On the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion, some women headed to the tomb to annoint his body. They expressed concern to each other as to how they would get inside because they wouldn’t be able to remove the massive stone that had been placed over the tomb entrance. When they arrived they saw that the stone had been rolled away. An angel told them that Jesus was not there, that he had risen from the dead. They ran home to tell the others the wonderful news! He wasn’t dead; He was risen! Soon thereafter, two of Jesus’ followers were on the road heading toward Emmaus. They were devastated after witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion. They believed he was the anticipated Messiah, but now their hopes were crushed. As they were reflecting of the situation Jesus came by the way and joined them on the road, but they did not recognize him. They walked and talked with him all the way to their destination without realizing who he was. When they rested and sat down to share a meal, he broke the bread and at that moment their eyes were opened and they knew it was their risen Lord! As they reflected on the day they realized they should have known him because when he talked with them and explained the Scriptures, it was like a fire burning in them. He was there all the time!
Scriptures – Mk 16:1-6; Lk 24:13-16, 18-23; 31-32; 2 Co 4:4
Verses – As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; they saw him, but somehow didn’t recognize him. (Lk 24:15-16) Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News…. (2 Co 4:4)
Thought – How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you don’t see God. Perhaps you have been praying, hoping that he will show up, change your situation, make himself known, but you can’t see him. Maybe today is the day that you pause, look back and recognize the ways in which God was present in the many situations and struggles you have been through. When you recognize his presence in your past, you begin to recognize him in your present. Satan wants to blind your eyes to the goodness, love and presence of God, even for us who are believers. And if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, you don’t have the spiritual eyes that God wants to give you. When you receive Jesus, God opens your eyes to the things of the spirit and you see with a new vision, with a new hope. Let today be the day that believers look at all God has done for them in the past, all the stones he’s rolled away, and see that it is Jesus who is walking with them now through whatever they are going through. And if you haven’t accepted Jesus, pray this prayer now. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart. I confess my sins and place my faith in your sacrifice, death and resurrection. I accept you as my Savior and Lord. Fill me with your hope, peace and presence. Open my eyes to the things of the spirit and give me new vision. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.
Questions – In what past situation do you now recognize how God was working, though you couldn’t see it then? Do you have a situation now in which you are struggling to see Jesus? How do you reassure your heart that God is present? Do you think it’s easier to see God’s hand in your own situations or in the situations that others are going through? Explain.
Response – If you are having trouble seeing God’s hand at work in your present situation, talk with a Christian friend and ask them to point out ways that God is working and can work in your situation. Look back and remember how faithful God has been in the past. Know that he is walking beside you.
Prayer – Dear God, thank you for your presence in my past. You have rolled stones and moved mountains in my life. Please forgive my lack of faith in those times when I fail to see how close you are and how intimately you are involved in what I’m going through. Thank you for your never-failing love. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.