It was the biggest trial of their lifetime. They had left EVERYTHING to follow Him; everything! They believed he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Now He was dead. All that for nothing!
Have you ever been in the middle of a shakedown in your life and wonder “What happened? Where did God go? Things seemed to be going in the right direction and now it is all so wrong.” If so, you have something in common with the disciples in the days that followed Jesus’ death.
But it wasn’t over; they just didn’t know it. In fact, their sorrow was so deep, they didn’t even recognize Him when He was right next to them. Mulling over the events of the weekend, I am sure they were just trying to figure out what in the world happened. When Someone drew near to them and asked “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”; they didn’t recogize him. If they had they would never have responded the way they did.
Were he alive today, Cleopas’s response might have sounded something like, “Are you out of your mind? Where have you been? You are like the only one who doesn’t know what has just happened!” and he proceeds to give Jesus (again, he didn’t recognize him) a recap of the all the calamity that went on in Jerusalem.
How often are we like Cleopas? How often are we so knee-deep in our own struggle that we fail to see that Comfort is all the time right next to us! When Jesus came near, He offered His loved ones three things:
“How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” Luke 24:25 NIV
Or in Lynn’s 21st Century version: “Come on! You mean after all I told you and all that was prophesied you still don’t get it?”
Sometimes, correction is exactly what we need! When I was in high school, my friends Kim and Brenda used to say, “I was just slapped up by Jesus!” Unfortunately, often we are so tangled up in our circumstances, we needed a little jolt to get us to look UP!
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” vs. 27
Jesus provided direction. He reminded them, “This is where we have been, this is where we are and this is where we are going.” Don’t you frequently need a little recap of all God has brought you through, how He is currently with you, and a reminder of His promises on what He says He WILL do?
“As they approached the village where they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 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. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and begain to give it to them.” vs. 28 – 30
He didn’t have to stay. There were probably other ways that He could have spent His time. I mean, He was just raised from the dead. It had been over 33 years since He had been in heaven; I’m sure He was excited about returning to perfection. But He saw that those He loved needed encouragement; they needed Him to stay for just a bit longer.
He is near to you today. Offering you His encouragement. Wanting you to know, “It is going to be alright. I know that things are not going as you planned, but I am still here. The Lord of all is still here.
Jesus, Please help us to recognize You as you are walking beside us. You offer us correction, direction and encouragement. Help us to see each and every part and grasp ahold of your gifts. Thank you for walking beside us on this road. It is so comforting to know, we are not alone. I love you so much. Amen