|From the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
And so, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, the stranger expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning the Christ. He told them about the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent but be bruised as he did so. He told them this promised seed was typified in the sacrifices which God commanded Israel to offer. He told them that the prophet which was to arise from the seed of Abraham in the place of Moses was the very same one who would crush the serpent’s head.
The stranger continued to explain the scriptures to his companions throughout the entire trek to Emmaus.
“I tell you the truth,” said the stranger, “this one is the God who created the universe who came to earth to give his life to save you from being lost to him forever. And he gave you the word that you might know him so intimately that he will live in you and through your very life. He accomplishes this through the sacrifice of his Messiah and by the power of his Holy Spirit.”
Jacob and Cleopas hung on every word as the stranger continued. “Have you not read that the Messiah was to be wounded for the transgressions of God’s people and that he was to be bruised for their iniquities? Moreover, the chastisement for their peace was upon him and it is by his stripes they are healed. Are you so dull of understanding that you do not recognize the Messiah is stricken for the transgressions of God’s people?”
The stranger stood still as they arrived at the gate of the village and the two men turned toward him. “I tell you,” he said, “it pleased the Lord God to bruise the Messiah – it pleased the heavenly father to make his soul an offering for sin.”
The traveler lifted his eyes heavenward as he continued. “Yes, by his knowledge the righteous servant justified many for he shall bear their iniquities - bearing the sin of many in making intercession for the transgressors.”
With that the stranger nodded his head at each of them in a silent goodbye and turned to continue down the road.
Jacob glanced at Cleopas and then toward the back of the retreating man. He took a step toward him and called out. “Wait! Please, stay the night with us. It is toward evening and the day is nearly over. Why not join us for the evening meal and we will gladly provide you a place to stay.”
At first it seemed the stranger was about to refuse but after a moment’s hesitation he stepped toward them with a smile. “Yes, I will accept your hospitality. Perhaps we can continue our discussion at the meal time.”
A meal was quickly prepared by the household servants; Jacob and Cleopas were anxious to hear more of what the stranger had to say concerning Jesus. They were so taken by the man that Cleopas requested he act as host and bless the meal. Then, as the stranger sat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
All at once the eyes of Jacob and Cleopas were opened and they realized that it was Jesus himself! They started from their chairs and reached for him with shouts of astonished joy - but he vanished from their sight!
To be continued.