It was early in the morning. They were traveling along the road, probably looking down at their feet as they walked. Sad, sorrowful, mourning. Why, why, why did this happen? Where is Jesus? What are we going to do now?
Been there, done that!
I remember the day I faced a future without my husband after he lost his battle with cancer. Oh how I rejoiced that his suffering and pain had ended and that he was now in the presence of Jesus….BUT….how was I to go on raising three young children without him? What was I going to do now? In the midst of my grief, all I could do was cling to Jesus! I could not see or think beyond the moment. Grief was certainly clouding my thinking.
That day when the disciples found the tomb empty, they were so downcast and distraught, feeling like all their hopes for redemption had been taken away from them. They didn’t understand what had just happened. Grief had clouded their thinking.
Go with me to Luke 24, will you:
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
The scripture says “they were kept from recognizing him.” I can’t help but wonder if their grief was clouding their thinking so much that they didn’t even really “look” at him. Notice that it says in the next verse, “they stood still, their faces downcast.” Sounds to me like they were so grieved by what happened that they didn’t even look up to see who was speaking to them. Their grief was certainly clouding their thinking and overtaking them at that moment.
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
They were so distraught over Jesus’ death and crucifixion and yet they couldn’t understand why his body was not there in the tomb. They were amazed at what the women had told them about the vision of angels saying he was alive, but yet they were still downcast and full of grief. Had they forgotten all that Jesus had told them about what was going to happen to him? Had they been so caught up in the excitement of being in his presence that they had closed their hearts and minds to what he actually said to them? What part of who Jesus was did they not understand? Here they refer to him as “a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.” They state that they “had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Grief was certainly clouding their thinking.
As they expounded to him what had happened three days prior, Jesus said to them, “25 …“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Once their eyes were opened and their thinking was no longer clouded with their grief, they saw the fulfillment of Jesus’ words recorded in John 14:29, “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.“
Go with me to the latter part of Luke 24 to verse 33 and following: “33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.”
Again they recognize Jesus as Lord, Messiah, the one they were hoping to redeem them, and they excitedly reported it to the others!! Grief and sorrow had turned to joy!! Jesus’ breaking of the bread jogged their memories of the time He broke bread with them at the Passover table, just before he was taken away to be crucified. Truth had replaced their grief-stricken and clouded thinking.
He is alive!! He is who he said he was!! He was crucified, dead and buried, and He is risen! He sits at the right hand of the Father, and He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within His children.
Do you know Him? Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Don’t let grief, unbelief or lack of understanding cloud your thinking. Believe in Jesus TODAY and you will be saved from your sin (we were all born into sin and are in need of a Savior). The Holy Spirit will come to live within you and guide and direct your steps from this point forward. Oh, Glory Halleluia!!
Thanks Janan for this thought provoking Bible study. These thoughts in these days are needed. Knowing we are not up against an equal enemy but, our Lord Jesus Christ rose above and is seated on the right hand of God. The hand of blessing for all those who believe that Jesus took all their sins on that old rugged tree so many years back. Hallelujah, that we don’t have to be grieved for defeat but, we need to rejoice in victory that we will again see loved ones that have gone before us because our Saviour lives. We can face the future no worry attached!!