When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
On the first Easter evening, two of Jesus’ disciples were traveling to a town called Emmaus. They were sad because Jesus had been killed. Suddenly, the risen Jesus joined them. But they did not recognize him. As Jesus explained to them that everything that had happened was part of God’s plan, they felt increasingly hopeful. Maybe, just maybe, the women who had seen the empty tomb were right. Maybe Jesus really was alive.
Then they got to Emmaus and persuaded their traveling companion to stay with them for the evening. As they sat down to eat, Jesus took bread and broke it, just as he had done a few days earlier when he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. At that moment, the eyes of the two disciples were opened. They recognized Jesus. They could see for sure that Jesus was alive. Their hope that Jesus was the Messiah was restored!
It is highly unlikely that any of us in this life will have the privilege of recognizing Jesus as he sits across from us at the dinner table. In this life, we may not see the risen Jesus with our own eyes. But we have his words which show us how he fulfilled all of God’s plan for our salvation. We have the eyewitness testimony of these two disciples and so many others who did see the risen Jesus with their own eyes. Our hearts burn within us as we hear this testimony that Jesus is alive. And based on all that testimony, our hope is restored.
Lord Jesus, by your resurrection you have restored my hope. Help me always to trust in you. Amen.