"It is True! The Lord has Risen!"
Easter Sunday - April 17th
Devotionals for Passion Week 2022
Scripture to Read Today: Luke 24:13-35
"They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying,
"It is true! The Lord has risen."
Early Sunday morning, women went to the tomb to finalize the burial preparations of Jesus' body. Because of the Jewish Sabbath, they had been unable to complete the traditional burial rituals. As they arrived, they discovered the tomb unsealed, open, and empty. They eagerly returned to the disciples and those gathered with them, telling them of their stunning discovery. Peter and John run to the tomb. It is empty, but there is no sign of Jesus.
Though the women tell of hearing from the angels that Christ had risen and how Mary had seen the risen Jesus personally, Christ's followers conclude his body had been moved. They do not embrace the possibility that He is alive. Fear floods into their hearts and minds. They may be blamed for moving the corpse to stage His resurrection. What started as a dark morning got even darker!
Luke 24:13-35 gives us a glimpse into the thinking of the followers of Jesus later that morning. That Sunday would have been the day to travel home from Jerusalem from the week-long Passover celebration. Those streaming out of David's City would have just experienced a Passover like no other. Jesus of Nazareth had been welcomed as Israel's Messianic King and then rejected like a common criminal days later. Religious leaders handed Him over to be crucified by the Roman oppressors. The mocking crowds shouted that He should save Himself as He had miraculously saved others during his years of public ministry.
Those who had followed Jesus left Jerusalem that Sunday, having heard of the body's disappearance but unaware that Christ had risen. The two travelers who met Jesus (though unaware at first it was He) on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus knew the tomb was empty, but they had left before the resurrection was confirmed among Christ's followers. But, they became critical eyewitnesses of the resurrection, confirming what the women had said earlier that day.
The road to Emmaus from Jerusalem would not have been easy at all. The journey was seven miles. Walking seven miles on that rough terrain proved to be exhausting. One of my favorite aspects of the story of Jesus joining the two disappointed followers on the road is their response to recognizing Him and His subsequent disappearance.
They get up and immediately go back to the disciples in Jerusalem. They don't wait till Monday morning - after a good night's rest. The trip back to Jerusalem was worse than the one to Emmaus. It was all uphill, and they would be going against the stream of Passover pilgrims leaving Jerusalem. But that did not stop them!
They could not wait to share with others what they had seen and heard as they spent time with their Resurrected Savior! After their uphill run back to Jerusalem, they excitedly told the other followers of Christ, "It is true! The Lord has risen!" They could not wait an hour. They could not wait overnight. They had to tell everyone that it was true - Jesus was alive!
On this Easter, do you have that same enthusiastic zeal as the two from Emmaus to share with others your own personal encounter with the Risen Jesus? Does the hope you have found in Jesus give you a burning desire to share the Good News of Jesus with those you know?
Take the time today to invite others to join you for an Easter service in-person or online. Share the video from Calvary's Easter weekend worship services with others via social media. Text or call a friend and tell them what hope you have because of what Easter means to you!
The hope found in Christ's resurrection should give us an eager desire to let others know they can have that hope too!