Scripture Text: Luke 24:33-38 Title: Frightened to Peace

Question of the Day: What would your reaction be if you stood face to face with Someone who had been resurrected?

David Virts

Many times we look back with the perspective of having the Bible complete in our hands and wonder why people reacted the way they did. This is the case when this small group of people who had gathered that first resurrection morning was face to face with their Lord—and they didn’t seem to know who He was. Since none of us have seen anyone with a resurrection body, we probably don’t know how we would react either.

Here is today’s text speaking about the two men who had been on the road to Emmaus that first resurrection day: “They immediately got up and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together with other disciples and said to them, ‘The Lord has for sure risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they explained to them what had happened as they walked and how He had revealed Himself to them during the meal as He broke bread with them. And as they were relating the day’s events, Jesus Himself appeared and was suddenly standing among them, and He said to them, ‘May God’s peace rest in this place.’ But they were literally terrified and scared stiff, and because He appeared instantly they thought they were seeing a ghost. And then Jesus spoke again, ‘Why are you so terrified? And why are there confusing thoughts in your minds?’”

Their reaction, as ours would have been, was to be frightened, troubled, and their thoughts were whirling around in their heads. Think of it this way: the last time they saw the Lord He had been badly beaten, Isaiah tells us that His face was marred so that He was beyond recognition, and some of them had watched as He was crucified. They were in such shock didn’t know what to think. They were bewildered and confused and perplexed as they tried to ponder this day’s events.

Earlier that first Easter morning a group of women had gone to the tomb, found it empty, and two angels had reported to them that He was not there, He was risen; they and the other women had scattered and passed the word around, and several had gone to the tomb and found it empty; Mary Magdalene had stayed at the tomb, and the Lord had appeared to her, so she came and told everyone; and then later that evening two walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus and Jesus caught up with them and explained to them the Scripture; they urged Him to stay with them—of course they didn’t recognize Him, and as He broke the bread they instantly knew who He was; they excitedly had run back to Jerusalem where the disciples were gathered and the women and other believers, when all of the sudden their beloved Lord stood among them and scared them out of their wits.

We are still puzzled because we have never seen a resurrected person, but we can somewhat identify with their bewilderment and the fact that when He did appear, they were frightened. But then the Master came to them (as He comes to us) and speaks the most important words that we need to hear, “Peace be with you.” And His peace came over them, and the rest is history! They instantly went from being frightened to having great peace.

Prayer: Lord, thanks that You came that first Sunday morning and revealed Yourself to the disciples. Your presence is always welcome to us, so we bow before You. Our hearts at times are trembling, but we accept Your peace. When we stand before Your resurrected body and ours are resurrected too, then we will understand the awesome transformation that has taken place. Until then we worship You for the fact that You came back to life—permanently, and that encourages our hearts. Thanks for Your overwhelming peace!