Apr. 17, 2012
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
As soon as the men recognized Jesus, he vanished. The stranger was gone. Cleopas and his friend are so excited, their excitement is uncontainable. They have to tell someone. The news is too great to keep just to themselves. But who are they to tell? Why the 11 disciples, of course! But where are they? Back in Jerusalem, seven miles away.
They throw their sandals back on and run back to Jerusalem. We can imagine the two-hour walk being turned into a one-hour run. The long, arduous walk to Emmaus now became a short sprint back to Jerusalem.
I have done some running in my life. I’m not a great runner. I just run. Some days, I’m excited to get up and run. Other days, quite honestly, it seems like a bad chore. I know that running helps change my attitude and get my mind cleared. In fact, it often is a great time for me to problem solve, process what has happened, think about is coming up. On the days when I can sort through something while running, the run seems to go a bit better. This is probably because I’ve taken time to hash through these things with my Lord.
Based on this theory, the retracing of their steps back to Jerusalem would have been so different. We can imagine them hashing over every little detail when they should have recognized Jesus but didn’t. It no longer matters that darkness surrounds them. The news simply cannot wait. They reach the 11 disciples, out of breath, excited to confirm JC is alive.
Here’s the point. Jesus’ resurrection didn’t change the circumstances of the first disciples. They still felt grief. They still felt let down. They didn’t understand everything. What changed was their perspective. After an encounter with the risen Christ, their perspective was completely different. Jesus’ resurrection took defeated and disillusioned disciples and filled them hope, joy and peace.
This is what Easter can do for us today. Jesus’ resurrection does not remove us from our present circumstances. It changes how we see them. We will face adversity, illness and tragedy. With God, the awful things of this world will never have the final word. Through JC’s resurrection, death is defeated.
As we begin each day, no matter what we will face, let us remember that we have great cause to throw our sandals and run into our days knowing the risen Savior journeys with us. He can change our perspective. There is no guarantee that everything will be just right. There is the guarantee that Jesus will be with us throughout the day.
Let us pray: Opened eyes, renewed convictions, journey back to scenes of pain; telling all that Christ is risen. Jesus is through us made known. Amen.
PS – I’m on vacation for the next several days and will be taking a break from the daily blog. Will be back next week!