Summary: Let us look at an incident that occurred in the first week following His resurrection. The story of what happened when He walked with two of His followers on the road to the village of Emmaus. Then let us consider what can happen when we walk with Jesus.
When We Walk With Jesus
In his classic book of the same title, A. B. Simpson speaks of "The Christ of the Forty Days." There are two "forty" day experiences in the life of our Lord. The first forty day experience is seen at the beginning of his ministry and was a period of temptation. This period of testing ended in a great triumph over Satan. The second forty day experience follows the greatest triumph of all, the resurrection of a Living Saviour and is and of itself a period of further triumph.
Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts, speaks of this triumphant period with this words: "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:" (Acts 1:1-3)
Let us refresh our memories relative to some of the literal appearances of our living Savior during that forty day period. He appeared to the women as they departed from the tomb. (Matt 28:9) He appeared to ten of the disciples. Thomas was missing. (John 20:24) He later appeared to all eleven as they ate. (Mark 6:14) He appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. (John 21:1-2) He appeared to Cleopas and another man as they walked on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:15) He appeared to over 500 at one time. (1 Cor 15:6)
Today let us look at an incident that occurred in the first week following His resurrection. The story of what happened when He walked with two of His followers on the road to the village of Emmaus. Then let us consider what can happen when we walk with Jesus.
Visualize for a moment the scene of a bright Sunday afternoon as two men stroll along on their way home to their village. Can you imagine their confusion, mixed with excitement, as they consider the events of the past week or so? The triumphant entry of their Master into the city of Jerusalem. His last Passover meal with His followers and the institution of His Supper. His betrayal and His arrest in the garden and the fearful fleeing of His followers The terrible trials before Pilate and Herod. Peter's denial. We can be sure that the word of all this had gotten around to those who were in His first assembly. Then the terrible dark and earth shaking day of His crucifixion. Now they are hearing all these rumors about the resurrection. What are they supposed to think about these things?
Just at the moment they are in deep discussion about the possible meaning of all this, they become aware of a third person who has, from their viewpoint, evidently just overtaken and joined them on their walk. There seems to be nothing unusual about this. Evidently such casual meetings on a walk were common place. Apparently there was nothing in His manner or opening conversation that was special. That is until this stranger begins to join in their ongoing discussion. He then gradually begins to lead it and to explain the meaning of the scriptures.
We can draw some helpful general lessons from this dynamic encounter. First, we can conclude that Christ can join us and walk with us in all the walks of our life. Next, we can see that Christ may go unrecognized as He walks with us. It is possible we may not know or acknowledge His personal presence. We can also understand that if we want to really recognize Christ in our walk we can always do so by His Word. He is Logos, the Living Word. It would seem as well that the ultimate recognition of Christ relates to breaking bread with Him. In other words, through intimately fellowshipping with Him in His Word and in prayer. Last, we can conclude that close fellowship with Christ can be temporary and transient. That we are called to "...live by faith, not by sight." (II Cor. 5:7)
One more thing about this walk of about 12 kilometers. The Old Testament prophets all the way back to Job had spoken of the resurrection of the Redeemer. Jesus Himself had taught his followers about it as well. (See Matt. 12:39-41, 16:4, John 2:19-21, 12:23) These two were not alone in their confusion and perplexity. They were not the only ones filled with doubts and fears following the crucifixion. But it should be said that if they had only spiritually understood and believed the scriptures and the teaching of their Master they could have been walking down that road to their home with great certainty and joy in their heart. The joy and certainty that burned their hearts at the end of their encounter with the risen Saviour could have been theirs all along. How often do we let spiritual ignorance, doubt and fear rob us of potential blessings? Let us look now at what can happen, "When We Walk With Jesus."