Maybe you haven’t been to church in a long time, and you base it on the fact that you feel as though God has let you down. Perhaps at an earlier time in your life, you had a dream that was shattered, and you’re disillusioned.
Or maybe you’re regularly involved in a church, but you’re feeling very discouraged right now.
Some of Jesus’ disciples also felt that way after the crucifixion. In their minds, the dream was over. Or so it seemed. After His cruel and brutal death on the cross, they were disappointed with God.
Their lives were burning with anticipation for the day when Christ would establish His kingdom. And then everything ended abruptly. Everything came to a screeching halt. Instead of the people crowning him as King of kings and Lord of lords, He was crowned with thorns and sent to a cross.
They probably hoped for some last-minute miracle, but there wasn’t one. They could clearly see that He was dead.
Then they heard that he had appeared to Mary Magdalene and that others had seen Him, but somehow it just went over their heads. So they decided to get out of there.
Have you ever faced a situation that was so hard, you said, “I just want to go. I want to put as much distance as possible between this problem and me.”
That’s what these disciples did. The Bible tells us there were two, and we have the name of one of them: Cleopas. Otherwise, we really don’t know much about them. They weren’t disciples we know by name, like Peter and John. They were just two people who were basically leaving town.
However, they weren’t waiting in Galilee as Jesus told His disciples to do. They were getting away from Jerusalem, away from the cross, and away from what they had just seen.
But then Jesus drew near to them on the road to Emmaus. Mark’s gospel gives us this detail: “After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country” (Mark 16:12 NKJV).
That would explain why they did not know it was Jesus when He joined them. He was in “another form.” Somehow He shrouded His identity so they wouldn’t recognize Him.
After He was resurrected, Jesus could have appeared to certain people like Caiaphas, the high priest: “Hey, Caiaphas! Remember me?” Or, He could have appeared to Herod. He could have appeared to Pilate. But Jesus didn’t appear to any of them. Instead He appeared to ordinary people like Mary Magdalene and to these two disciples who were leaving the area, who were getting away.
Let’s not forget that the last time they saw Jesus, most likely, was when He was on the cross. Isaiah prophesied that He would be so disfigured that you wouldn’t recognize He was a man.
They must have been really sad—so sad, in fact, that it was noticeable from a distance. And when Jesus walked up, He asked them about it.
Cleopas told him, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days” (Luke 24:18 NLT). And they went on to explain all the events that had just taken place.
In spite of everything they were saying, they weren’t catching the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead, much less that He was walking next to them, listening to them. They didn’t realize they were telling Jesus about Jesus.
So finally He said, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” (verses 25–26 NLT).
And then He “took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (verse 27 NLT).
These disciples had lost hope, and Jesus rebuked them for failing to act on what they already knew. So He did something to restore their hope: He took them to the Scriptures. What a study that must have been.
As a result, Jesus reignited their hope, because afterward they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 NLT).
Jesus made their hearts burn by reminding these two disciples of what they already knew. And He used the Scriptures to do it. This is significant, because we must realize that the Bible is never out of date. It is never irrelevant. It always has something to say to us. On that road to Emmaus, Jesus took them back to the Word of God and restored their hope.
Like these two disciples, a lot of people today have lost hope. Is your hope gone?
We need to know that when we’re going through trials or facing disappointments and heartaches and feel so completely alone, God is there with us. Jesus is there walking next to us as Christians.
He’s walking with us through our fiery furnaces, as He did with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He’s walking with us through our valleys, as He did with David. And He’s walking with us down our road of hopelessness as He did with these two disciples.
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Originally published at WND.com
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