Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Bethany Bullet-Tuesday, April 8, 2008

“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.”
(Luke 24:15)
Sound familiar? Earlier that same day Mary experienced the same thing. She weeps when she discovers the body of Jesus is gone.

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.”
(John 20:14)

Why Jesus concealed his identity from them, why their minds were clouded and kept from recognizing him, I am not sure. One thing is certain; that these events happened are a blessing to us!

There are those who argue that the early church made up the story of the resurrection. They would contend that the disciples themselves wanted Jesus to be the redeemer so badly that they ‘imagined, or hallucinated’ their resurrection experience. However, in their disciples’ own accounts they didn’t even recognize Jesus when they first encountered him after the resurrection. They were not so eager to believe. They did not immediately perceive his presence. On the contrary they were brought to faith, over and against their Good Friday experience. Only one thing could do that and that was the historical fact of the bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And, it did!

It’s what happens next in Luke’s account that floors me.

As the pair walks back to Emmaus chatting about divine matters and world affairs, Jesus takes the occasion to converse with them.

  • How often have you wanted God to talk to you?
  • How often have you pleaded to hear the voice of God?

Here it is, their great chance, Jesus is with them and he starts the conversation. What does he say? Turn to Genesis 3. Flip to Psalm 110. Hey, look at Exodus 12. Check out Isaiah 52-53. When he goes to speak to them he reads, explains and interprets Scripture to them!

Should we expect in our pilgrimage that he would engage us in conversation any other way? This Christ encounter is the one through which all other encounters must be understood, from which all other encounters will flow and by which all other encounters need be judged. In the sublime, simplicity of the sentences of Scripture—God talks to us, Jesus himself engages us in conversation and we have a Christ encounter of the closest kind.


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