The Pastor’s Thoughts — April 23, 2023, Third Sunday of Easter

April 21, 2023 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“They recognized Jesus in the breaking of bread.”

We have heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” That saying aptly applies to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were “caught up” in the different events surrounding Jesus’ passion and death. They saw Jesus as He was tried before the chief priests, scourged, and crucified at the hands of the Romans by Pontius Pilate. Now, it had been three days since Jesus died and was buried. When we look at individual trees, we can miss seeing the whole forest. These disciples so concentrated on each event of Jesus’ Passion and Death, that the lost sight of His prophesy of Resurrection and the salvation these events bring to all mankind.

Discouraged, two disciples were traveling the seven miles on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They had hoped that Jesus was the one to lead Israel to freedom. Their idea of freedom was from Roman domination. Now, after Jesus’ death, they did not know what to believe.

Our risen Lord, Jesus, joined them on their journey and after asking them questions, as if He were a stranger to these recent events, He began to open the Scriptures to them. Jesus told them how everything in the Old Testament had been fulfilled in Himself; however, the disciples did not know who was speaking with them. Only when Jesus blessed and broke bread with them, did they realize it was the risen Lord, Jesus.

The disciples were so wrapped up in the events of the past three days (the trees) that they failed to see that Jesus had told them why it was necessary that these events would happen (the forest). However, Jesus enlightened their minds to look past these recent events and see their purpose, the salvation of mankind.

Jesus also opens the purpose of His suffering and death to you and me. He opens the fulfillment of His mission in His resurrection to us. Now he calls us, as He did the disciples on the road to Emmaus, to continue His mission of salvation, by carrying His love and mercy to others. How do we do this? We do it by the way we live. Jesus said, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” When we give to others the same self-giving love that Jesus gives us, we help others to enter into the light and life of Christ, the Light and Life of Love.

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