EVER WONDER WHAT JESUS SAID to those to men on the Road to Emmaus, after his resurrection?
Here are a few thoughts about that. They come from Complete Guide to the Bible, a book that has been around for several years, but remains my bestselling book.
Back-from-the-dead man walking
Two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus . . . . As they talked . . . Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them (Luke 24:13, 15 NLT).
As the other Gospels report, Jesus is buried before sunset on Friday. That marks the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath—24 hours of rest and worship. Jesus rises from the dead on Sunday morning. That’s when several women discover the empty tomb and report it to the 11 disciples—minus Judas, who has hanged himself.
That same day, in a story only Luke reports, two of Jesus followers who live in the neighboring village of Emmaus start walking home. Jesus meets them on the path. But for some reason they don’t recognize him.
Jesus asks what they’re talking about. They can’t believe his question. He’s obviously coming from Jerusalem. Yet he doesn’t seem to know what happened to the prophet that so many people thought was the messiah. So they tell him.
Jesus responds with a history lesson from all three major sections of the Jewish Bible: Law, Prophets, and Writings. He quotes predictions about how the messiah would suffer—predictions fulfilled by this crucifixion.
Perhaps he quotes some of these, which the disciples would later use in their sermons:
- The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among your fellow Israelites (Deuteronomy 18:15).
- Rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one (Psalm 2:2).
- Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him!” (Psalm 22:7-8).
- He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. . . . He was whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:5).
- He was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave (Isaiah 53:9).
- You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave (Psalm 16:10).
- My righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins (Isaiah 53:11).
- The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22).
When the three reach Emmaus, the two locals invite Jesus to spend the night. He agrees and joins them for a meal. Only at mealtime do the hosts suddenly recognize him, after he breaks a loaf of bread and blesses it. In that instant, he disappears.
With night approaching, the two rush back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about their mysterious encounter. But as the two are still talking, Jesus suddenly appears—to the horror of the disciples. They think he’s a ghost.
Jesus assures them it’s him, in the glorified flesh. He proves it by inviting them to touch him and by eating a piece of fish.
Forty days later, according to Luke’s sequel, Acts of the Apostles, Jesus leads the disciples to Bethany on the Mount of Olives. There, he rises into the sky, disappearing from sight.
This is the amazing story the disciples feel compelled to tell—or die trying.
To see a flip book of sample pages from this book click the link to Complete Guide to the Bible.
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