in the afternoon of the day of the resurrection, two of the disciples
were on their way to Emmaus, a little town eight miles from Jerusalem.
They were perplexed over the events that
had recently taken place, and especially concerning the reports of the
women who had seen the angels, and had met Jesus after His resurrection.
They were now returning to their home, to
meditate and pray, in hope of gaining some light in regard to those
matters which were so dark to them.
As they journeyed, a stranger came up and
went with them; but they were so busy with their conversation that they
hardly notice His presence.
These strong men were so burdened with
grief that they wept as they traveled along. Christ's pitying heart of
love saw here a sorrow which He could comfort.
Disguised as a stranger, He began to talk
with them. "But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.
And He said unto them,
"What manner of communications are these that ye
have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
"And the one of them, whose name was
Cleopas, answering said unto Him, "Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem
and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these
"And He said unto them, What things? And
they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet
mighty in deed and word before God and all the people." Luke 24:16-19.
They then told what had taken place, and
repeated the report brought by the women who had been at the tomb early
that same morning. Then He said:
"O fools, and slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered
these things, and to enter into His glory?
"And beginning at Moses and all the
prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning Himself." Luke 24:25-27.
The disciples were silent from amazement
and delight. They did not venture to ask the stranger who He was. They
listened eagerly as He explained to them Christ's mission.
Had the Saviour first made Himself known
to the disciples, they would have been satisfied. In the fullness of
their joy they would have desired nothing more. But it was necessary for
them to understand how His mission had been foretold by all the types
and prophecies of the Old Testament. Upon these their faith must be
established. Christ performed no miracle to convince them, but it was
His first work to explain the Scriptures. They had looked upon His death
as the destruction of all their hopes. Now He showed from the prophets
that this was the very strongest evidence for their faith.
In teaching these disciples, Christ
showed the importance of the Old Testament as a witness to His mission.
Many now reject the Old Testament, claiming that it is no longer of any
use. But such is not Christ's teaching. So highly did He value it, that
at one time He said, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither
will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31.
As the sun was setting, the disciples
reached their home. Jesus "made as though He would have gone further."
But the disciples could not bear to part from the One who had brought
them such joy and hope.
So they said to Him, "Abide with us: for
it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry
with them." Luke 24:28, 29.
The simple evening meal was soon ready,
and Christ took His place at the head of the table, as His custom was.
It was usually the duty of the head of
the family to ask a blessing upon the food; but Christ placed His hands
upon the bread and blessed it. And the eyes of the disciples were
The act of blessing the food, the sound
of the now familiar voice, the prints of the nails in His hands, all
proclaimed Him their beloved Master.
For a moment they sat spellbound; then
they arose to fall at His feet and worship Him; but He suddenly
In their joy they forgot their hunger and
weariness. They left the meal untasted, and hastened back to Jerusalem
with the precious message of a risen Saviour.
As they were relating these things to the
disciples, Christ Himself stood among them, and, with hands uplifted in
blessing, said: "Peace be unto you." Luke 24:36.
At first they were frightened; but when
He had shown them the prints of the nails in His hands and feet, and had
eaten before them, they believed and were comforted. Faith and joy now
took the place of unbelief, and with feelings which no words could
express, they acknowledged their risen Saviour.
At this meeting, Thomas was not with
them. He refused to believe the reports in regard to the resurrection.
But after eight days Jesus appeared to the disciples when Thomas was
On this occasion He again showed in His
hands and feet the marks of the crucifixion. Thomas was at once
convinced, and cried, "My Lord and my God." John 20:28.
In the upper chamber, Christ again
explained the Scriptures concerning Himself. Then He told His disciples
that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Before His ascension to Heaven, He said
to them, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." "And,
lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Acts. 1:8;
You have been witnesses, He said, of My
life of self-sacrifice in behalf of the world. You have seen that all
come to Me, confessing their sins, I freely receive. All who will,
may be reconciled to God, and have everlasting life.
To you, My disciples, I commit this
message of mercy. It is to be given to all nations, tongues, and
Go to the farthest part of the habitable
globe; but know that My presence will be there.
The Saviour's commission to the disciples
included all the believers to the end of time.
Not all can preach to congregations; but
all can minister to individuals. Those minister who receive the
suffering, who help the needy, who comfort the sorrowing, and who tell
the sinner of Christ's pardoning love. These are Christ's witnesses.