The same day that Jesus appeared to Mary in the garden outside His tomb, two of Jesus’ disciples were traveling along the road from Jerusalem toward the village of Emmaus, about seven miles away. The two spoke about all the things that had happened in the last few days, trying, as Jesus’ other followers had, to make some sense of His death and the stories they were hearing.
As they walked, Jesus began to walk alongside them, but they did not recognize Him.
“What are you talking about?” Jesus asked them as He joined them.
The two disciples were so upset, they hung their heads. Sadly looking at each other, one of the disciples, named Cleopas, answered, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard the news.”
“What news?” Jesus asked, hiding His smile.
“Haven’t you heard about Jesus of Nazareth?” Cleopas asked. “He performed many miracles and shared God’s message with people. Now He has been crucified. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“What doesn’t make sense?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you remember what all the prophets wrote? They always said the Messiah would have to suffer before He could be given His glory.”
Then Jesus began to give His two disciples, who were still too overwrought and bewildered to recognize Him, a history lesson of everything that had been written about Him in the Old Testament.
The two disciples listened carefully as they walked, amazed at what this mysterious stranger was telling them. They arrived at Emmaus and insisted that He stay for dinner.
Jesus sat down at the table and picked up the matzoh. He prayed over it and broke it. Then, suddenly, as if a blindfold had been removed from their eyes, they realized just who it was they had been talking to this whole time. But before they could even say His name, Jesus disappeared before their very eyes.
“Well, of course it was Jesus!” they finally said to each other after the shock had passed. “When He explained the Scriptures to us as we walked, weren’t our hearts just burning with excitement?”
So the two disciples jumped to their feet and ran straight back to Jerusalem. They found the eleven apostles, who by now had heard Mary’s news.
“Jesus is alive!” they shouted out.
“We know!” the apostles replied. “He appeared to Mary…and Peter.”
Then everyone began to excitedly share what they had seen. The apostles told about the women who visited Jesus’ tomb, and Cleopas shared about their strange encounter on the road to Emmaus, and how they did not recognize Jesus until they sat down to eat.
While everyone stood there talking over one another, they were suddenly silenced by Jesus appearing in the middle of the room.
“Greetings!” Jesus called out.
Despite all they had heard and seen already, the first thought that came into the minds of Jesus’ followers was that they were seeing a ghost. They screamed and shook with fear.
“What are you scared of?” Jesus asked them. “Haven’t I made it obvious enough, already? Go ahead and touch Me. Do you still think I’m just a ghost?”
Jesus showed them the scars that the nails had left in His hands and feet. His followers gazed at Him in amazement. They could hardly believe He was actually there in the room with them.
“May I?” Jesus asked, reaching for a piece of baked fish. “I haven’t eaten a thing in three days!”
The disciples gasped as Jesus ate the fish. Certainly, He was not just a floating spirit or a figment of their imaginations.
“You should remember,” Jesus told them, “how I told you before I had prophecies to fulfill.”
Then Jesus explained to them all the prophecies that had been written about Him by Moses, the prophets and in the Psalms.