There’s a beautiful story in Luke 24, shortly after the resurrection account, of some disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. But they fail to recognize who He is.
Luke writes, “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (vv. 15-16 ESV).
All the while, these confused disciples talk about the hopelessness they feel concerning the death of their friend, Jesus. They recount His mighty deeds. They remember His gruesome death. And now, they doubt His resurrection.
Jesus says, “‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’” (vv. 25-26 ESV).
Then, He explains the Scriptures to them, showing how He is the culmination.
As they near Emmaus, the disciples still don’t recognize the risen Christ. Until, as Luke writes, “… their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (vv. 31-32 ESV).
Do you know this Christ who walked the road to Emmaus?
It’s easy for us to forget who Christ is now that the hype of Easter has subsided. But He is still alive. He is still victorious. And He is still worthy of our worship.
The disciples who accompany Christ to Emmaus return to Jerusalem and share the good news with the eleven. And as the eleven disciples gather, Jesus appears among them.
“And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have’” (v. 38 ESV).
After eating a piece of fish, He opens their minds to recognize the centrality of Christ in the Scriptures. Then, Luke records some of His last words before ascending:
“‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high’” (vv. 46-49 ESV).
Before long, Christ ascends to heaven (see Acts 1:6-11). And in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes to empower God’s people to live on mission.
So, where is Jesus today? He is sitting at the right hand of God’s throne, interceding for us.
As Paul writes, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who is interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34 ESV).
He is our Great High Priest as the author of Hebrews writes: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:14-16 ESV).
We may not walk with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, but we can draw near to Him today. The reality of Easter morning is still a reality. Christ is still risen. And we can know Him for real.
Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at www.isaiahpauley.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.