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The Lord is Risen Indeed

April 21, 2020
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by Steve Cartin, MDiv

“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him…‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us…and opened the Scriptures to us?’…‘The Lord is risen indeed…” (Luke 24:31-34, NKJV).

“The Lord is risen indeed.”

On Sunday morning, March 29, after two weeks of “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” I read the 24th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. It all fell into place. Life had changed so much. So much had disappeared—quick trips to the convenience store, meetings with dentists, friends dropping by and dinner out. Life had become both still and different. Busy-ness no longer drowned out worry. There were no distracting deadlines to offer escape from relational struggles. Reflecting back, for two weeks the quiet had given way to a still small voice and the still small voice had been wrongly identified as the insight of an uncluttered mind. Luke’s telling of the walk to Emmaus cleared up that confusion for me.

The road to Emmaus. The road of life. Eye-opening experiences happen. And when they do, they invite us to experience our Savior in a deeper way.

Struggles Come
Their worst week ever drew to an end. Two of the Lord’s close followers did what everyone would have to do sooner or later. They began to move on with life. And as they walked along the road to Emmaus with a third traveler drawing into their midst, they questioned him concerning the topic on everyone’s mind. How could he not know? How had he been able to escape the bad news from Jerusalem which was on the hearts and minds of all the faithful? They spoke of life before the tragedy and rehearsed how it had unfolded in rapid-fire sequence over the last few days. In so doing they foreshadowed you and me as pilgrims on our own road, making our own way to Emmaus. Even when life deals out an unfair hand, relationships and responsibilities remain. For the time being, nothing shades us from life’s harsh sun. When the new day dawns, we wonder if life’s heat will have passed. Can things return to normal?

Jesus Shines
When Jesus “…took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them…their eyes were opened and they knew Him…” (Luke 24:30-31, NKJV). Was it the way He held the bread toward heaven and pulled it apart? Was it the blessing He pronounced over it? Or the unique way He gave it to them just as He had done several evenings prior in the Upper Room? Whatever it was, there was no mistaking it: Jesus revealed Himself to them! Why had they not seen it or why did it take so long for them to understand? In the normal course of life that day, He had been there all along—walking with them, talking with them, sitting at a familiar table in their home. The realization that He had woven Himself into their day created a burning in their hearts.

The 49ers of old California may have shouted, “Eureka,” when they found gold, but the Lord’s disciples have Eureka moments in finding the Pearl of Great Price without even searching. Like our brothers in Luke 24, we discover it in the midst of ordinary life lived in extraordinary times. We discover it in the washing of hands, the quiet of indoors or a walk in the expanse outside. Though the world and evening news portend chaos and threaten harm, a strange but welcome stillness of spirit warms our souls.

And We Get It
We don’t so much get that it’s Him as we get that He is alive! We know who He is and what He does. Yet catching a glimpse of Jesus makes no difference if resurrection power does not stir our souls. But when, deep down, we come to the conclusion that “He is risen indeed,” that power flows from Him to us—power enough to transform all that lies ahead.

Know that He walks in the ordinary and quiet times of life, not just in the heroic challenges we conquer. When the struggles come, Jesus shines through in the ordinary moments of our day. Looking back on what He said and did, we get it: resurrection power transforms our understanding to make all things new. Jesus shows up. The Lord is risen indeed!

“…a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12, NKJV).

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