As a journalist, I can imagine the conversation with the two Emmaus-bound disciples as a post-resurrection interview carried by a major television network. What makes this account so unusual is that Jesus plays the role of the interviewer. Instead of the camera fading at the end of the interview, Jesus fades when the disciples discover his true nature.
What can we learn from this mysterious appearance?
“They didn’t recognize him because he was probably wearing raggedy clothes, and it didn’t look like Jesus,” says Cory, 9.
We shouldn’t expect God to meet our preconceived ideas of how he should appear. God isn’t confined to a Sunday morning church service or a trip to a foreign mission field. Jesus will appear whenever and wherever he chooses. If our hearts aren’t prepared, we’ll keep walking down the road of life without seeing him.
“They thought he was dead,” says Kendall, 7. “They didn’t know he was alive,” adds Adam, 10.
Although Jesus’ resurrection is the difference between Christianity and all other afterlife claims, many believers live as if Jesus remains in the tomb. The reality of this new life somehow gets lost amid bills to pay, errands to run and the business of everyday life.
How many Christians can assert the reality of the resurrection in the Apostle Paul’s life: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)?
Live by your life or the Lord’s resurrected life. Heaven’s invasion of this planet began with Jesus’ incarnation and continues with his indwelling presence in the life of every Christian. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, we can remain oblivious to spiritual reality as we journey, or we can take time to break bread with the Master and have our eyes opened.
“They did not know him because their brains were thinking of that awful thing that happened in Jerusalem,” says Trip, 8.
The Academy Award-winning movie “A Beautiful Mind” portrays the wonder and fragility of mathematical genius John Forbes Nash Jr. There’s a sense in which Nash’s story is our own. Our minds can be truly beautiful or deeply dark.
Only a renewed mind fixed on the resurrected Christ has the capacity for true resilience and beauty. God wants all Christians to experience a new world of grace, forgiveness and understanding beyond the dark grip of jealousy, bitterness, revenge and other mental sins that can drive us into depression and even insanity.
On the website for “A Beautiful Mind,” it says, “He saw the world in a way no one could have imagined.”
Wasn’t the problem of the disciples on the road to Emmaus a lack of seeing? They couldn’t imagine a world in which Jesus had broken the chains of death. Isn’t this our problem as well?
On Easter morning, we put on our finest clothes to celebrate his resurrection only to find that it’s the same old thing on Monday morning. We long for the reality of the new world promised by Jesus’ resurrection only to find ourselves swallowed up in the drudgery of the old world.
“They didn’t recognize him at first because their eyes weren’t opened. When Jesus broke the bread, then their eyes were opened,” says Mandy, 11.
Stop your journey today, and break the bread of fellowship with the resurrected Lord. Only then will your eyes be opened to the reality of his presence and the availability of his resurrection life. Just as he shared bread with those disciples, he longs to share his life with you today.
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING