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4

Risen Man Breaks Bread

Key References: Luke 24:13-35; The Desire of Ages, chap. 83, pp. 795-801; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 9, pp. 156-164; Our Beliefs, nos. 1, 9, 5

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“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

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Jesus showed us how to share Him with others.

When hope combines with faith, you can’t help getting excited and telling others!

What a heartbreaking weekend the followers of Jesus experienced! Jesus was arrested, tried, condemned and put to death. A few women had seen angels; Mary Magdalene said she saw Jesus Himself! John believed. It was too much to understand all at once.

On the day of resurrection, two followers of Jesus left Jerusalem toward evening to return to their homes in Emmaus. This little town was located eight miles away from Jerusalem. As they walked, a stranger joined them, but they were completely focused on their sadness and disappointment. The subject that absorbed all of their attention was the event that had taken place over the weekend.

As we read this story in Luke 24:13-33, we know that the stranger who joined them was Jesus. We are amazed that they couldn’t recognize Him! These two disciples were so focused on what had gone wrong that they failed to see that the person walking right beside them was their Lord! As they walked, Jesus longed to comfort these sorrowful disciples. He wished to help them understand the Scriptures that were fulfi lled that weekend.

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus had proclaimed: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18). Indeed, these two disciples were brokenhearted.

Jesus asked them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” (Luke 24:17). So they told Him about their Master: “Jesus of Nazareth,” they began explaining, “was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” “The chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.” With hearts sore and with quivering lips they added, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened” (verses 19-21). Obviously the disciples did not remember the words of Jesus when He foretold His suff ering, death, and resurrection.

So, “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (verse 27). In His wisdom Jesus wanted their faith to be established upon the Scriptures, so He purposefully taught them the importance of the Old Testament as a witness to Him and His mission. Jesus performed no miracle here. He simply revealed the Savior through the Old Testament prophecies as clearly as we now see them fulfilled in Jesus throughout the New Testament.

Jesus showed how their expectation of a Messiah who would be an earthly king was not in harmony with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. He explained to them that the Messiah had to die to redeem repenting sinners from their sins. Through His example, Jesus instilled in His disciples the desire to search the Scriptures and share the good news about their risen Savior.

As the two disciples neared their home, they invited Jesus to stay and have supper with them. “Abide with us,” they said, “for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent” (verse 29). Jesus accepted their invitation. As they were getting ready to share a simple meal, the guest raised His hands to bless the food. To the disciples’ amazement, He blessed the food in the same way as they had seen Jesus do. Suddenly they saw His nail-pierced hands. But as they fell down at His feet to worship Him, Jesus disappeared from their sight.

Looking with astonishment at the place that Jesus had occupied at the table, they exclaimed, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (verse 32). With hearts on fi re and full of excitement, they left the meal and started back for Jerusalem! They had to share this experience with the disciples still in Jerusalem! No more sadness! No more gloomy thoughts! No more disappointment! No more crying! Jesus had risen! It is the greatest message ever given—a message of hope for the entire world!

We can learn a lot from the story of Cleopas and his fellow believer. Jesus wants us to learn to keep our focus on Him. As we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will wipe away every tear. As we contemplate Him daily and place our trust in Him, He will fill us with joy and gladness. Then, with hope and faith renewed, we will want to tell others the good news about Jesus!