In the Gospel of Luke, we come upon an interesting story shortly after Jesus’ resurrection. Two men who had followed Jesus throughout His earthly ministry are walking from the small town of Emmaus to the capital city of Jerusalem. It’s about a seven-mile walk. A stranger comes up to them as they are walking and asks them a question: “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (Luke 24:17).
Now, the writer, Luke, lets us in on the secret that it is the resurrected Jesus who has come up to them, but these men do not know it. They still think that Jesus is dead and buried. And because this is the truth they are living under, their hopes are sinking.
Not realizing who He is, they respond to him: “Don’t you know the things that have happened in Jerusalem these days?…About Jesus of Nazareth – He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (24:18-21).
As the story continues, Jesus talks with them about the Messiah from all the Scriptures. These two men are so entranced that they have a meal with Jesus to talk further. In the midst of that meal, Jesus reveals Himself to these men…and everything changes for them.
Listen again to a simple phrase they spoke to Jesus: “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” The startling thing about their hope is that, even though they were giving up on that hope, the reality of their hope was walking right with them. Jesus was risen, and He truly was the One who would redeem.
So, let me ask you a question today: if Jesus’ resurrection brought redeeming hope into these men’s lives, what part of your life does Jesus’ resurrection need to bring redeeming hope into today?