Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth…we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened…And [Jesus] 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 24:28-19, 21, 25-27
On the road to Emmaus, we are allowed to listen in on the first conversation about the events that led up to Jesus’ death and His “reported” resurrection. Throughout the conversation, the Emmaus disciples and the yet-to-be-revealed Jesus keep referring to the events that had happened in the previous days with a Greek expression that assumes these “things.” Whether or not the events were so significant that the disciples struggled to even verbalize them cannot be sure. But what is clear is that the disciples and Jesus saw a clear connection between all of the events. “These things” are all part of one large plan of God’s saving His people.
One of the ways that the continuity of these events is often demonstrated is that the service on Maundy Thursday begins with the invocation, but no benediction is spoken until the end of the Easter Vigil service. It is a subtle way to show that continuity of the events and our worship – at the table and in the garden, on trial and on display, mocked and beaten, bearing His cross, bearing our sin, buried in the tomb, and bursting forth on Easter morn. All of these things were God’s plan and were revealed in Moses and the Prophets.
My counsel to each of you would be to find time to read or listen to the Passion accounts from the Gospel. It is easy for those who are so busy and active during this solemn week to not find time just to hear the Word. But what a blessing it is to sit and listen to each of the evangelist’s descriptions of all “these things.” You all have lists of things to get accomplished this week. While they are important and necessary, I pray that you not lose sight of “these things” that Jesus did for all of us. Though we can be foolish and slow of heart, may God open our hearts to His Word and by that Word give us peace and joy on account of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.
Prayer -Almighty and everlasting God, grant us by Your grace so to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s passion that we might obtain forgiveness of our sins; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan