“We had hoped…” “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe”

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.” Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.  Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”  Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:13-32 NLT

Lord, thank you for coming to us in our blindness and walking alongside us. Thank you for recognizing our confusion and hopelessness and lack of unwavering faith, and reminding us of our foolishness in not trusting in you completely.  Remind us that it isn’t about a religion of measuring our sins or our works, but it. is about remembering your body broken for us in love and raised to new life as a testimony. Please, Lord, reignite that fire in our hearts of gratitude and dedication to your cause and purpose – fan the flame of love in our hearts so that we can see our hearts broken in love for others and raised to new life as a testimony of the power of this Good News that we carry to the world, “Christ is risen! Come, follow Him! Turn away from this world of sin and darkness that offers only wages of death. Know the healing touch of His grace.” Let our hearts and desires be changed so that our lives are walked out, not in burdensome compliance to religious rules and guidelines – but in grattitude for your revealing Godly wisdom that leads to life abundant and eternal,  walking in your will and purpose, living as a testimony through our faithful thoughts, deeds, actions,  and even words. And we are thankful for your grace, not so that we might use it as an excuse to sin, but that your strength, mercy,  and faithfulness would be evident to us even when we are humbled by our own falling short, becoming distracted, losing sight of the opportunities before us to walk closely with you in Spirit and in Truth, worshiping you not just on certain days or certain times, but continually in our lives. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you,  heavenly Father. Thank you,  Holy Spirit.  Thank you,  I AM, for coming to take over our lives and wreck this darkness with your light. Amen.

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