Two of the disciples full of sadness and feeling kind of lost on the “third day” since Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified-(for us Easter day- Resurrection Sunday) are walking to Emmaus.
This day they most likely woke up with saddened hearts, sorrowful over what they had seen …their hearts probably skipped a beat or two when the women came rushing into their house saying they saw angels at his tomb, saying the angels told them Jesus was not there, that he was alive…
but then when Peter and John inspected the tomb, came back and told them they didn’t see Jesus, but the tomb was empty…their hearts probably ached and fell a little more in disappointment.
Now, here they are, walking along a dusty 7-mile-long road and a stranger joins them in their walk…a curious, kind of nosey stranger, who butts into their conversation and asks them what they are talking about.
I love Cleopas’ answer, “Are you the only person in Jerusalem who doesn’t know what just happened???”
Jesus, (The Stranger), is apparently clueless, because he asks, “What things?”…and they tell him- oh, how they tell him.
They sigh, and tell him of Jesus The Prophet, who did miraculous things – and how much they had “HOPED” he would be the Messiah and save Israel.
They couldn’t keep the disappointment out of their voices, and even when they were told that Jesus lived – was resurrected that very morning, they didn’t quite believe it.
Because it didn’t fit into what their expectations were for a Messiah the overthrow of the Roman occupation, and the restoration of Israel to power and glory…
The problem was their expectations were too small for what God had in mind for the world. So they were blinded by their own small expectations, so blind they didn’t recognize the Truth even though he was walking right alongside of them.
The Stranger then launches into an explanation of God’s expectations in all the Scriptures, beginning with Moses and the Prophets…and for probably the next 6 miles they listened…
and then, sitting at dinner with them, The Stranger does a familiar thing…something the disciples had seen many times before at the table with Jesus…” he took the bread, blessed it and broke it and gave it to them”- and suddenly, their eyes were opened and they knew who The Stranger was.
Don’t we all have expectations for God? Our own wants, desires and needs go up in our prayers, and sometimes, (maybe most times) we are disappointed because God just didn’t do what we expected God to do.
Tonight, when in just a few minutes the bread will be lifted up, blessed, broken and given to us… let’s open our eyes and our hearts to Jesus’ plans and expectations for us…let us open our hearts to the presence and love of Jesus, right here, right now, in front of us, all around us- and trust in Him…
he will always walk along side of us for 7 miles or 7 million miles… on dirt roads, on busy street corners, in the shelter from the wind and rain… he never leaves us. He is there with us.