“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him... " Luke 24:30-21 NRSV
Over Lent we have been concentrating on the Resurrection passages in the four Gospels. It does not take long to notice differences in the four accounts of what happened that morning. There are a good deal of similarities but there are some differences. To deny that would make us look foolish in the eyes of the world.
However, if you have ever talked to eyewitnesses of an event you know you get different stories. Different angles of what happened. People see things differently. We are now being told that men see things differently than women! We come at things from different perspectives and so when we retell the story we remember it from different points of view. For me, this adds to, rather than detracts from the accounts of what happened. It helps us to put the pieces together. Seeing things differently can be and often is a plus.
Look at the episode in Luke on the Road to Emmaus. Two of the followers of Jesus are walking and talking about the things that have happened. As they walk they are joined by Jesus. He asks what they are talking about. They respond that they are talking about the events of the last few days. Where has he been that he has not heard about them? The person of Jesus, his betrayal, trials, death and then the story of the resurrection is shared. I say story, because for them at this moment this is just what it is, a story.
Some of the women visited the tomb and found it empty. Some of the disciples went and found it just as the women had reported. Notice—they had a “vision” of angels. I wondered if this is an indication that they are trying to discern whether this really happened or if was a dream of the women.|
It's only when Jesus takes the bread and breaks it that their eyes are opened. They have been walking with the risen Jesus for hours and they have failed to recognize him. Was he that different? Or, were they just not prepared to meet him on the road? They were not yet ready to believe the story. Resurrection is not something to be taken lightly. They have placed their future in the hands of Jesus and now they too have to come to terms with what has happened. It is only when their eyes are opened that they recognize the Risen Christ.
I wonder? Was it in the breaking of the bread that their eyes were opened or was it because they had stopped from their journey and invited Jesus to eat with them? There in a quiet place they see him face to face. Walking down the road they would be beside him. Not looking at his face. Not seeing who he was. Just one who came and walked along with them. It is when they stop and spend time face to face that their eyes are opened.
This Easter season, may we stop and spend time face to face with Jesus – that our eyes may be opened to the possibilities around us.