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when he encountered Jesus and was convinced of his resurrection, it not only turned the direction of his walking, it changed the trajectory of his life

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28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.


Last week, I got all the way to work and realized I had forgotten my computer at home. While I only live two miles away from the church, the journey back and forth felt laborious. Like a waste of time – I was kicking myself. I wonder if that’s how Cleopas and his traveling companion felt. They had left Jerusalem under the guise that their once hoped for Messiah was dead. They believed that their longing for redemption would remain just that – a longing. They had returned home to get on with their life with their clothes wreaking of the stains of death and hopes dashed. They got home, only to be compelled to go back to Jerusalem.

It was in the place of despair that they encountered Jesus. However, for Cleopas, it wasn’t enough to remain in Emmaus and believe, he felt compelled to return to Jerusalem. The very hour he recognized Jesus, he picked up and walked the 7 miles back to Jerusalem. Cleopas’ journey back to Jerusalem was a turn toward resurrection hope. When he left Jerusalem earlier that same day, he walked home in sorrow and despair. However, when he encountered Jesus and was convinced of his resurrection, it not only turned the direction of his walking, it changed the trajectory of his life. His walk back to Jerusalem signified a journey back towards faith, hope, joy, and life. He was choosing to live in light of the resurrection – and he had to tell of the good news, because encountering Jesus changes everything!

The hope of resurrection compels action. It demands a turn – of our faith, hope, and life! Cleopas’ journey back to Jerusalem forces us to ask if there are any areas of our life that we have simply accepted death, pain, or loss, instead of turning to resurrection hope. We are invited to make the same turn Cleopas made. It doesn’t mean that God will raise the dead tomorrow, although Jesus’ resurrection declares that one day he will raise the dead. It means that God is still in the business of bringing beauty from ashes, joy from sadness, and hope from despair. He is still in the resurrection business and as his people we are called to walk toward resurrection hope and live resurrection empowered lives (Philippians 3:10). On Sunday, I used the phrase, “It’s my turn.” What turn do you sense God challenging you to make? It will probably mean journeying back to a place of brokenness or sadness with a renewed hope of resurrection. Take a step of faith and tell someone this week about your “turn.”[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson 

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