The Road to Emmaus

By the Reverend Canon Anne Moore

The Road to Emmaus is a much-loved Easter story recorded in Luke’s gospel. Two followers of Jesus had thought all was lost after they watched Jesus die on the cross. Heading home two days later, they thought ‘it was finished.’ A man caught up with them as they walked, and asked what they were talking about. They seemed incredulous that he didn’t seem to know anything about what had happened in Jerusalem over the weekend. The stranger asked, “What things?” The two began to tell him all about Jesus. In the middle of their explanation, they used these words, “But we had hoped….”

We had hoped …

→ that our friend would be healed

→ that the business would survive

→ that there was some other reason for this sudden change

→ that there would be forgiveness and reconciliation

→ that all would be well after all

→ that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel

But … the two walkers had had their hopes dashed. Jesus was dead, a criminal on a cross, buried in someone else’s tomb. Done. Finished. The end. Let’s go home and get on with our lives.

But … “some women went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body.” That has proven to be the biggest ‘but’ ever uttered! Jesus was alive and appeared to numerous people at different times, in different places, in differing circumstances, all recorded in the four gospels. These are reliable and true accounts of resurrection. The definition of resurrection is: “The return of Christ to bodily life on the earth on the third day after his death.” (The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)

The whole world changed that first Easter. Now we can cancel all the ‘buts’ in our lives. The same stuff may happen. However, because Jesus lives, we can put him in charge of our lives. When we do that we know that he will keep us in his love and equip us to face each difficulty with his power.

The situation may not change but we will be changed. We will have complete peace and be able to sit back, wait, and watch what God will do. We can be restored to a full and wonderful relationship with Jesus. God’s power and promises turn everything we know upside down. 

No longer will we say, “But we had hoped.” Instead, we say, “It is in God’s hands so all will be well.”

May you experience the power and certainty of the risen Jesus this Easter and always, no buts required.