Post Easter ~ Now What?
Cute pastel colored eggs, squishy marshmallow Peeps, earless chocolate bunnies. Post Easter. Now what? Do we just rummage through the calendar for another holiday or event to look forward to? What excites us for the future or even daily? For some of us, it is the planning and anticipation that is as exciting as the event. May I be so bold in asking, what causes our insides to burn with excitement, what consumes our mind and emotions for … today? Post Easter.
Jesus’ resurrection. AMAZING. WONDERFUL. But let’s not stop there. There’s MORE! Let’s unpack this in brief summary. Stay with me, this is good! John 24, it speaks of the women going to the tomb, being a little freaked out by the angels notifying them that Jesus was no longer there, they go back to tell the others. Peter, as energetic as he was, runs to go see and confirm. Just following that, (v13) it says “Now that same day…” It proceeds to unfold the story of the two walking to Emmaus, who unknown to them at first, encounter Jesus. They are flabbergasted that this Stranger didn’t know what had just transpired in Jerusalem. They shared their disappointment, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Going on they explained how Jesus’ body was not found. Verse 27, “Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” WOW, I’d love an one on one instant Bible study from the lips of the Master! (Note: See below, who these two were on the road to Emmaus)
It wasn’t until Jesus was seated at their table and they accepted the bread He offered that their eyes were opened and they knew who He was. I LOVE their response, “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (v32, emphasis mine)
Their hearts burning within them. I want spiritual heart burn! I want my soul, mind, thoughts passions, desires and appetites to burn with Him and His word! The word Luke choses to use here for ‘burning’ is very colorful, it doesn’t just mean to strike a match and light the kindling and watch it slowly give off heat. It RAVISHES through the wood and consumes it! It can be liken to the Hebrew word imagery found in Psalm 39:3 as King David shares “… my insides got hotter and hotter…”
Yet some would argue that the two didn’t even recognize Jesus when He shared the WORD with them. However, the author of Hebrews declares strongly, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Heb. 4:12 To have the very Son of God, His presence and He breathe these words to them, THAT would cause heart burn! Notice that Jesus didn’t lay hands on them, put mud on their eyes. He simply… walked with them.
Not only did the two get a strong dose of God induced burning, but look at verses 31, 32 (Luke 24) Jesus opened their eyes to recognize Him and opened the word to them. Now jump to verse 45, the two had gone to Jerusalem, finding the 11 Disciples, telling them of their experience with Jesus. Jesus appears to them all, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Jesus opens their eyes, opens the word and opens their minds. LOVE it! Bring it Jesus!
For us? The next time you find your seat at church, or open the Bible for devotion time, don’t day dream off to another place, or become bored with it, receive the bread Jesus offers and take a walk with Him. Breathing a whisper to the Holy Spirit, two words. “Dianoigo” (dee-an-oy-go) THOROUGHLY ‘open’ my eyes to see You, open my mind to Your word and expound my understanding! “Kaio” (ki [as in kite] yo) BURN Lord! With your Presence, with Your word. May my heart get hotter and hotter and consumed with You! Dianoigo & Kaio. You will be AMAZED at how exciting the word is, how exciting Jesus is. Post Easter.
Need something to look forward to? Excitement for the future, excitement for the day. He IS the event.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)
* Who were the two on the road to Emmaus? I just assumed the ‘them’ and ‘they’ were men. However, after being in deep research, I am convinced, the ‘they’ were husband and wife. This is not a doctrinal statement, but one of accepted observation for me. Luke’s story of this Emmaus bound walk is not mentioned in any other of the Gospels. He writes that Cleopas, also known as Alphaeus was one of the two. The only other mention of Cleopas is in John 19:25, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene.”
It is my understanding that possibly both Cleopas and Mary went to Jerusalem for the Passover and present at the Crucifixion of Jesus. Mary was among the women who went and found the empty tomb. Interesting, as Cleopas tells Jesus about the tomb being found empty, see his phrasing, “In addition some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.” Was that husband pride, ‘some of our women amazed us?’
Why Emmaus? Luke proceeds to share that the two convinced Jesus to come and ‘abide with us’ instead of continuing on since it was nearing night time. ‘Abide with us,’ they lived in Emmaus.
Some resources state that it is Cleopas and one of the known disciples, however, if Cleopas had been traveling with one of the disciples, verse 33 would contradict this, “They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them…” Why only 11? Remember, Judas is now gone.