Hope for Living: We are like the travelers to Emmaus

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We recently experienced the biggest day of celebration for Christians around the world. The event of the resurrection is what our faith hinges upon. The apostle Paul noted, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14 NASB).

If we really believe our faith is valid, we need to know why. This begs the question for us today: What do we do now that Jesus is alive?

In Luke 24, we read the story of two men on the road to Emmaus as they encounter the risen Christ. At the beginning of their journey they were contemplating life without Christ when all of a sudden, he shows up and begins to change everything … but they are blinded from seeing him.

In many ways as we begin this journey after the resurrection, we enter it blindly too — not sure of what we believe, full of doubts, fears and questions about life. These two were no different; they were confused, crushed, and even, according to Jesus, lacking faith.

Often we can be the same way on this journey of ours in our struggles, not fully aware of Jesus presence. Yet, in the midst of them, Jesus listens. He hears us in spite of us not knowing he’s there. I’ll admit, it’s hard to get a good perspective of ourselves when we are in the middle of hardships and difficult questions.

“As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther” (Luke 24:28).

Now this is the turning point in the story! At this point, they must decide to either let him go on his way or invite him in. We must do the same.

Jesus meets them right where they are and does something unique to open their eyes. He takes the role of host at the table in their own house and, as he breaks bread, their eyes are opened and they recognize him.

Luke uses the same language here that he did at the last supper. Jesus is recognized at the table. Faith is created around the table in community with others.

The answer to the question of what to do now is to stay plugged in with the body of Christ, the Church, even after Easter.

The two men were so excited that they made a beeline back to Jerusalem to tell everyone that shared the same experiences what happened.

Ultimately, we too learn to gather together in community, to bear one another’s burdens, and to GO and tell others how Jesus has revealed himself through our experiences now that our eyes are opened.

Lyle Parker is the pastor of Community Christian Church in New Palestine. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.