Christmas and Easter. Even as our world drifts farther away from the social reverence we hold for these days, the sacred essence remains. Elves and bunnies may try and unseat the real object of celebration, some even mock the holy with such things, but Jesus is unequaled and unchallenged. The divine images of light and life come to us as more than candy and presents. At Christmas, we remember how the light of the world was given to us in the person of God’s own son. At Easter, we remember why we so desperately need such a light. In the death of Jesus, the cross bridges the immeasurable distance between ourselves and our creator, and it was all but unnoticed by us. What sin had separated, the death of Christ rejoined. This great divide between God and man could only be bridged by Jesus. The powerful testimony of Easter’s empty tomb is that His light shined into the darkness and was not overcome. Those lost in darkness now have this light not just as a guide but as the vehicle of peace with God. The resurrection of Jesus ensures us that this light still shines today.
Glorious Light for the Great Divide
13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 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.”
19 “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. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.”
What happens when God is everything but what you wanted most?
22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
When God doesn’t come through with what you wanted most, look for what you need the most.
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! 32 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?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
When you receive Jesus for who He truly is, you see Him as He really is!
44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.”