That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem…So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them…And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”
Luke 24:13, 28-29, 33-34
Fitbits and smartphones collect all sorts of data regarding the daily movement of individuals, including the number of steps that one takes and even the average length of those steps. There are approximately 2,250 steps in one mile. One that first Easter, the Emmaus disciples must have walked at least 31,500 steps. One can only wonder how long it took the Emmaus disciples to walk the seven miles home. Perhaps their sandals simply shuffled along the sandy path in their grief and confusion over Jesus’ death and the unbelievable reports of His being made alive. Then their conversation and steps were interrupted by a stranger. Yet, the change in the conversation also likely leads to a change in their steps as their hearts burned within them as they listened to Jesus open for them the Scriptures.
These two disciples invited Jesus to remain with them as they day was nearly over. He agrees to stay with them and is revealed to them in the breaking of bread only to vanish from their sight. The disciples rose and returned the seven-mile journey back to Jerusalem. The original trip likely took more than two hours for them to walk. Whether or not the return trip was made it under two hours is not the point though. The good news of Jesus’ resurrection changed their darkness into light and their sadness into joy. They were willing to leave in the evening because they were overjoyed to share with Peter and the others the message that Jesus was alive and had appeared to them also.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light that no darkness can overcome! The revealing of the risen Savior to these two disciples had transformed not just their day, but their lives. Their hope was not unfounded. Jesus was indeed the promised One who had come to redeem Israel. As we make our journey in these gray and latter days, where darkness seems to loom with each successive step, may we our steps be secure in the certainty of Christ’s resurrection and that He continues to remain with us as the shadows lengthen. Like the disciples on that first Easter, may we be filled with joy to proclaim “The Lord has risen indeed!”
Prayer – Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan