In the Gospel of Luke we are given a glimpse into an intimate event that happened after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are introduced by Dr. Luke to a person by the name of Cleopas, and his companion (probably his wife) as they were walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. a distance of approximately 12 – 14 kms. They were in sorrow and perplexed over the events they had witnessed in Jerusalem over the past few days. They we are told that a stranger who is none other that the risen Lord, joins them and starts to explain the Scriptures to them. As we read Chapter 24 of Luke, we see the word “open” mentioned a few times, let’s look at three of them…
- Opened Tomb.
Vs. 22-24 “In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see”.
The Open Tomb is one of the foundations of our faith. The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has left behind an empty (Open) tomb. An open or empty tomb also signifies that death has been conquered. Death could not hold our Lord in its cold grip and we who are followers of our risen Lord are partakers in His victory over death. Death is not our end, but only a passage into eternity to be ever with our Lord. The open tomb is a symbol of hope for the Christian.
- Opened Scriptures.
Vs. 25-27 “He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Cleopas and his companion had the unique opportunity and experience of the Living Word explaining the Written Word to them. Jesus the Living Word of God opened the scriptures beginning from Moses and the prophets and explained to them concerning Himself. What a wonderful experience that must have been? Later they ask each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (VS 32) Every one of us needs this experience with the scriptures – unless the scriptures are opened to us we will never really understand the Word of God fully. We may not be able to have the unique experience of being taught by the risen Lord in person, however, we can have the third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit teach us all things as Jesus said in John 14: 26 “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things…”
- Opened Eyes.
Vs 30-31 “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”.
“Their eyes were opened and then they recognized him…” what a moment that must have been? Here they were in sorrow that he had died, and troubled in their hearts over the events of the past three days, and as He broke the bread they recognized Him. I can’t imagine the surprise and the joy that must have filled their hearts. Their Lord is risen indeed! He is Alive! I wonder how true this is to you and me today. Yes we come to Church every Sunday, and some of us may even have our family prayers on a regular basis, but how conscious are of the fact that we serve a risen Saviour? How conscious are we of the fact that the Jesus whom we worship is not a Jesus of History who died on the cross two thousand years ago, but a God who is alive and with us today? He is not just our Savior, but He is also our LORD. May our eyes be opened to see Jesus in all His glory and majesty that we will worship and serve Him with joy and renewed commitment just like Cleopas, his companion, & the rest of the disciples on that first Easter Sunday morning.