13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Jesus’ death and resurrection had thrown Jerusalem into Chaos. Not only was Passover interrupted by His highly visible scourging and crucifixion, other cataclysmic events accompanied Jesus’ death:
- Great earthquakes where the rocks split open (v 51 below)
- Total Darkness for three full hours (Matt 24:45)
- The dead rising from their graves; seen in town (v52-53 below)
- The veil separating the Holy of Holies in the temple (at least 4 inches thick) torn from top (60 feet above the floor) to bottom (V 51 below)
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew)
These events, Jesus’ missing body, and the appearance of angels had His disciples perplexed. Jesus took the opportunity to point them once again to the scriptures. His review of how the Old Testament pointed to His return, death, and resurrection (verse 27 above) left these disciples heart’s “burning within themselves” (Luke 24:32).
Why did Jesus spend this time on the road with them before His exposure to the remaining Apostles in Jerusalem? What message was He conveying for them and us today?
His message was clear. His death and resurrection were foretold in the scriptures, it wasn’t an accident. He expected the Jewish people to know what was happening.
First, we have been given the bible to learn, understand and apply. Because we see how historically accurate the bible is, we are to trust it’s predictions of the future. We are to learn from it and apply it to our lives today.
Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the events that transpired, clearly demonstrate to us that He is our true Lord and Savior as predicted in the scriptures.
Second, the veil was torn, it indicates we don’t need religiosity to approach Him. He is approachable by all. He desires that all come to Him in repentance. We no longer need an intermediary. God is with us!