Matters of Faith: Open Your Eyes

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

Luke 24:30-31 NKJV
His resurrection is our assurance that we too will rise from the ashes of death into the joy of the New Jerusalem.

Walking while visually impaired can be detrimental. Cleopas and his companion were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, talking about the crucifixion of Jesus. It was evident that they were disillusioned, disappointed and discouraged.

Suddenly a stranger shows up and asks them what they were talking about. Their response was rather cynical, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, ‘What things?’ ”So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him” (vv. 19-20).

Cleopas and his friend were there when they crucified Him but had not come to a full understanding or acceptance of His Deity. They said, “And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened” (v. 21 GNT). Three days was the number of days that Jews believed the spirit could not return into someone’s body. After three days, they were dead and done. To make matters worse, they said that some of the women went down to the tombs and could not find His body. So, they were disillusioned, disappointed and in despair. Their eyes were closed.

This ‘stranger’ responds by rebuking them in a very stern manner; “Oh, foolish ones…” (v. 25).

As they walk along that dusty road, he begins to share with them the Gospel as it was laid out in scripture – from Moses through the prophets right up to the present day. Yet, they still did not recognize Him. The Bible says that their eyes were constrained (inhibited, unnaturally restricted). I believe they could have recognized Him had they not been so wrapped up in their own disillusionment, disappointment and dejection. Think of that, the resurrected Christ was walking with them and they couldn’t recognize Him! Jesus was walking on the same dusty road with them – deity in the flesh – yet they do not recognize Him.

But that day was the day that changed the course of history forever. I can see in my sanctified imagination those two men listening to this stranger speak. He spoke with such authority that they are mesmerized. As they reach Emmaus, the stranger indicated that He is going to go further. But it was getting late and traveling at night was dangerous. They invited Him to stay with them.

Joining them as they went into their home, they sat down to eat. Jesus took the bread, blesses and breaks it then gives it to them. Oh my God! Their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him as the one who was crucified. He then vanished from their sight.

All that He shared with them flooded their memory and 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?”(v. 32) Their eyes now open, they went back to Jerusalem to tell the Apostles and other Followers of the Way that it was true! Jesus is alive!

What about you? Are your eyes open? If so, I challenge you to go back to your friends and family to let them know that Jesus lives! His resurrection is our assurance that we too will rise from the ashes of death into the joy of the New Jerusalem. Open your eyes!

Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator/host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), author of Matters of Faith: The Book.

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