Just like that, Easter is over! The preparing, shopping, cooking, church services and celebrations are all over for another year. Other than Christmas, I don’t know of another holiday that is subject to so much anticipation.
With the celebration of Easter over, now what?
Life can so quickly resume to normal, can’t it? If we’re honest, we might wonder what difference the resurrection has made in the practical stuff of life. We still have difficulties with work or school or loved ones. The world is still broken and scary.
You may remember the story in Luke 24 about two men walking along the road to Emmaus in the time after Jesus’ resurrection and before His ascension. Jesus came up and walked beside them but they didn’t recognize who He was.
Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (Luke 24:17)
With downcast faces, they answered the “stranger” and wondered aloud how anyone could have missed knowing about the events in Jerusalem. As they walked together they explained how they knew of Jesus by His reputation: “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.” (Luke 24:19b)
They continued to tell their walking companion that: “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21a) They described how it had been three days and His tomb was open but He was missing.
On this walk together the two men heard from Jesus “what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27) and they still didn’t get it! They didn’t see that Jesus was right there walking with them! It wasn’t until they invited the stranger in to sit down and eat with them that they finally put it all together.
At the table, Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and then breaks it before He gives it to them with His nail-scarred hands. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30)
Spending time with Him, hearing truth from Him as He taught from Scripture, and being given the broken bread—that’s when their eyes were open. That’s when they recognized Him. Their hearts burned within them from their experience on the road and they returned to Jerusalem proclaiming “It is true! The Lord has risen….” (Luke 24:34)
Those two men on the road to Emmaus are not unlike you and me.
Spending time in Scriptures, spending time in worship, spending time with God’s people, breaking bread together, remembering God’s faithfulness in our lives—that’s how we get to know the Lord. Our journey does not stop at Easter. Our journey, like the journey of the two men on the road, is just beginning. May our our hearts burn within us and may we continue to proclaim, well after Easter Sunday, “It is true! The Lord has risen. . . . .”