by Pastor Larry Sorrells, Rockville, Trinity UMC
The afternoon of the first Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, His disciples were filled with gloom and despair. They have just learned that Jesus’ tomb had apparently suffered desecration and His body taken. Some women had reported Christ had risen from the dead. Yet, the disciples could not accept this. Luke 24 tells us that Cleopas and an unnamed disciple left Jerusalem for Emmaus, about a two-hour walk. They were sad, heartbroken, and walking in personal darkness.
Every one of us has walked on a road to Emmaus. Our route may have led to an unemployment line, a hospital, a courtroom, or a cemetery. We’ve all walked on a few journeys with our hopes and dreams crushed where life became sorrowful and seemingly hopeless.
Jesus came as a stranger to these two men. In their sorrow, they did not recognize Him. Jesus listened as they told him about the events surrounding the Crucifixion. When Jesus began to speak, He reminded them that the events that occurred had been foretold in the Law and the Prophets. Later that evening, as Jesus gave thanks for their meal and broke the bread, the travelers realized this stranger was Jesus.
Today, Jesus frequently sends us to be His representatives. We may serve as the strangers on someone else’s road to Emmaus. Sometimes, He sends others to us on our road to Emmaus. Whatever our role, the key is to pay attention. As followers of Christ, each one of us has the opportunity to represent Him. Pay attention to the strangers you meet. It may be that the Lord wants to use you to offer comfort and hope to those in need as they travel along their road to Emmaus. Blessings.