And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Easter, what a miraculous time! “He is risen,” we say with gusto. The truth of the resurrected Christ the defeat of death and the grave; the joy in a room of believers and the movement of the spirit among them is palpable. But, what if it isn’t? What if you simply don’t feel like celebrating? This is not only a reality for the unbeliever but for the believer as well. What do you do when Easter does not feel like Easter?
Discouragement is real for Christians. The misconception that once we have accepted Jesus as the Lord of our lives, everything is peachy is not only wrong but infuriating. Have you ever had a non believer say, “I’m sorry that this bad thing has happened to you, but you believe in Jesus right?” The answer that runs through my head is yes I do and thank God for that but it doesn’t make whatever it is hurt any less. Ther other situation happens in the company of believers. They have come to lend support and inevitably someone comes to you and quotes Romans 8:28.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
In past writings I have called this verse a verse for Christians only. This verse can only be shared among believers because, only those with a relationship with Jesus Christ understand the truth, power, and peace of the fact that God is in charge. We do however need to watch ourselves; leaning on the spirit for discernment as to what to share and when. For example, Romans 8:28 may not be the right thing to say at a funeral for a child who died suddenly. While it is still the truth of God’s sovereignty, timing is everything. So, lean on the spirit for guidance.
But I digress. The question is what do you do when the person trapped under under the wet blanket of despair, loneliness, self doubt, and all the rest of it is you? I had a brother tell me last week that he hadn’t felt the presence of Jesus in his life for a long time. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have and I know the early church did as well.
We tend to read the account of the resurrection as the climax to a great story. First and foremost, it is not a story. The resurrection of Jesus Christ to sit at the right hand of the Father happened. It is a true and verifiable event. Second, and perhaps most important, we must remember that the first Easter Sunday was dark and full of despair. Early Christians had just lost their leader, their best friend, their teacher. The worst part for them, was that they had run away, all of them, for fear of their lives. So, on that first Easter morning, the followers of Jesus were scattered, scared, and sorrowful. Easter wasn’t Easter for them at all. That is of course until it was.
The Road to Emmaus is my favorite of the resurrection accounts because it shows our Lord as ever present. it also gives us a picture of what being saved looks like. Scripture tells us that Jesus had many disciples. The twelve were those that were closest to Him, but there were others.
Cleopas, and his friend, both disciples of Jesus, were traveling on Sunday to Emmaus and they were downtrodden to say the least. Scriptures tell us that they were discussing the Crucifixion of Jesus as they walked as well as the realization that it was in fact the third day since that dark Friday afternoon (vv 19-24). I imagine these two kicking rocks as they walked along; heads down, shoulders slumped – hopeless.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you received a call from the doctor that you weren’t expecting, or or a lay off notice. Whatever it might be, it is safe to say that we have all had times in our lives when we have had our heads down kicking rocks. So, what do we do?
The first thing is to remember that God communicates with us through his word. The bible is the way that we draw close to our Father in heaven. On the road to Emmaus, these two disciples were joined by a man who unbeknownst to them was Jesus. Jesus met these two at their lowest moment and while walking with them, He opened the word to them.
That had to be the greatest bible study in history! What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall for that. A bible study given by Jesus, about Jesus from the beginning, Wow! And yet, it occurs to me that as believers we have access to exactly that. Every time we open the bible, we are given a bible study by God, pointed at salvation, through Jesus Christ, from the beginning.
The second thing to remember is we are given a direct line to God through prayer. We don’t need an intermediary. We can come straight to the throne room of God whenever we would like. Through prayer we abide with Jesus, we invite Him in.
The moment the disciples invited Jesus in, things began to change. When He broke bread with them there eyes were opened and they knew the savior was alive (vv 30-31).
Prayer is such a powerful thing. Both believers and nonbelievers can draw close to Jesus through prayer. Through Jesus our sorrows are eased. Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
Are you hurting today? If so, you are in my prayers. If you are a believer stay close to the Lord, lean on him and trust his promises. If you are not a believer and you find yourself reading this, know that there is a God in Heaven that loves you so much that he sent His only son to die and be raised up so you could have eternal life (John 3:16).
Jesus says in scripture, “My peace I leave with you” (Johb 14:27). If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior you have that peace through Him. If you have not then today is the day. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, admit that you have sinned and need His forgiveness and you can experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Until the Whole World Hears,