Meeting the Risen Lord

“Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures.” —Luke 24:32

THE death of Jesus had left his disciples dazed and perplexed. And now after three days, even though there was some evidence, it was difficult for them to grasp the reality of his resurrection.

In the afternoon, two of them were walking to the town of Emmaus discussing their great disappointment and how their hopes for Jesus’ kingdom had been dashed. The stranger who overtook them, hearing bits of this conversation, asked why they looked and talked so sadly. They were astonished that he did not know!

They told of Jesus, the Nazarene, a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and they explained to their fellow-traveler how the chief priests and rulers had delivered him up and crucified him. They explained how theirs was a double disappointment in that not only had they lost a good friend, but their hope that he was the Messiah, who would redeem Israel, had been crushed. They proceeded to tell him of the events of that very morning—that some of the women of their company had found the tomb empty and had seen angels, who said that he was alive.

When the man walking with them finally replied, they must have been taken aback. He said, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” He declared that it was necessary that Messiah must thus suffer in order to enter into his glory—that without such suffering, he could never be the king of glory with power to bless and restore.

Then he began to point out from the writings of Moses and all the prophets what God had foretold respecting Messiah’s experiences. He probably reminded them of how Isaac had been offered up by Abraham, explaining that Abraham typified the Heavenly Father and that Isaac typified Jesus, and that the offering, even though not fully carried out, represented the death of Jesus as it had taken place, the subsequent life of Isaac, representing the resurrection of Jesus to be with his father again.

He doubtless told them about the smitten rock from which gushed the waters—that the rock represented Christ who must be smitten in order to give the water of life to the dying world. He doubtless told them how Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and explained that the serpent represented sin, and he, in being crushed was made to take the place of the sinner, that the sinner might, through faith, be made righteous in God’s sight through the Redeemer’s sacrifice.

He doubtless explained to them the sacrifice of the Atonement Day, in which the bullock, which died, represented Jesus; and in which the high priest, who lived and who entered into the Most Holy and sprinkled the blood for the forgiveness of the people also represented him, who after resurrection would go to heaven itself, and offer up full sin-atonement on behalf of the world, and would come forth again at his second advent to bless those for whom he had died.

He doubtless explained to them respecting the passover lamb—that it too typified Jesus, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” We may assume that he proceeded to the Psalms, Isaiah, and the other prophetic passages relating to the suffering of Christ and to the glory that would follow.

When the travelers arrived in Emmaus, the stranger, after being urged, accepted their hospitality. The disciples were astounded and were loath to part company from one who was so knowledgeable.

And so it was that when they sat down to supper, their guest assumed something of the manner of Jesus, and the way in which he asked a blessing upon the food evidently reminded them of Jesus. Their eyes of understanding began to open. Immediately they realized that no one but their own Master could have given them the lessons just enjoyed on the journey. Having fulfilled his purpose, he immediately vanished out of their sight.

As their joy was too great to permit them to sleep they hastened to carry the good news to the other disciples. No wonder they declared that their hearts had burned within them while he opened to them the Scriptures. Their Lord was indeed alive!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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