Read Luke 24:1-35.
It is Sunday afternoon. Two grieving disciples are leaving Jerusalem and slowly making their way home. Along the way they talk about recent events. In time a stranger joins them in their travels, a stranger who is oddly unaware of the recent happenings in Jerusalem. They tell him about Jesus, about the crucifixion, and the strange tale their women told about angels and the empty tomb. But it is clear their dreams died along with Jesus, and still remain buried in the borrowed tomb.
The Stranger calls them foolish, a word always used in the Bible to describe people who view this world as if God didn’t exist. He patiently leads them through the Old Testament writings that foretold the suffering, death and resurrection of God’s promised Messiah. As He speaks their hearts burn within them, filled with astonishment and excitement as it finally dawns on them the cross is not a sign of failure and shame, but God’s glorious plan to save humanity.
This day when we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection our hearts burn anew-filled with wonder and holy joy. Our Lord has conquered sin and Satan. He has risen victorious over death and hell. We no longer grieve the death of believing loved ones because we know they are with Jesus Christ in Paradise, and on the Last Day He will raise them as He Himself was raised. And we ourselves no longer fear death because it lies crushed and vanquished beneath His feet. On the Last Day He will return, and we will live with Him in triumph forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, Victor over sin and death, stay with us, for it is evening and the day is almost over. Comfort us through life and death until You raise us to live with You in glory forever. Amen.