Easter to Pentecost: Disappointment
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him. He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there, in these days?’
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’
Luke 24.13-18 & 30-34
In life, it doesn’t take long before we find disappointment. Maybe you put your hope in a politician, that they will come into office and do the right thing? Then your hopes are dashed on the rocks of reality. Maybe you put your hope in your family that they are going to be there for you? Then, when they are not, you feel disappointed.
When we build our hopes on people we are always disappointed. We can't really depend on human beings. But the hope that is in Jesus is not based on hypotheticals, but on the certain promises of God. When you place your hope and trust on Jesus you don’t have to ask, ‘What if? What could have been? What should have been?’
These two disciples had had a horrible week. They had seen Jesus betrayed by one of his closest disciples and crucified between two criminals. Mary and a few of the other women had reported that Jesus was alive, as had Peter and John. These two disciples, however, didn’t believe the women, nor Peter and John, so they left Jerusalem and took the road towards Emmaus. They had their own opinion about the events of the last few days but they didn’t yet know about God's opinion.
While they were talking about the ‘dead’ man, confused, their hopes dashed, Jesus came nearby and walked with them. That’s what happens when we are about to lose hope: God shows up in life!
I can clearly remember when, because of my not-so-wise choices in life, I was in depth of despair. My family rejected me and I didn’t know what to do and where to go. I never thought that I could survive. But exactly at that moment Jesus showed up in my life and gave me a new beginning. Jesus renewed me and gave me this unending hope because I realised God cares for me and has plans for my life; this was the turning point that God planned for me.
The two disciples didn’t recognise Jesus even when he asked them what their argument was about. Cleopas, one of the disciples, said to him,
‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there these days?’
It was ironic that on the one hand Cleopas accused Jesus of ignorance for not knowing what had happened in Jerusalem, yet on the other, this was Jesus he was speaking to, the one who had experienced death, who was the ‘crucified God’ and knew all things.
However, when Jesus broke the bread for them and they heard him pray - that was when their eyes were opened! Now they heard Jesus, saw him in their hearts and God opened their eyes to see Jesus.
Let me tell you something: when your heart is burning, God is telling you something; and when your heart burns you need to act on it. That’s why they rose and went back to Jerusalem and told others about it. My heart was burning like these disciples and I told my family about it, I told my friends about it and even people I didn’t know!
I had felt disappointment but God somehow showed up in my life and opened new doors for me. I don’t feel fear and loneliness as I did before; I have hope and it's not ending because I gave my life to Jesus. I am no longer on my own but am full of God’s peace and am now part of a bigger community of disciples.