Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?
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We don’t know the names of the two men traveling that seven-mile road between Jerusalem and Emmaeus, and I’m grateful for that. It means that Jesus doesn’t limit His love or attention to just the elite among us. It means He is willing to come to me as well.
When I picture this scene, I feel again the heat I felt on my first trip to Israel, when the temperature registered 108 degrees on top of Masada, and my squirt bottle full of tepid water was my best friend. And I feel the blistering sand filling my own sandals.
Jesus must have appeared behind the men first, and He must have walked within earshot for a bit, because when He makes His appearance known, He questions them about the conversation He overheard. Of course, He knew full well what had happened in Jerusalem. But then as now, knowing our great need to lend voice to our hearts, He lets us fill His silence with our words.
Luke tells us He, “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” That means at some point, He revealed Himself in Genesis 22. “God will provide Himself the lamb.” He opened their eyes so they could recognize Him in Isaiah 53. “Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.”
And without a doubt, to assure them that He truly was resurrected to life, He revealed Himself in Psalm 16: “You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let Your faithful one see decay” and Job 19: “For I know that my Redeemer lives.”
He shared that with them, and every other prophecy in scripture that pointed to Himself—the ones that painted Him as a suffering Servant, and the ones that painted Him as the reigning King.
And as those two portraits came together in their understanding, and merged into the face of their resurrected Messiah, their hearts began to burn. Because that’s what happens when your heart finally sees the startling beauty of God’s magnificent, merciful plan.