As we move into April, many of us consider Easter over. We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus this past Sunday, enjoyed time with family and friends and put our best clothes back in the closet. But Easter is not over. It is a season that is celebrated for 50 days (until Pentecost Sunday). We continue this week in the Easter story as we pick up in verse 13 of Luke 24.
The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is one of my favorite stories. It has all the elements of a great narrative. We find mystery, surprise, risk and transformation. Having witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion, two followers are making a seven mile journey to a nearby town. Their world is shattered; they have no idea how they are going to recover from what they just witnessed. As they put it,
(Luke 24:21 NIV) but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
Now he is dead (at least that is what they think). As they walk along the road, Jesus appears to them incognito. He explains to them (from the Scriptures) God’s master plan.
(Luke 24:27 NIV) And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
With his identity still concealed, they invite him to remain with them for the night. He joins them only to disappear as he reveals himself. The followers then make a treacherous journey back to Jerusalem in the dark. Verse 32 sums up this encounter.
(Luke 24:32 NIV) 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?”
I am looking forward to digging into this story on Sunday. We will explore several interesting details that lie below the surface of the text. You might also make note that the children will be helping lead in worship on Sunday. They will be assisting in readings, serving communion, collecting the offering, and offering prayers. It will be a special Sunday.