Following Christ’s crucifixion, two crestfallen disciples were making their way down the dusty road to Emmaus, some seven miles from Calvary. Their sun had set at midday. Jesus had been impaled on a Roman cross and was now in a tomb. All their bright promise of tomorrow had been turned into the tragic frustration of yesterday. The word “finished” had suddenly been inserted by the hand of fate into the middle of what had promised to be the greatest story ever told.
There is a poignant and bewildering regret in their sorrowing words, “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). Their dream had been shattered and their bright hope had been nailed to an ignominious cross. They were mourning not only the loss of a cherished companion but the loss of hope itself.
The text has a special message for those for whom someone, or something, precious has been snatched away. When we walk the road of loss or sorrow, there is One who will come and walk beside us and bring hope.
“He opened the Scriptures to us” was the joyous exclamation of the two Emmaus travelers. What an exposition that must have been! The Light of the World illuminating the Word! He whose luster radiated from its pages, revealed its sacred mysteries. Under the illumination of the divine Expositor they now saw the cross in the light of ancient prophecy, and that inglorious tree gleamed with a glory of which they had never dreamed.
Christ wants to open the Scriptures to us. He wants us to see new things in the old Book. When we walk life’s pathway with Christ the Bible becomes aglow with new meaning.
“Stay with us,” they petitioned, “for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over” (Luke 24:29). If they had not offered that prayer, Jesus would not have lingered with them. Think of what they would have missed!
The stupendous truth of the resurrection was vouchsafed to these two ordinary, nondescript disciples—Cleopas and, what’s his name, or her name? Jesus companioned with them until that seven miles of country road seemed as a golden path ending in a celestial city.
Still today, in our common ways of life, the Savior floods our prosaic paths with His peerless glory. The reality of the risen and reigning Lord on our road of life turns our Good Fridays into Easter Sundays!
Henry Gariepy, The War Cry