Summary: A look at the conversation with Jesus on the road to Emmaus
The Road to Emmaus
April 19, 2020
Well, last week we started with a little bit of a magic trick. Magic is fun, it creates an illusion that for some can drive us crazy as we try to determine how someone did it. I love learning about tricks and how they work. Today, I want to start out with an illusion. You’ve probably seen them before. Let me put them on the screen. And you can write what it is you see. There are 2 possibilities on both.
On the first one - do you see a young woman or an older woman. 5 seconds
On the 2nd one - do you see a duck or a rabbit. 5 seconds.
There are physiological reasons we see what we do, but that’s for another day.
In the scripture we’re going to look at today, there were two folks walking down the road, talking to Jesus, yet they didn’t recognize it was Jesus until later. How does that happen?
Well, let’s look at the story of the road to Emmaus. It can be found in Luke 24:13-35. I’m going to show you a video of what it kind of looked like on that road as two people met up with the resurrected Jesus. The video is not a word for word rendering, but gives you a picture of what was happening.
VIDEO - I used a LDS video because of the quality, cutting out the LDS info.
That’s a pretty accurate depiction of what happened. And I think a little better than me reading it to you.
For these 2 guys walking on the road to Emmaus, a little town about 7 miles from Jerusalem, all was lost. Jesus had died, and even though they say the women went to the tomb and it was empty and the angels spoke to them, and still others went and found it empty . . . they really didn’t seem to believe the stories.
Again, it was an illusion. It was a cruel magic trick. Maybe the Romans were the ones who took the body to mess with their hearts and minds. You know the odds . . . I’m not a gambling man, but it’s a pretty safe bet, that 1 out of every 1 person … dies. Everybody dies. And in our reality, they stay that way. That’s how it works, there’s no changing that.
These two guys are disciples of Jesus. They weren’t part of the 11, but they were followers, they were part of the group who were devoted to caring for Jesus and to believing that He was the One who would redeem Israel.
They were there. They witnessed the brutality of the cross. They saw all that happened to destroy His physical body . . . the beatings, the ridicule, the desertion, the cross, the spear thrust into His side. They were there.
They must have been in town that Sunday morning and heard the stories from the women. The bewilderment, the confusion about what happened to the body of Jesus. They weren’t buying it. They were saddened that Jesus died. They had no expectation of His return.
Luke tells us about the encounter with Jesus, when Jesus said to them -
17 “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.
They looked sad. They were lost, depressed, demoralized! Seriously, would we have been so different?
Remember, the dead don’t come back. Somebody took His body. The tomb is empty . . . and so are their hearts and spirits. Their minds are racing.
After they begin talking to Jesus they say one of the most disheartening things -
21 But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel.
We had hoped He was the one. . . . WOW! Have you ever been there in your walk with Jesus? Have you ever had that sense that I HAD HOPED . . .
I’m not talking to wishful thinking. I’m talking about true belief in expecting something to happen in our lives. You fervently prayed for something to happen and it didn’t. Maybe it was healing, maybe it was a job, maybe it was school, maybe it was for your marriage or kids, whatever it was . . . it didn’t go the way you hoped . . . and now your hope is gone.
These guys had hope. Their hope was in Jesus. But He’s dead and dead people don’t come back to life.
But here’s where we are different. Without Easter, where is our faith? What is our faith? It’s crazy, but we must have an Easter faith. We must not doubt it, even when the world is telling us we’re crazy.