Him for He is good! He offers life beyond suffering and death. He offers eternal life with Him.
(Grace is a retired teacher, writer and gardener. She has been published in numerous periodicals and church magazines.)