Turned host from guest at Cleopas’s house, Jesus vanished when the men recognized him. His appearance had served its purpose and offered dynamic proof that he Lived!
But he won’t disappear when we accept him as Savior and Lord. True, he won’t offer additional evidence to convince us he’s ALIVE when he’s offered what he considers sufficient proof. But Jesus will always be with his people so they can always demonstrate his resurrected life. Remaining in Emmaus only long enough to reveal himself served Christ’s purpose, so he left. Remaining continually in us can we now demonstrate his presence is necessary, so he stays.
If we’re here and wonder about Christ’s bodily resurrection, understand: the men of Emmaus also wondered. And only his personal appearance convinced them. Important fact, then, it isn’t true that our hope is an empty tomb. All the empty tomb produced were questions and speculation. Only the Living Christ in bodily form produced evidence, that produced conviction, that produced proof, that produced Faith. As only by having Jesus Christ ALIVE in recognized bodily form would God distinguish Christianity from the mystery religions so popular in the empire. Only that produced EVIDENCE that bolstered faith in many disciples through many difficult times.
A.P. reporter Joseph Gilbert stood before the speaker’s platform at Gettysburg to record President Lincoln’s speech in shorthand. Having previously covered the President, he felt comfortable with his style and strong voice. Fascinated by Lincoln’s earnest intensity, he almost immediately stopped taking notes and began listening, looking at the President, not at his note pad. The reporter had become a spectator.
Whatever our stage of education as a disciple—neophyte, upper classman, graduate or post graduate—incrementally become focused solely on Jesus. Only then will we become so involved with his life and teaching that we forget our surroundings, other people, our questions, our doubts and our own lives also.
Jesus Christ, the personal WORD of God in human form, makes the same impact today. He’s vehemently ALIVE! He crackles with spiritual intensity. He’s Terribly and Awesomely TRUE. Fini