He Has Risen Indeed!

Leah DiPascal

Day: 34 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 24:13-35

Luke 24:32 (NIV) They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’”

Have you ever been disappointed when things didn’t seem to turn out the way you’d planned? When all you’re hoping for fades into what feels like a lost cause. And that person you were counting on to fix everything, didn’t come through? That’s probably how the two disciples felt as they traveled together along the road to Emmaus.

They were busy talking about all that had happened in the past three days: Jesus’ unjustified arrest, the brutal beatings and crucifixion and new stories from a small group of women that seemed hard to believe. They knew Jesus and were counting on Him to redeem Israel (Luke 24:21a) but the situation now looked quite dim from their viewpoint. So dim that when the resurrected Christ approached these men and joined their conversation, they didn’t recognize Him.

I love how Jesus asked them questions for which He already knew the answers. (Luke 24:17, 19) Unfortunately for these disciples, their grief made them vulnerable to doubt and uncertainty, despite what had taken place that very morning.

They had already been told firsthand about the appearance of the angels, the empty tomb and the news that Jesus was alive. (Luke 24:23-24) So why were they alone and sadly traveling along a deserted road when they should have been in Jerusalem joyfully looking for Him? Their actions were good indications that the facts were being swallowed up by their sorrow as they tried to make sense of it all—instead of believing the truth that Jesus taught before His crucifixion.

With clouded faith they expressed how their hopes had been dashed and Jesus responded by saying: “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:25b-26)

Although Jesus scolded them, He also took time to fully explain what had been said about Him through Moses and the Old Testament prophets. (Luke 24:27) He could have just walked away in frustration. Instead, Jesus lingered there in love and mercy, wanting these men to come to a full realization of who was standing before them. Not just some prophet, but the risen Savior!

It wasn’t until that evening when Jesus had supper with them that the disciples realized it was Him. Did they notice the wounds (from the crucifixion nails) in Jesus’ hands when He broke the bread and gave thanks? Scripture doesn’t tell us, but it does say their eyes were opened, they recognized Jesus and He immediately disappeared from their sight. (Luke 24:31)

In an instant, doubt was gone. Uncertainty vanished. Hope renewed. And they returned to Jerusalem telling the other disciples the Lord had risen indeed!

As believers we have the everlasting love of Christ, the confirmation of the resurrection, the assurance of His nearness and the promise of eternal life. What more could we possibly ask for? There’s no doubt … we should be the most hope-filled people on earth!

Oh, that we would live each day with renewed hope as we open the Scriptures and hear God speak to us through His living Word. May we see evidence of Jesus working in the midst of our circumstances and celebrate His presence in our lives.

And when we fellowship with each other, let’s take time to remember and reflect on the significance of the cross and the empty tomb. Yes, He has risen indeed!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me and saving me through Jesus’ finished work on the cross. No matter what I’m facing in life and regardless of how difficult my circumstances may be, I have the hope and assurance that Jesus is alive and working on my behalf. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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