The Road to Emmaus

Devastated! That is how I felt. I had hoped that he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. But our dreams were cruelly shattered. It was over.

Last Sunday when he rode into Jerusalem it seemed like my dream was shortly going to be fulfilled. Israel would at last be redeemed and set free. The crowds had cheered him into the city. Yet by Friday the crowd were crying for his crucifixion. He died later that day. All my hopes and aspirations were shattered.

I decided to remain in Jerusalem until Sunday before returning home. Just before leaving, some women from our group of his followers, came back from visiting his tomb and said his body was missing. They reported that they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive. A few of our men ran out to the tomb and confirmed on their return that the body was indeed missing.

Hearing this news left me perplexed. I did not know what to do. I eventually decided to head back home and set out with Cleopas to walk to the village of Emmaus. It was time to rebuild my life again.

As we walked along the road discussing everything that had happened, we both felt sad and confused about the events of the last week. Shortly after our journey began, we noticed a man walking alongside us. He asked us what we were talking about and we told him about our hopes that Jesus was the Messiah and how he had been crucified. We also told him too about what the women and men had seen when visiting the tomb.

The stranger then started explaining the scriptures to us showing how they had predicted the Messiah would suffer before entering his glory. He went through the writings of Moses and all the prophets explaining from the scriptures the things concerning himself. As he spoke, I could feel my heart burning within me. Hope was being renewed in my heart.

We had almost reached Emmaus and the end of our journey. The stranger though appeared to be going on. Cleopas and I asked him to stay the night with us as it was now getting late. He agreed and we sat down to eat. And then it happened! The stranger broke bread and blessed it, suddenly we recognised who he was. At that same moment he disappeared.

Looking at each other we both knew that we had been with Jesus, walking and talking with him along the road to Emmaus. Jesus who had been crucified three days ago was alive. He had risen from the dead. The joy that flooded our souls was incredible. No more were our dreams shattered. Our hope had been restored. There was a purpose for living.

Very soon we were on the way back to Jerusalem to report this wonderful news to Jesus’ other followers. I would never forget that day. It totally changed my life. Our Lord has risen from the dead and this changes everything.

Find the Body!

Today has been the worst day of my life. I, Caiaphas the High Priest, presumed all our problems had been solved when they crucified Jesus of Nazareth last Friday. We watched him die on that cross and saw the Roman soldier pierce his side with a spear, witnessing the blood and water flowing out of his dead body. Jesus had died on the cross and we stayed to the end of the crucifixion to make sure that was so. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. He died.

After his death we followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as they carried the dead body to the tomb in which he was to be buried. We saw they rolled a large stone across the tomb. I doubt that even Samson could have rolled that stone away!

However, we were still sightly nervous. Jesus had told the crowds that after three days he would rise from the dead. Some of us feared that his disciples might steal the body and tell everyone that he was raised from the dead. We could not risk that happening. Therefore, we asked Pilate to seal the tomb and put some guards by the entrance until the third day. All our bases were covered now, and we could soon get back to normal life.

For the first time for a while, I was happy. Well at least I was until I heard about this morning’s events. The guards reported the news to us. There had been an earthquake at dawn and the guards saw an angel of the Lord roll aside the great stone. They were so scared they fainted. When they woke up the tomb was empty, and the body was gone.

We had an emergency meeting of the elders, gave a large bribe to the guards, and told them to say that while they were sleeping Jesus’ disciples came and stole the body during the night. Additionally, we told them that if the governor found out we would cover for them. Thankfully, the guards were happy to accept the bribe.

But as I lay here in bed, I am not convinced that the people will believe our version of events. The disciples all deserted Jesus when we arrested him. They ran away. I do not think anyone would seriously believe that they had the courage to attempt to take Jesus’ body from the tomb. Also, the strips of linen that had been covering his body and the cloth that had been wrapped round his head were still in the tomb. If they had stolen the body, why would they have removed those items?

The longer I think about what happened today the more I am convinced that the key thing is for us to find the body. We must find the body. Once we get hold of the body, we will display it publicly to squash any talk of Jesus being raised from the dead. Yet within me is a question that I am too frightened to contemplate. What happens if we cannot find the body? Logic says that if we cannot find it then the words of Jesus have been fulfilled. He has risen from the dead. I must find that body!

Image by Dozemode from Pixabay


Scandalous is a book written by D.A.Carson that examines five New Testament pieces of scripture to discover what they show us about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The material in the book is taken from five addresses that the author gave at a conference.

The first chapter is entitled “The Ironies of the Cross” and is based on Matthew 27:27-51a. Through this passage we see the irony of what is being played out at the cross. For example: the man who is mocked as King is King. Matthew knows this and in the passage makes it clear to his readers. However, the mockers and the soldiers do not realise this, but the gospel writer knows this, the reader knows this, God knows it and Jesus knows it. He is indeed King of the Jews.

In the second chapter, “The Center of the Whole Bible” the author looks at Romans 3:21-26. He argues that this passage of scripture is not only key to understanding the letter to the Romans but the whole Bible itself. He does this by showing where the passage falls in the book of Romans and what Paul establishes through these verses.

The next chapter is called “The Strange Triumph of a Slaughtered Lamb” and is based on Revelation 12. The author believes that it’s important for us to consider Satan’s rage against the church so we can understand what is happening in Christianity today. He does this by explaining in this chapter: The Occasion for Satanic Rage, The Reasons for Satanic Rage and How Christians Overcome Satanic Rage as outlined in Revelation 12.

In chapter four, “A Miracle Full of Surprises”, we look at the events of John 11:1-53. These verses in John tell the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. D.A. Carson believes that we sometimes miss the element of surprise which is in this text as we have become superficially familiar with the Bible. He then breaks the chapter into four sections each containing surprising elements that we may have previously overlooked when reading this passage.

The final chapter “Doubting the Resurrection of Jesus” examines John 20:24-31 and looks at the apostle Thomas. The author starts the chapter by listing six causes of doubt. However, his argument here is that John is addressing the specific doubt of Thomas and not the universal answer to doubt. He then goes onto discuss: The Cry of a Disappointed Skeptic, The Adoration of an Astonished Skeptic and The Function of a Converted Skeptic.

Including the indexes at the back of the book, which includes a scripture index, the book is reasonably short at 173 pages. However, it is packed full of teaching on the cross and resurrection of Jesus that is clear, enlightening, encouraging and challenging. It is one of those books that should certainly be read more than once. If you are looking to read a book this Easter which reflects on the important events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday then I would recommend this book to you.