Before we met the stranger we were downcast. Having just left the presence of Peter, James, John and the other disciples we were confused, befuddled and in deep despair.
“What do you think of the happenings this weekend?” I asked.
“It’s all over. This prophet and teacher Jesus the Christ is not only dead but they have also hidden his body from us,” Cleopas replied.
We were interrupted by a stranger, who joined us as we walked towards Emmaus.
“Why are you so sad? And what kind of discussion are you having here?” the stranger asked.
“Haven’t you heard? Have you only just arrived in Jerusalem? Why, it’s all over town.” I replied.
“What’s the news?”
“The best teacher and prophet that Israel ever knew has been falsely accused by our religious leaders. He was then tried by Pontius Pilate and found to be blameless and yet condemned, cruelly beaten, mockingly despised and finally crucified. That was three days ago and certain women who also were his followers came back from his tomb with strange news,” I replied.
“The grief must have caused them to hallucinate. They claim that they saw two men dressed in white who said that this Jesus of Nazareth had risen and would come to us,” Cleopas added, “Such things do not happen.”
“You are being foolish without faith in all that the prophets have spoken."
Starting with the law he began to tell us thigs that were writen there and in the prophets.
"Have you not read that Isaiah the prophet said of the Christ that having grown up before the Lord he would be despised and rejected of men? David also told that, ‘The plowers have plowed his back and torn it open so that his ribs can be counted.’ And, yet another said they would tear his beard from his face.”
“Yes! Yes!” I replied excitedly.
“Was this not the treatment he received at the hands of the Romans?”
“You are certainly correct,” Cleopas replied, “But he is dead we cannot find his body.”
“Doesn’t Isaiah go on to say, ‘surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows’ and ‘he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities and the punishment that brings us peace was on him’?”
“Yes. Did you know him?”
“I seem to remember that he told his accusers that the only sign as to who he was, would be that of the prophet Jonah. ‘As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, the Son of man will be three days in the centre of the earth.’ Could he not possibly have risen again?”
“Look, we’re home and it’s getting late, won’t you join us for a meal?”
While we were preparing the meal the stranger continued to open our eyes to the words of the prophets and great excitement began to rise in us.
As we sat at our meal the stranger lifted his eyes toward heaven saying, “Thank you father for this meal,” and breaking the bread he blessed it.
When we opened our eyes the stranger had gone. We just knew it was Jesus.
Leaving our meal we rushed back to Jerusalem to the disciples to tell them we had seen the Lord. Excitedly we shared how after we had listened to the stranger we just knew that there was still hope.
“It’s true,” the disciples said, “He has also appeared to Peter.”
While we were still speaking, Jesus appeared among us yet again, He really is alive.
This is my own witness to his resurrection.
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