“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them . . . And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:13-27)
Our society is dependent on roads. They are used every day of every year. No doubt you probably used one today. If you have a car, you have to have a road to drive on (preferably, at least). Life would be a lot different without roads.
Roads allow us to travel, whether that’s for recreation or your vocation. Roads allow you to do things like visit family and friends. They allow you to deliver your mail from Mayer to Minneapolis; to transport goods from Minnesota to Miami.
Roads, themselves, are interesting. Whether cement or tar, gravel or dirt, we have all traveled a lot of roads in life. From single lane to four lanes, from one-way to two-way, roads take us to a lot of places.
In fact, a lot can happen on a road. There are cars traveling, semis hauling, pedestrians walking, and bikers biking. Then, there’s also things like traffic jams, cars crashes, drunk drivers, and drive-by shootings. A lot can happen on the road.
Two rather lesser-known friends of Jesus met the resurrected Lord while walking on a road. While returning to the little known village of Emmaus, two men unknowingly encounter Him. We can’t be certain if it was a dirt road, a stone road, or perhaps a royal road. In fact, scholars are not entirely certain which direction it went out of Jerusalem. Some speculate it went northeast. But there is not even complete agreement where the town of Emmaus was actually located.
Regardless, whatever their reason for going to Emmaus, whether they lived there, worked there, or had other family there, these two followers of Jesus were walking along contemplating the news that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, had just told them. The tomb was empty. Angels had greeted them. Jesus had risen from the dead.
But they were still unsure. Should they believe it? Was it true? Or was it just a dead end?
Jesus came and settled it for them. He appeared to them and explained to them that this had to happen. In fact, it was what the Scriptures had foretold.
Perhaps you have questions of your own. Maybe life has you traveling down a difficult road. Or maybe you’re lost and not sure which exit you need to take. Where do you turn? Who can help? Between the detours, the distractions, and the dead ends, it sometimes feels like there’s no hope.
Jesus traveled the roads that we do. He experienced the twists and turns, the detours and the distractions. He knows it’s not easy. But He was not deterred. He was not distracted. He walked the road all the way to Jerusalem all the way to the cross of Calvary. It was a road filled with beatings; a road covered by His blood. It contained a crown of thorns. It was a one-way street that led to a certain, brutal dead end. His life, for your sins.
However, it was also the road that led to the empty tomb. And because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the roads you travel are full of hope. The highway is marked. The detours are gone. Dead ends are repaved with the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Whatever road you are on, be assured your Lord is traveling with you.