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Why Emmaus Road

Emmaus was a village near Jerusalem, the city in Israel where Jesus was falsely convicted and crucified. A few days after Jesus’ crucifixion, the book of Luke records two men who had followed Jesus during his ministry, returning home to their village of Emmaus. While on the road they were discussing the events surrounding their Messiah’s death. The disciples from Emmaus were counting on Jesus to redeem Israel — that is, to rescue the nation from its enemies. Most Jews believed that the Old Testament prophecies pointed to a military and political Messiah; they didn’t realize that the Messiah had come to redeem people from slavery to sin. When Jesus died, therefore, they lost all hope. They didn’t understand that Jesus’ death offered the greatest hope possible.

While the men were walking, a man joined them on the road to Emmaus. It was Jesus, the Risen Savior! However, the men did not recognize him and were astounded that the man apparently was not aware of the terrible events about Jesus’ death. The man instead spoke of the clear prophecy found in the Bible that the Messiah would have to suffer and die in order to enter his glory and set humanity free from their sin. When they had reached Emmaus, the two men asked the stranger to stay with them because it was getting late. Later that evening in the men’s home, they were eating a meal together and their guest gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to them. Immediately Luke says, the men recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. The followers of Jesus remarked, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:13-32 (NIV)