Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them . . . He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah 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. (Luke 24:13-15, 25-27)
Our society depends on roads every day of every year. No doubt you probably used one today. If you have a car, you need a road to drive on (preferably, at least). Life would be a lot different without roads.
Roads allow us to travel, for recreation and vocation. Roads allow us to do things like visit family and friends. They let us receive mail from Maine and transport goods to Miami.
Roads themselves are interesting. They can be cement or tar, gravel or dirt, one or four lanes, one or two way. A lot happens on roads. Cars travel, semis haul, pedestrians walk, and bikers bike. There are traffic jams, car crashes, drunk drivers, and drive-by shootings. A lot happens on roads.
For two rather unknown friends of Jesus, a road is where they met the resurrected Lord.
For two rather unknown friends of Jesus, a road is where they met the resurrected Lord. While returning to the little-known village of Emmaus, two men unknowingly encountered Him. We can’t be certain if it was a dirt road, a stone road, or a royal road. In fact, scholars are not sure which direction the road went out of Jerusalem—maybe northeast—because they cannot agree where the town of Emmaus was actually located.
Regardless, whatever their reason was for going to Emmaus—whether they lived, worked, 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. Could 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.
Do you have questions of your own? Does life have you traveling down a difficult road? Are you lost and not sure which exit you need to take? Where do you turn? Who can help? Among the detours, the distractions, and the dead ends, it feels like there’s no hope.
Jesus traveled the roads that we do. He experienced the twists and turns, the detours and distractions. He knows it’s not easy.
Jesus traveled the roads that we do. He experienced the twists and turns, the detours and 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, blood, and a crown of thorns. It was a one-way street that led to a certain, brutal dead end—one He willingly walked for you. His life given for your sins. Yet the road didn’t stop there. This road led to the empty tomb and the salvation of souls.
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the roads you travel are now full of hope.
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the roads you travel are now full of hope. He who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) has been there ahead of you. Now when you travel, the highway is marked. The detours are gone. Dead ends are repaved with the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. This is Good News!
Whatever road you are on, be assured our Lord travels with you and walks beside you. In fact, the promise of our resurrected Lord says:
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you have the sign and seal that the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you but go with you through all the smooth and all the rough roads, even until you walk with Him on the road of everlasting life!
This article also appears in the April 2019 Lutheran Witness insert for the Minnesota South District. View the full insert with this article and additional news and encouragement here.