Resurrection Sunday is my favorite day of the year, far eclipsing even Christmas. There is something about waking up on Resurrection Day with a very vivid picture of the empty tomb in my mind, and knowing that almost 2,000 years ago, two women peaked inside to find only the grave clothes of Jesus left behind. Jesus was crucified and put in that tomb on Friday, but that tomb could not hold Him!
Can you imagine what it would have been like for the two women, and for the ragtag team of disciples who had followed Him for three years? One would expect tremendous jubilation and rejoicing following His resurrection, yet Scripture paints a different picture, at least for two of His disciples. They had heard the report of Jesus’ resurrection, but I’m not sure they quite got it!
Luke 24:1-27 records the account of discovering the empty tomb, and two disciples’ journey to Emmaus later that day as they left Jerusalem perhaps angry, sad, and confused. As they walked along the road, they reasoned with one another, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
Suddenly, Jesus appeared and asked, What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad? Not recognizing Him, one of them replied, Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened in these days?
Can you picture Jesus with a slight smirk asking, What things? Then, as they proceeded to tell Jesus about what happened to Jesus, I wonder if He snickered! (Yes, I believe Jesus had a sense of humor!)
But the reality was they had no faith that the Faithful One who told them He would die and rise again on the third day would actually pull it off! What was Jesus’ response in verses 25-27? Wow…they got a full “law and prophets” sermon, directly from the Risen Lord, expounding on things concerning Himself! In it, He made Himself known through the law and prophets!
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught what would supposedly be very familiar to Jewish people? Faithful Jews knew the law and the prophets inside out! They studied it thoroughly, yet it was only head knowledge. Jesus brought it down to heart level in teaching that the law was designed to illustrate the need for a Savior, and the prophets foretold the very event that now confused the disciples! Imagine if they had simply put their faith in God’s Word, rather than making the law and the prophets an academic exercise in understanding.
So, let’s jump into the shoes of those disciples and make it personal. Are churchgoers any different? How many times do we go to church and hear, but don’t “get it” because we lack faith in the One who is faithful? Then, at times, the Faithful One pushes it from our head to our heart through circumstances or special revelation. God’s faithfulness never ends!
Many miss the resurrection message, which the apostle Paul summed up this way: For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)
As faithful followers, we learn the application of the law and the prophets, and how He is revealed in them. The law leads us to trust in the Faithful One for salvation, while the prophets help us put our faith in God for what is expected in the future. It seems, at times, we are just like those disciples. Truth stares us in the face, yet we become doubtful and downcast rather than placing faith in the One who is faithful to guide and direct us.
Dear friends, let’s not allow the truth of the resurrection to become just a ho-hum moment. May God grant us all special wonder, not just on Resurrection Sunday, but throughout the year. If our trust is truly in the Risen Savior, we can boldly face what lies ahead.
Tomorrow we’ll begin a series on signs of the time. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus taught His disciples the law and the prophets. Understanding the prophets provides a roadmap for living in these days. So, pull up a chair and join us at our virtual study table! See you tomorrow!