Resurrection Revealed

Image result for emmausWe hear Easter the same way year after year.  Early in the morning, the mourning women head to the tomb for the biggest suprise ever visited on human kind: Christ is arisen.   We forget where the day starts:  firmly held within the all too ordinary expectations of the grieving, terrified disciples.  Despite having spent the prior several years hearing Jesus' promises to be put to death and then rise again, they did not believe it.  They could not believe the one they thought to be the Messiah could ever be put to death as an enemy of the state.  He was the one who would take over the state and make it what it should have been all along; the just Kingdom of God.   But it turned out to be the  exact opposite. They never took the prospect all that seriously that life was possible because it was not what they were expecting of God, of God's Messiah.

So we come to Holy Week, and really, all the way to Easter Sunday without the expectation that anything was about to happen.  Indeed, it was precisely the opposite:  the impossible had happened and they were left baffeled and fearing that they were going to be next if the authorities caught up with them.  We who have read the whole story fail to appreciate that this lonely, sad walk to Emmaus is as much an Easter story, and in some ways more so, than the amazing happenings at the tomb just before.

Perhaps, though, it is a more realistic notion of our expectations of what SHOULD happen with our Lord who paid the ultimate price.  We want to believe there is something else, something next, but we are not always the confident, insistant believers we might like to be.  Might we allow ourselves the peace to sit in the darkness of our own vigil of disappointment, doubt, and fear that it might not be as true as we might wish, and to wait to encounter the risen Christ, even in the simplicity of the day-in-day-out ordinariness of the breaking of the bread?  How might we open ourselves to the suprise of Easter, happening still, as God's kingdom is built all around us?



Luke 24:13-35

On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.