Title: THIS IS LIFE! The Journey of Emmaus
Bible verses: Luke 24: 13-35 [Road to Emmaus]
This week, we’re highlighting the Road to Emmaus story as it is unique to Luke’s gospel. We’re emphasising the thwarting of evil and confronting the very real sense of disappointment people were feeling considering Jesus’ death. We see how Jesus reveals the full salvation story of God, throughout scripture, culminating in the communion moment, with Jesus himself as the host. We want our people to understand that the thwarting of evil was confronting and brought a very real sense of disappointment. And in that place of discouragement, Jesus didn’t rebuke them but brought truth with love that brought hope.
The resurrection of Jesus is such a beautiful and rich contrast to the death and horror of the crucifixion. We want our people to see that the resurrection isn’t the end of the salvation story, rather it’s the goal. The resurrection is a pivotal point in the Easter story. It is a moment in which we see that Easter is as much about life, as it is about death. That the goal of the creative work, begun by the Spirit – in the hovering over the waters, and bringing life from chaos – has now been accomplished by the Spirit, through Jesus.
Christ has passed through death and is raised by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4) so that the Spirit who is the breath of life, can share the resurrection life of Christ with everyone. To bring about new life in a new creation. Thus, the beauty of the atonement must include resurrected life.
Jesus encounters two people on the road to Emmaus who can only see death. The loss of hope. (Lk. 24:21) But Jesus shows them life. He shows them through the Law & the Prophets, that God’s saving activity has been present in the Earth for a long time! That the goal is not the death of Jesus, but the Spirit-filled life!
As this story closes, Jesus sits at a table, he shifts his role from the guest to the host. These moments of breaking bread are where Jesus chooses to reveal profound truths about God. (Lk 5:29-39, Lk. 10:38-42) But Lk 9:16 is the great parallel here. The miraculous feeding, before which people learned of Jesus’ true identity. After this miracle Peter understands Jesus as Messiah. The revelation occurred over the breaking of bread.
Only by participating in the meal of Jesus, when we partake of the bread of life, will we come to know who he really is, and what God has been up to.
- Romans 1:4, 8:11
- Acts 2:34
Video by The Bible Project - Sacrifice and Atonement
Luke-Acts Series Resources by The Bible Project - Sacrifice and Atonement
Podcast from Grace to You on the Crucifixion of Jesus
Connect Group Discussion Questions:
- How is your connect group continuing the tradition of “breaking bread” together? It has been hard to do so during the pandemic, you might like to make some plans for the future.
- When a great leader suddenly dies, it can affect many people for years to come. We grieve them and all the things they never got to do. How does it change things to know that our greatest leader came back after 3 days and didn’t leave anything unsaid or not done?
- How important is communion to you? Do you make it a priority during the year or just at Easter?
- Resurrection Sunday is a powerful and pivotal day in history and the resurrection power of Jesus is within us once we know Christ. Consider any areas in your life that need resurrecting? Is there a next step that will help you accomplish this?
- There can be a lot of pressure around “important dinners”. The gospels have many accounts of Jesus’ meals but consider He ate bread and fish with His hands and probably didn’t even use chairs – what did He think was important?
- It can be difficult in the Southern Hemisphere to associate Easter with rebirth and renewal, given the autumn season. Do you need to rephrase your answers about Easter (eg. “Why do you celebrate a man dying 2000 years ago?) to focus on life?
- How can we reveal to people the “transformed life” part of being a Christian and not just presenting the salvation message?