An important element of Luke’s story of the resurrected Jesus appearing to the two followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus that I want to draw our attention to is the disappointment the two followers express. They say in chapter 24, verse 21, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” In that sentence, the followers of Jesus expressed their disappointment and fallen hopes. After all they had seen and heard, they had not expected it to end with Jesus dead on the cross.
But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.
Even when a group of the women followers returned from the tomb that morning to say they had seen the tomb empty and had been visited by angels who said Jesus had been raised, they did not believe them. (When they told the apostles, they did not believe them (Luke 24:11). The apostles’ and the followers’ hopes were all so fallen that their minds and hearts were closed believing that anything positive could come of this. They had though Jesus was the Messiah, but how could he have been, he is dead. They say, “We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
because we know the story, we are inclined to run past the darker moments.
It is important to highlight this crisis of faith in Jesus’s apostles and followers. Too often, because we know the story, we are inclined to run past the darker moments. But, I think it is important to acknowledge those times when a crisis, or tragedy, throws us into doubt and we, ourselves, can not see a way to go forward. This is also an important theme for us to recognize in the story of the appearance of the resurrected Jesus to the disciples and to Thomas in John’s Gospel.
Following Jesus is not easy. It is difficult to live a life of faith when we face horrible challenges and crushing losses. A life of faith has its moments of fallen hopes. We can be confused and God promise can feel broken, and we may wonder if we have wasted our time following Christ. I dwell on this point, even in the Easter season, because all of us have been there, or will experience it, in our life. An important part of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ as central to our Christian faith, is keeping the spark of hope that it makes real. The hope in the resurrected Christ that somehow, and in someway, today or tomorrow, God will transform our brokenness into fullness of Joy.
*Original Image taken from: Title: “The Temple … With engravings after Albert Dürer”, “Single Works” Author: HERBERT, George – the Poet Shelfmark: “British Library HMNTS 11612.cc.5.” Page: 51 Place of Publishing: London Date of Publishing: 1894 Publisher: Seeley & Co. Issuance: monographic Identifier: 001658486. Modified by Rob Park 2014