Easter Saturday, April 6, 2013 – Luke 24:33-49
You are Witnesses
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem . . .
In the moment that Cleopas and his companion realize that they have been journeying with Jesus, they rise from the supper table to return to Jerusalem. The place that a short time before had symbolized disappointment, defeat and danger now is the focus of all their hopes. They must return to tell the other disciples what has occurred on the road to Emmaus.
So must we tell others about the Easter story as we place all our hope in Christ.
They found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way . . .
The Emmaus disciples rejoice with the disciples who had stayed behind in Jerusalem; they celebrate the reality that the Christ is still with them.
So must we rejoice as we celebrate with Christ.
While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you”. But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
It is difficult to ask our reason to bow to the miracle before them. A few short days from now Thomas will stand before them insisting on hard evidence that Jesus has returned. He must see and touch before he will believe; yet Jesus invites offers Thomas the evidence he needs in order to believe.
So might we be startled and terrified; so might we believe.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that is it myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have”.
Rather than preach to us, Jesus talks with us. He never ceases to tell us in every way he can that he understands our circumstances and our emotions.
So might we be troubled with fear and doubt; so might we touch, see and trust.
While they were still incredulous for joy, and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.
Jesus still shares a meal with his friends just as he has done so often before. He demonstrates undeniably that he is real for a phantasm cannot eat and drink and laugh with them.
So might we be amazed and incredulous; so might we share a familiar and intimate meal with Christ.
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures . . .
The Teacher never misses an opportunity to instruct them again on the Law of Love and the newness of God’s Kingdom. The disciples allow themselves to be open to The Word.
So might we listen for the voice of Jesus; so might we be open to The Word.
Then he said to them, “You are witnesses of these things . . . but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
Jesus requires affirmation from his followers. He also counsels them on the next steps they must take in their newly found work of Kingdom-building.
So are we called to be witnesses.
So are we clothed with power from on high.
So are we sisters and brothers of Christ.
So are we Children of the Living God.
So are we loved both deeply and well.
So are we. So are we. So are we.
Tomorrow, at the Sea of Tiberius . . .