After Jesus' death and burial, those who followed Him were devastated. Not only were their hopes ruined but now they had reason to fear that their lives could be in danger, as the authorities sought to completely shut down everything related to Jesus’ ministry. That is why His eleven disciples were in hiding.
The story this week took place on Sunday. News was spreading that just that morning some women who went to the tomb discovered it empty. These women also reported that angels met them there saying that Jesus was alive.
These two walking towards Emmaus were obviously not convinced. Jesus’ body was missing for sure, but the report of angels and Jesus being alive – well this was a matter of the women being in grief, denial and hysteria. Jesus, keeping Himself unrecognizable to them as they traveled, challenged their thinking. Instead of immediately revealing Himself, he revealed what the Bible taught about the Messiah, His mission and the specifics regarding His ministry, death and resurrection. It may seem strange that Jesus kept His identity hidden while they traveled and talked but it was important. Jesus wanted the two to have their faith rest in truth and not merely an experience. He wanted them to have a solid basis for their understanding of the events from a Biblical perspective. He wants the same for all of us. As the reality of Jesus’ resurrection unfolds, we will see Him urge His followers to see how His resurrection is the fulfillment of what had been promised ages ago in the Bible. This way our faith and trust is anchored in truth and not just our emotions, personal opinions or perceptions. Whether it was the women at the empty tomb, the disciples in hiding or these two travelers, Jesus meets us where we are so He can take us where we need to go.