They had to run away from Jesus. It was inevitable.
They could no longer reconcile their hopes and plans for Jesus and the Jesus they had met.
They had to face their doubts, fears, and secret shame. When they finally faced the worst case scenario, they ran away and asked one question after another. Where had they gone wrong? Everything about Jesus seemed right, but then it all unraveled in a matter of days.
When God’s plans aren’t what you think they are, who do you turn to for comfort? Certainly not God.
These two men walked along the road to Emmaus searching for answers as they sought to preserve their lives. They were doing the most logical thing possible by running away, even if running away meant waving the white flag and declaring that all hope was gone.
No one wants to reach that point of desperation and despair. No one plans to run away, and surrender is unthinkable.
How We Process Tragedy
Every time we learn about or experience a personal, national, or international disaster, our first instinct oftentimes is to find someone willing to talk about it. We need to process what we have just witnessed by putting the events into words. We need someone to acknowledge these events and to agree that all is not well with the world.
These men who ran away weren’t necessarily searching for answers. They were processing everything that had fallen apart. In fact, they most likely didn’t have a “next step” or “answer” in mind.
They were on their way to Emmaus because it was just another place that wasn’t Jerusalem.
A Faith Set Adrift
Resurrection is God’s revival of a life that is dead, flat-lined, and beyond all reasonable hope. The person who is still running, limping, inching, wallowing, or gasping for air has no need for “resurrection.”
No matter how bad things may be, a beating heart that is holding on to its own resources and plans cannot be resurrected. In order to reach the resurrection, we must first reach our own ends. Death is what precedes resurrection.
Jesus spoke of seeds dying in order to find life and his followers giving up their lives in order to save them.
There are many ways we could read this, but in my own experience, part of the story is the way that we must pass through our doubts, fears, and secret shame if we want to reach resurrection.
The resurrection demands a leap into the darkness, a stark confrontation where hope slams into a one barrier after another until we fear that all is lost. In that confrontation with doubt and shame, we wait.
Our own plans and resources will be exhausted. Our only hope is that God will enter into our lives with his power of resurrection.
Read more about Jesus bringing resurrection when we doubt…
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One thought on “There’s Only One Path to the Resurrection”
Thanks Ed! I read the last chapter once again and it was truly apropos to this day of celebration. I, in my own inimitable fashion :-), Had the following thoughts I needed to share stimulated by your post:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters– yes, even his own life– he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
The last words when her vest exploded were, “Allah is great!” In her heart and mind, driving her forward, was the painful picture of her grandchildren in the house struck with those two missiles; one coned with a Cross and other with a Star of David. She was the last authority representing her family. How sad that all three feuding families of faith were spawned from the same family of Abraham. All three today bring to the table/alter of God their authorized shadow of death.
Allah truly is great as our inclusive to all His children who love Heavenly Father just as Jesus teaches first hand to all His students. Our Father loves all His children with more than could ever be used up; our bottle runs over with nourishing love. Our Father suffers when each suffers, especially when the child is His only begotten. Our Father rejoices when each dies to this world and is resurrected into His Family. To inherit life in His family we must love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind and love our neighbor as our self; anything less would not be beneficial for His eternal children’s sake. Jesus gave life with His and never took life even for ours whom He dearly loved.
My parents gave me the opportunity for a temporal life of growth, sharing, learning and savoring and I am in debt and honor them for that. Jesus and His Father gave me the opportunity for an eternal life of growth, sharing, learning and savoring and I am in debt and honor Them for that.
I finally, thankfully, died to the intimidating and manipulating confusion from all of mankind’s exclusive authorities in this world and my Father in Heaven has accepted full faith authority over my life. I actually feel and know now the freedom of simplicity in becoming a new born child again, this time more cognizant. I am no longer subject to the authority of Abraham’s family or any other family except my Father in Heaven’s gloriously divine family influence. Wow, life is really fun as a beloved child again! This is better and I want this to continue on forever. I was not true of my temporal life.
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Dieing to my carnal family to be reborn a child in heart and mind with my Father’s family nourishes daily my love of life for all who choose love. I am no longer intimidated or manipulated by fear in the shadow of death as the dominant authority in my life. There now is only one very real and totally sufficient authority in my life that grants that I live free as a child embraced in the Light. I no longer shut Them out as when I thought I was sinning. I found the only real sin was shutting Them out of my heart and mind. I share every moment in their relationship as the fragile, sincere and loving child I want to be forever better. My Father and my heavenly adult Brother, High Priest and Teacher share with me always now, even when I childishly err, stumble, or even question anything.
What is the age in an eternal life that 18 is equivalent to on this Earth when I must be fully responsible to my choices as an adult? I have that long before I have to give up this light Jesus built, shared and guided yoke to graduate to take up my own as an adult in the Kingdom, of course, still and forever led by the reins held by our Father’s faithful and loving hand of authority.
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