We all have stories. We have some stories in common. Sometimes, we don’t know what they really mean until someone shows us the thread running through our individual stories and our cultural stories.
On the day Jesus came back to life, he started walking down the road with a couple of his former followers. It’s not that they quit, it’s that they figured he had quit. That he was gone. That he was dead.
They were walking, talking about the previous week. Entry into Jerusalem, teaching in the temple, last supper, crucifixtion, rumors of resurrection. If you’ve ever lost a close friend, you know the conversation. If you’ve ever heard unbelievable news, you know the confusion.
Jesus started walking with them. They were preoccupied, and he was somehow disguised so they didn’t recognize him.
I’m interested that Jesus didn’t start with, “ta da!” That would have impressed them. But it wouldn’t have taught them. And teaching them the big story seemed to matter to him. So instead of a big reveal, Jesus started a walking seminar.
He started with Moses. He talked through the Prophets. That’s Exodus and Deuteronomy. That’s Isaiah and Amos and Jeremiah. He took the stories these two people knew intimately, had learned and talked about since childhood, and used a bright yellow highlighter to draw arrows pointing to the messiah. He took a red marker to underline the sentences that were about messiah suffering. He used purple and circled the ones about majesty.
They sensed that this was a remarkable teacher, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime explanation. All of the pieces were starting to make sense.
They arrived at home They asked him in, “Because it’s evening.” He stopped. He gave the thanks for the food.
Immediately, they knew who it was. Immediately, he was gone.