A Devotional from Luke 24:23–35
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
One of my favorite stories in the gospels concludes in today’s reading. Two followers of Jesus are returning home from the events surrounding the crucifixion. These two travelers were on the road to Emmaus when Jesus, somehow unrecognized, walked and talked with them as they went on their way. He teaches them from the old testament scriptures how his death and resurrection had been prophesied and should have been expected. Oh, to have been a part of that conversation, to hear Jesus teach those things about himself! The conversation was so good, that these travelers compelled their new friend to stay with them for a meal and a little more talk. Eventually, their eyes were opened and they recognized their guest as their Lord. Twice this section of the Word tells us the moment he was recognized, it was when he broke bread (Vs. 31 and 35).
What do you suppose about the breaking of bread tipped them off to the identity of the Savior?
Had they been there the day that he had taken five loaves and a couple of fish and fed the multitude? Could they have seen his hands turn that little lad’s little into a lot that day when he broke the food for distribution? Maybe these disciples were among those in the upper room participating in the institution of the first Lord’s supper where he had broken the bread, passing the portions to each individual. Could there have been something special in his method of breaking bread, or perhaps in how he lovingly handed it out? Maybe it was his way, or was there something else that clued them in to his identity?
I have often imagined that as he reached out to give them their portion, the sleeve of our Lord’s robe pulled back just enough to reveal the holes that had been filled by rusty nails just a few days prior.
Do you think that these disciples, like their future kinsman described in Zechariah 12:10, looked upon those piercings and instantly knew their Lord? A songwriter said about Heaven, “the only thing there that’s been made my man are the scars in the hands of Jesus”. He kept those piercings as an eternal monument to his love and sacrifice.
I guess we will have to wait until we get to our Heavenly home to discover what about the breaking of bread opened their eyes, but one more observation is worth some thought, why was Jesus even breaking the bread at all? He was their guest, invited by them to stay. One rule of hospitality is that the host serves the guests not the other way around, but isn’t that humility just typical of our Lord? Other religions have a God to serve but I know of none that served and sacrificed himself like ours.
Did you know that he isn’t done Breaking bread?
The Bible says in Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”
Hallelujah, what a Savior!