Walking through an experience of resurrection
Editor’s note: As we continue into the third week of Easter, Providence Associate Charles Fisher walks us through an experience of Resurrection using the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35.
Luke 24:13–35 The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus
“we were hoping … ”
13, 14: a conversation
I live across the street from Collett Park and, recently there were many neighbors who were walking and conversing about what I don’t know. It usually happens with all of us, walking and conversing about many things, ideas, challenges, wonderings and current events.
In this reading, we encounter two disciples (I think a husband and wife couple) who were leaving Jerusalem in apparent disappointment and fear after the events of Jesus’ death and a rumor about an empty tomb. They knew that Jesus was a convicted criminal. Their conversation was about the stories. Someone they believed was a stranger was traveling with them. They talked about the hurt watching as Jesus was betrayed, his gruesome Roman crucifixion. And perhaps they were looking for something they had missed or were wanting the stranger to know their friend and leader.
15, 16: “but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.”
The life after death is different from the here and now. What about our seeing or sensing a Loved One after their death? Can we understand that the dead live but not in the same way as the here and now?
17, 18: “What are you discussing?” “Wait. WHAT?! You must be the only person in Jerusalem who’s not in touch with what’s been going on here!”
Did Jesus smile at that? Humans Plan. God Laughs. Jesus seems to be “baiting” the couple so He can interpret the meanings of what’s happened.
19, 20: “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene and how our rulers sentenced him to death and was crucified by the Romans.”
Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment. The victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. Brutality at its most gruesome.
21: “But we were hoping … ”
How many times have we said or thought this …
How I hoped that this would not happen and, yet it did. Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? I believe that we feel so like the two disciples, full of disappointed hopes which makes us angry and resentful. I try to get in touch with the disappointments of my heart and imagine Jesus walking with me as I struggle to regain hope and trust.
22: “The women astounded us. … [Guys this is true, and more times than not!] They saw a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.”
25: “Oh how foolish you are! How slow of heart … ”
Let’s imagine ourselves in this scenario in our everyday lives. When we’re hurting, confused, unsure of our beliefs and needing help, each Eucharist relives these moments from Luke, and it’s Jesus we recognize in the breaking of the bread. I pray to recognize that Jesus is at my side even when I am sure he is far away. I’m not directly aware of his presence, because he is walking at my own pace, waiting for me to open my heart to his words and the words of Scripture.
26, 27: (It is only in Luke’s Gospel that) Jesus said it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer. He began with Moses and referred to the Scriptures about a suffering Messiah.
28, 29: “Stay with us. … ”
As is typical to this day in the Middle East, hospitality is the paramount and right thing to do. These two invited this stranger to stay as it was getting late in the day. And they listened to him as he walked them through the Scriptures and they began to gain clarity. Then they began to see with new eyes in the breaking of the bread. They saw Jesus.
30 – 32: He took bread and their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. Our hearts were burning and the Scriptures were opened to us. Keep reading the Scriptures!
33 – 35: The two returned to Jerusalem (to add proof that Jesus is risen from the dead). And the others were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted their experiences.
What are your experiences of the Resurrection?