Sunday 26th April

Luke 24:13-35 On the road to Emmaus

For everyone of us there have been times when we find ourselves wrestling with doubts.

Staggering, shuddering questions unexpectedly thrust themselves upon us. They disturb our peace and can even threaten to undermine our faith completely. To make things worse these moments are often followed by a sense of guilt. There is a sense in which we feel wrong or even sinful to entertain such thoughts or doubts. All of this can result in a lonely struggle. Yet look to the scriptures and we discover that doubt is not as uncommon as we might imagine. Alongside all those glowing testimonies of faith there are several examples of faith being tested to the limit. Doubt may come to us all, however secure in faith we appear to be. All of this is not something to be ashamed of. God is able to take our questions and use them to lead us into a deeper understanding of his purpose and enrich our sense of his love.

When we get to that point on our road’s journey, we discover that doubt is not the opposite of faith, for many it is an essential part of the journey of discipleship. For many people this story of two disciples is strange, they are leaving Jerusalem in despair having been followers of Jesus they saw all the wonders he performed, how he amazed people with his deeds and his talk of God’s wisdom. He was their teacher, their Rabbi, they shared all these good things with him and THEN they saw him put to death, killed on a cross as a common criminal. Their world has dropped out from under them. Their hopes and dreams have been dashed on the rocks. Has Jesus disappointed them? He did not choose the way of war he chose another way, the way of the cross. Christians were called people of the way or more accurate people of the road, before we were called Christian’s.  And, this morning, along this particular road, we encounter these two disciples. I wonder what Emmaus meant to them? Perhaps they were going back home, heading back to their ordinary lives and somehow just get on with things. We see Jesus this morning encountering disciples on the road of life, we see the power of Easter at work. As they walk along Cleopas tells Jesus the story of Jesus, all the things that he said and did, filling them with amazing hope. In the end he was put to death by the authorities. This is the third day, the day that Jesus said he would rise, a group of women are saying they have seen the tomb empty, an angel told them that he was risen.

Cleopas and his friend are sharing their disappointment and despair with the Risen Christ himself on the third day, and they think Jesus has not yet risen. Eventually the disciples need to make a choice. Do they invite Jesus into their homes? They do and he goes. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him as he took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them; and he vanished from their sight. They finally realized it was Jesus and they embraced the reality of who Jesus was he was the Messiah the Risen Christ. The reality of the story of Emmaus, is that it is our story too. Each of us wants to encounter the Risen Christ, we want to know what difference the resurrection means to our lives, we want to know what Easter means for us. Only when we walk the road, when we follow in the way of Jesus, only then will we get it. We encounter the Divine, the Risen Christ and it changes us into courageous disciples. It is with that courage that we head out and share the Good News with others. Jesus the Christ is our mysterious Risen Lord.

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