Yesterday, we celebrated the epicenter of the Christian faith-the resurrection of Christ. A time of anticipation and heightened emotions. Maybe a time to more readily hope in Christ’s power, to remember the centrality of the Christian faith.
But maybe not. Maybe a time of pain and grief, and it’s hard to celebrate with “everyone else.” Maybe a time of questions, but it doesn’t seem like the correct time to be skeptical. Maybe a time of confusion, as the resurrection doesn’t seem to fit with reality.
Post-Easter, the story of the two men on the road to Emmaus encourages me. These men were close friends with Jesus’ disciples, saw the crucifixion, and knew that Christ was no longer found in the tomb, and heard that He may have risen from the dead. They were talking on the road when Christ appeared on the road with them, and they didn’t know it. Christ acted like he didn’t know about anything that was going on. Christ then opened the Scriptures, showing them how all Scripture points to His Person-and the reality of his death and resurrection.
But these men didn’t recognize Christ Himself until he took the bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them.
Why? I don’t know for sure. But I take comfort that there seems to be a vibrant reality that Christ is present in the Lord’s Supper. That I, a believer who doubts, forgets, questions, laments, and gets angry with God, I am brought to recognize Christ, who gives Himself to us in the Lord’s Supper. I need to know that He is here on Easter and every day. I need to be free to admit that I’m human-dependent, weak, and limited. I am made to need Him; and He needs to give Himself to me. And He gives Himself to me, as one who is broken, as One who rose again with his wounds visible.
So on this day after Easter, know that Easter is not simply just to remember that Christ died for your sin and rose again conquering death and restoring your relationship with God. These events are historically true, and it is faithful to remember and are central to the Person of Christ. Yet in this account, these men did not recognize Christ in Scripture, in prophecies fulfilled, in making “connections” between present events and Scripture.
Christ among them with His broken body: this was their comfort.
I pray that this Easter is not a time to “forget your pain because Christ rose again and is victorious over sin and death.” May this Easter be a time to declare that “The Lord has risen indeed” and then tell your story of walking on the road with Jesus and not recognizing Him, whether because of confusion, pain, grief, or ignorance. I pray He is known to you in the breaking of the bread, that His presence, and His broken body be your source of comfort.
He rose the wounded healer; the resurrection reality is that He makes Himself known, slowly and over time.
Take comfort that He still bears your wounds. Rejoice that Christ is alive, yet know that the celebration does not negate your pain.
You are known by the Wounded One.