Monday after the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Scripture: St. Luke 24:13-35 (NKJV)
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. 28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
As they began their journey to Emmaus, Jesus’ disciples viewed His crucifixion as a big mistake. They had believed in Jesus, but without understanding His purpose. They had put all their hope in Him as the One who would redeem Israel by a glorious conquest of their enemies, so they didn’t know what to do with His death. Even these faithful disciples stumbled over the cross.
The risen Lord Jesus raised them up, but He insisted on doing it through His Word, hiding Himself in the Scriptures, so that faith may ever be tied to hearing and not to seeing. As He walked them through the Old Testament, He unfolded the story of Redemption from sin, death, and the devil, a redemption to be made with the holy, precious blood of Christ. Only after suffering would the Christ “enter into His glory.” Only in that way could sinners be saved.
Let us not stumble over the cross, but let us rejoice in God’s ancient plan of redemption through the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Christ. Let us recognize and joyfully receive the body of the risen Christ in the greater breaking of bread: the Sacrament by which we proclaim His death until He comes.
We pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, Who revealed Your Son to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, enlighten our hearts also by Your Word and Spirit, that we may become strong and established in the faith, hold fast to Your Word, delight to speak of it, and diligently use it, so that although, according to the example of Christ, we must suffer much evil on Earth, we nevertheless may have and retain a sure comfort in Your Word, until, after this life, we shall be raised unto eternal life. Amen.