On The Road to Emmaus
My name is Cleopas. I came to Jerusalem about 50 days ago to take part in the various feasts and observances leading up to and including the Passover. However, I observed much more than I ever expected to, some of it quite sad and some downright hard to believe.
My friend and I are leaving Jerusalem today to head for home. We've just entered the main highway — affectionately referred to as "The Way" — and we're now passing a sign that reads, "EMMAUS - 60 furlongs." It will be about a four-hour walk, so we'll have plenty of time to talk about the events of the past few days.
After a short time, another man enters The Way and falls in beside us as we walk. He seems to be unaware of what has happened (probably doesn't read the newspaper) and actually asks why we seem so sad. We proceed to fill him in, describing how a prophet named Jesus of Nazareth was condemned to death and executed by crucifixion. We thought he was going to lead Israel back to prominence, but the chief priests and rulers who opposed him have ended that threat. There was talk about him actually coming back from the dead on the third day, which would be today, and some of his friends claim they went to his tomb this morning and found it empty.
That part seems a little farfetched to us.
About this time, the man interrupts our story and proceeds to berate us for relying more on the Jerusalem Daily News for our information than the scriptures. He seems to be quite well versed in the scriptures and tells us that the prophets foretold that Christ would suffer this way and then enter into glory. He goes all the way back to Moses and starts quoting various prophets who all talked about the coming of Christ. We're actually starting to feel better just listening to him as he makes a very strong case for this Jesus Christ being the Messiah.
The time flies, and before we know it, we've arrived at Emmaus. The stranger says he is going further, but since it's already late in the day, we convince him to have dinner with us and spend the night at my house. During dinner, the stranger does something unusual. He picks up a piece of bread, asks God's blessing upon it, and then breaks it in half, giving half to each of us.
At this moment, recognition sets in — the man who preached in the temple, the man who was arrested and beaten, the man who was crucified, the man who was placed in the tomb — this is Him! This is Jesus! Before we can even react to this sudden revelation, Jesus vanishes from our sight!
As my friend and I talk about what happened, we're thinking we should have known there was something different about this man.
"Didn't your heart burn while He was speaking to us?" I ask my friend.
"Well yes, but I thought it was the meat you were serving," he replies.
I tell him, "You realize what this means — we have to go back to Jerusalem and tell His Apostles about this."
"No, tonight — let's close up the house and get back on The Way."
When we get back to Jerusalem, it's quite late, but we find the 11 remaining Apostles together, and we quickly recount what happened — meeting Jesus on The Way and how He revealed Himself to us as He broke the bread.
He's alive! He has risen indeed!
Just as we finish the story, we look at the 11 Apostles and there are now 12 men there, and one of them seems to have a glow about him. The man with the glow turns toward us all, holds out his hands, which have holes driven through them, and begins to speak: "Peace be unto you..."
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.