Burning Hearts on the Road to Emmaus
“Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)
Two Disciples Meet the Lord on the Road to Emmaus
Luke records the story of two disciples who meet the risen Lord as they walk along the road from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
It’s been three days since the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. The two men are talking and discussing the extraordinary events of the past few days when Jesus Himself joins them on the path, although they are prevented from recognizing Him. Jesus asks what they’ve been discussing, and they’re surprised that He seems unaware. So one of the men, Cleopas, asks, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
They are even more baffled when Jesus follows that up by asking, “What things?”
What things? they’re probably thinking. Are you kidding me? So they tell Him about Jesus of Nazareth, an undeniable prophet of God who had done many miracles and taught the people with authority. He was condemned to death and crucified even though His followers had hoped He was the promised Messiah, the Anointed One. That was three days ago. Then, this very morning, they received word that some women had visited His tomb and found it empty, His body gone! The women claimed to have seen a vision of angels who told them Jesus was alive. Others went to take a look and found the empty tomb but no sign of Jesus.
The companions keep walking, and Jesus remains with them all the way to Emmaus. As the day is almost ended, the two men urge Him to stay the evening. As they sit down to eat, Jesus blesses the bread, then breaks it and gives it to them. At that moment, their eyes are opened and they recognize their Lord. But then He vanishes from their sight.
Their Hearts Were Burning Within
Sensing a missed opportunity, they look at each other in amazement and talk excitedly about how their hearts were burning during that seven-mile walk. The fact that the name Emmaus means “warm” or “hot” only adds to the color and emotion of this account.
The men then get up right away and head back to Jerusalem, not wanting to blow it again. When they find the apostles and the others gathered with them, they testify that Christ has risen indeed and they have seen Him. As the disciples are talking this over, Jesus appears in their midst and speaks peace to them.
Can you imagine being one of these two men at that moment? Something tells me they didn’t let their eyes look away from Him for a split second. They probably tried not to blink. Now they knew they were looking at the risen Messiah. This same man who they knew died on a cross just three days earlier—here He was, standing right in front of them, alive as can be.
The Resurrection Changed Everything
For these men, it was clear that the resurrection had changed everything. The old way of things ended at the cross, and a brand-new way of life was beginning. Jesus was the first fruits, and their faith was not in vain. Their hearts had burned inside them on that fateful walk to Emmaus, but now they would be truly on fire for the kingdom of God and His Anointed One, Jesus of Nazareth.
Heavenly Father, my heart burns just thinking about what it must have been like for Cleopas and his friend. They saw and believed. I may not see with my eyes, but I also believe. I believe that Jesus is your Son. I believe that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. I believe that He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and died on a cross. I believe that He was buried yet rose again on the third day. I believe that He ascended into heaven and now sits at your right hand. And I believe that He will come again. I believe. Amen.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!