Christmas on the Road
Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus … and they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.
When Queen Elizabeth visited our country, reporters relished telling the logistics of her visit. She was accompanied by 4,000 pounds of luggage. She had two outfits for every day. She brought 40 pints of plasma in case she needed an operation. She had her own attendants. This brief visit of royalty to a foreign country cost more than $20 million. Contrast that to when the King of kings decided to visit our planet. He came with no luggage. He had no attendants. He arrived in an animal shelter. But did the arrival of the King of kings take place without any warning?
The truth is, the gift of Jesus Christ came wrapped in hundreds of years of prophecy. There were many signposts in the Old Testament that should have pointed people to that feeding trough in Bethlehem. That is the truth we are going to see this week in Luke 24. This story takes place on a Sunday, but it wasn’t just any Sunday–it was the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection. He had been raised from the dead early that morning. Now it was late afternoon, and two disciples of Christ were traveling from Jerusalem back to their hometown of Emmaus. Like thousands of Jews, these men had been in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. But this wasn’t just any Passover; it was the Passover when the man who claimed to be the Messiah was arrested, crucified, and buried.
“Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus … and they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place” (vv. 13-14). What things? The things about the One they had been following, Jesus–about how He was unfairly arrested, crucified, and buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (vv. 15-16). Why didn’t they recognize Jesus? Luke doesn’t tell us. We know they weren’t expecting to see Him. Maybe God miraculously shut their eyes.
In verses 18-27, we find out what happened next. Jesus said, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” One of the men, Cleopas, said, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” Jesus asked, “What things?” They said, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene.” They explained that when some women “were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” Jesus said to them, “‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! …’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Jesus explained that He was a gift that God wrapped in prophecy.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christmas on the Road” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.