Chapter Twenty-Four Tuesday, December 21, 2010
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 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?” Luke 24:30-32
He lives! That is the cry of affirmation that echoes around the world each time we celebrate the beauty of Easter! “I serve a risen Savior, he is in the world today; I know that he is living whatever foes may say. I see his hand of mercy, I hear his voice of cheer, and just the time I need him, he’s always near. He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, he lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.”
It was the declaration of the women who went to the tomb. It was the cry of John and Peter who raced to the empty grave. But it was also the eye-opening, heart-warming experience of the two disciples who were leaving Jerusalem on the way home to the city of Emmaus.
Only Luke records this walk of faith that was encompassed in a conversation about the Scriptures. Jesus appeared but he remained unknown to the disciples until the end of the day as they sat together at a table. In that moment, Jesus broke bread and his identity was revealed. The breaking of the bread and the offering of the meal became the backdrop for a revelation that became the testimony of the disciples. They abandoned their home coming, returned to Jerusalem and began to share the discovery of their faith. “It is true! The Lord has risen!”
The fulfillment of the season of Advent is the long-awaited arrival of the Christ child. We will celebrate it with candlelight communion on Christmas Eve. But the ultimate message of hope is really fulfilled in this chapter of resurrection and ascension. Read it again. Explore it with your senses. What do you see and smell? Can you taste the bread? Was your heart strangely warmed?