After the agony of crucifixion day, two of Jesus’ faithful followers had a long walk home. It is about seven miles from Golgotha to Emmaus, but they were light-years away from what they expected. Having seen the power of God made clear in the works and words of Christ, they believed that He was the Messiah, but they had watched Him be beaten, mocked, and mercilessly crowned with thorns before being nailed to a rough wooden cross to die. It’s possible they were witnesses as the darkness fell after His final words: “It is Finished.” They undoubtedly felt the earth shake and had heard of the torn veil in the temple. It was unsettling and overwhelming. How could they make sense of it?
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Certainly, He was no longer among the dead, He was risen. As they wrestled to make sense of all that had happened, Jesus appeared with them, but unknown to them. In all their pondering, I wonder if in their wildest dreams they could have predicted the interaction they were about to have, with the resurrected Son of God.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Jesus asked to be let into their conversation, He secretly addressed their despair. So many times during His earthly ministry He would instruct those who were healed to “tell no one” in order to accomplish all that the Father had for Him to do. On this occasion, He once again concealed His identity. It is symbolic of what He was about to reveal. All of the scripture speaks of Christ. He is the key to unlocking the meaning of the Old Testament. For the nation of Israel, that was a secret that the Gospel was about to reveal.
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Jesus was crucified during the most holy week of the Jewish calendar, Passover. Faithful Jewish families were following the instructions laid down by God through Moses. In each element, Christ was pictured, but He was not recognized. The details can be read in Exodus chapter 12.
It was to be the beginning of the year for them according to God, Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection. Because He lives, I can live, also.
They were to select a lamb without blemish. It was to be studied closely for any flaw. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was examined by His family and His followers during his life on Earth, and there was no fault ever found in Him.
The lambs were killed by the entire assembly at one time, just as the Jewish people gathered at His trial and shouted “Crucify” and then “Let his blood be upon us and our children.”
It wasn’t enough that the lamb was slain, the blood of the lamb had to be applied. Jesus died for all men, “it is not His will that any should perish,” but many will indeed perish. “Hell has enlarged itself” to receive them according to the scripture. That’s because the sacrifice He made must be accepted, the blood must be applied to our lives just as it was applied to the doorposts and lintels of the slave cottages of Egypt.
The lamb had to be roasted with fire, and it was served with bitter herbs. Both instructions prophesied the intense suffering Jesus would endure on the cross. Tribulation and grief. Mockery and humiliation. Truly difficult realities to swallow.
They made unleavened bread and cleansed their homes of all leaving, which pictured being cleansed from sin. Jesus Christ was the sinless bread of life. He was “tempted in every way as we are, and yet without sin.”
Interestingly, no leftovers were permitted to be kept. This was a holy event. All that was prepared had to be used up and taken in. If a family was small, they were to share resources with their neighbors. If anything remained, it was to be burned with fire for cleansing. In the same way, Christ left nothing undone. Every sin of all mankind, and for every man, was placed upon Christ. He suffered in our place, paying the entire cost to satisfy the debt we owed. Nothing remains to be done in order for us to receive salvation but to acknowledge our need and our great savior. Our lives are no longer our own, and we are entirely redeemed by the completed work of Christ. It is Finished!
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
They faltered to explain an empty grave. How could it be that a mortal man could walk out of a tomb after suffering on a despised Roman cross. Yet, not only the women had testified to the fact, but also disciples had found the tomb empty. Angels sent by God had proclaimed that He was alive. They believed that He would redeem Israel, and bring it back from gentile rule, but Christ had redeemed far more than that. This was the third day. Were there other threes in the scripture that told of what Christ would do?
The Ark of the Covenant contained three items. First, a jar of manna, or bread from Heaven. Manna pictures the body of Christ broken for us. Second, Aaron’s rod that budded; an old dead branch that brought forth flowers alive. The nation of Israel and the tribe of Judah are the dead rod, but Christ is the bringer of everlasting life. Third, the law, first written by the hand of God, rested in the ark, as well. Jesus is the word of God from the beginning.
Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish God created, and Jesus told His followers that that was a sign that He was the Son of God, and that He would be three days in the heart of the earth.
When Abraham met with the messengers of God, at first there appeared three men, and then later, they became only one. Jesus and the Father are one, and He was given the spirit without measure. Three in one.
There are many more threes in the Old Testament, and it is understood to be a number representing completion and wholeness, even perfection. Jesus, our Savior, completely fulfilled the will of His Father, He restored broken mankind to wholeness in their relationship with God, and He ascended to the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us. He traded His perfect life for our ruined ones giving us access to the wonders of Heaven.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Biblically speaking, a fool “has said in his heart there is no God.” For Jesus to call them fools was a severe rebuke. Although they would consider themselves to be religious men and believers in the Messiah, they were slow to believe, unwilling to believe, what the scriptures said that Messiah would do. Isaiah said that He would suffer, and Jeremiah described His rejection. Just like Joseph in prison, David in the desert, Elijah fleeing from the king, and the prophets ignored and killed for speaking the truth, the Messiah was rejected by His own so that He might fulfill the law and save the world.
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
He requested to be let into their discussion, and He would have allowed them to go on without Him, continuing in their own reasoning, and using their human logic to try and understand the things that had happened. Christ had to be invited to stay with them.
Unless we invite Christ into our lives, we continue on blindly. He allows us the freedom to make our choice. Do you want a closer walk with Christ? Are you weary from trying to figure out this life using your own limited knowledge and understanding? If so, invite Him in.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Again, it was in the breaking of the bread, much as He had done when He had fed the five thousand, much as had been done at their Passover meal, that they saw Him for who He was. The veil in the temple had been torn from top to bottom, revealing the Holy of Holies, where God met with the High Priest to roll back the sin of His people. The veil of mystery that separated their understanding of the Messiah had now been removed, and the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, had been revealed. Imagine having been in the presence of God himself and freely confessing to Him your lack of understanding and receiving instruction directly from Him and then realizing that it was Jesus who had made way for you to be let in on the mysteries of God. What a jaw-dropping experience. It is the experience you have when you surrender to Christ and become a born-again child of God.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!