The last chapter in Luke is stirring when we visualize the events it describes. Let us imagine ourselves among the disciples or the women who came to the tomb and see the events come alive. The women were dedicated to Jesus right to the end, doing whatever they could, even though their ‘world’ had fallen apart. Can we say the same when our world falls apart?
Two were joined by a stranger as they walked the 10km to Emmaus. They were told they were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25) about the sufferings of the Messiah and how that “he would enter into his glory”. They completed their journey by evening and they “urged him strongly, saying ‘Stay with us” (verse 29).
The next verses are fascinating! And “when he was at table with them he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them, And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight”. What opened their eyes? He broke the bread with his hands and gave it to them with his hands! What hands!! As soon as recognition dawned, he vanished! Despite the lateness of the day they made the return journey in record time saying “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (verse 32).
What are our feelings as we read the scriptures? What motivates us to read them? Do we have a sense of urgency to understand and believe? There are a number of Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah’s coming and we can now see which applied to his first coming and which to his second. Do our hearts burn within us as we read them or are we “slow of heart to believe?” Could our belief be just academic – in our head but not in our heart?
The words of Luke 21 could have been written for you and me, “Stay awake at all times. Praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man”.