The Day After

One of my very favorite passages from the Bible comes at the end of the book of Luke.

Two men are walking down the road discussing the crucifixion of their leader. Another joins them and asks what they’re talking about. They wonder at him not knowing.

But they don’t realize that He’s the only one who actually does know what really happened.

He talks to them about prophesy. When they reach Emmaus, he indicates that he will keep going.

It’s evening, they say. Stay with us. When he breaks the bread, they recognize him. Then he vanishes.

Did our hearts not burn within us? They ask themselves.

Often that’s where we stop reading. But what happens next?

Once they realize Christ was the one who talked with them, opened the scriptures (the prophecies he fulfilled) to them, and broke the bread, they don’t just go to sleep planning to react to their revelation the next morning.

They immediately return to the place they’d just left–Jerusalem. Walking, tired but exhilarated, filled with the adrenalin of realization, of fulfilled understanding.

Remember, it’s evening. Perhaps it’s even dark before they begin. They already walked and are walking again.

Imagine their arrival, very late, even in the middle of the night.

“Wake up! Let us in! We’ve been with Jesus! He has risen!”

The crucifixion had destroyed any hopes they had that Jesus would lead them in victory over Roman rule. They had been confused. They had lost all hope.

His resurrection brought a better kind of hope, a hope based in the true understanding of who Christ is–a God for life and eternity–not someone who came to get us off a hook of political oppression.

He came to free us from the consequences of being us. He came to give us this life and the next one.

We’ve come through an Easter unlike any other in our lifetimes, but it was probably an Easter not very different for many worshiping in hostile countries.

Like the men who traveled to Emmaus and then returned to Jerusalem in joy, our next step cannot be to go to sleep.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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24 Replies to “The Day After”

  1. I love this account of the disciples and their encounter with the risen Jesus on the road. I have always wondered, did He look so different that they didn’t recognize Him. Or were they distraught and distracted so much they missed it? Or did the risen Christ keep His identity veiled for a short time to have this incredible conversation. One of the things I would love to ask when I get to Heaven.

    1. It goes with the passage in the OT about entertaining angels unaware. Maybe it’s all of the above. Certainly, they weren’t expecting Christ. After all, he was dead, right? Thank you, Jeanne, God bless!

  2. I think, right now in history, God is using this pandemic to WAKE up his church! Now is most definitely NOT the time to sleep. Great message, Nance.

  3. I wonder too if they were so filled with grief, tired, distracted, preoccupied, confused that they just could focus on things and just missed who they were walking with. I think so often we can be the same and miss things, providential moments and people God has put in our path, because of our hurry, tiredness, busyness, or grief. And sometimes we don’t realize the significance of something that happened until later.

    1. So true, Anne. I’m glad He remembers that we are made of dust. But we must fight the tendency to just sleep our way through instead of engaging those around us. Thanks and God bless!

  4. I love this charge, Nancy! May we not be believers who simply go back to how things were, but may our knowledge of the resurrection and the hope we have in Jesus burn in our hearts and call us to action!

  5. I love love this post! All of it, but especially this, “His resurrection brought a better kind of hope, a hope based in the true understanding of who Christ is–a God for life and eternity–not someone who came to get us off a hook of political oppression.”

    We live for eternity, not for the here and now. Not that our present doesn’t matter, nor that God cannot give us life abundantly here, as well as beyond time, but our home, our hope is in Christ, He is our all in all.

    1. Thank you, Marcie. That’s important to remember. We need to remember that life isn’t about now. It’s about then. Remembering that helps us keep our priorities in order. God bless!

  6. Yes! Discipleship is a constant walk, a constant push to spread the Good News and expand our heavenly family.

  7. Nancy, your post ignites excitement in my soul! 🙂
    You have many good statements and I especially like this one: “He came to free us from the consequences of being us.”
    I enjoyed your post. Thanks!

  8. This is powerful and makes a great point. I love what you say here:

    “His resurrection brought a better kind of hope, a hope based in the true understanding of who Christ is–a God for life and eternity–not someone who came to get us off a hook of political oppression.”

  9. I pray to always keep that kind of excitement with my faith as I walk with Christ daily.

  10. What wonderful descriptions! This sentence is a charge to all of us: “Like the men who traveled to Emmaus and then returned to Jerusalem in joy, our next step cannot be to go to sleep.”

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