Beyond Bread

Note from JesusDear Precious Disciple,

Today, I hope you realize that everything is different because of what we celebrated together yesterday. Resurrection Sunday changed everything for all of time! On Sunday afternoon after My resurrection, I caught up with a couple of disappointed and confused disciples walking back home to Emmaus. The disciples didn’t recognize Me when they spoke these words that were poignant reminders of crushed hopes, yet they were still waiting to see what the rumors of My resurrection would actually mean:We had been hoping that He [Jesus] was the One — you know, the One Who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning — the third day after the execution — some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn’t see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something — a vision of heavenly messengers — and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn’t see Jesus.So I stepped into their disappointment, confusion, and weariness. I gave them the sacred blessing of My presence and My grace through the ordinariness of a simple meal, a prayer of blessing, and an explanation about My work on earth.

I broke bread with them — something that I had repeatedly done throughout My ministry. Luke was very good to show you how often I shared a meal with precious people. Some of these people were opposed to Me, some were seeking something more than they had found in their staid religious practices, some were passionate disciples who loved Me, and some were just hanging around with me. Regardless of the reason, each of them was precious to Me. For Me, beginning My passion with a meal and celebrating My resurrection with a meal were natural. My meal with two disappointed disciples was very simple and ordinary, except… they recognized Me in the breaking of the bread.

So as you continue this week, I want to remind you of one very simple, and I hope very exciting, promise that I made:For when two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
(Matthew 18:20)And this promise is fully true when you share a simple meal, call on My name, talk about Me, think about the Scriptures, and share in the love you have for each other.

In your busy and harried lives, you often try to segment life into sacred and secular, holy and ordinary. As your resurrected Lord, I hope you will receive My presence with you at meals as an incredible gift with the simple and gracious joy that I give to you. Anytime and anywhere that you gather with fellow believers and eat food, share in fellowship, and call on My name, you have carved out an especially sacred space in ordinary life. After all, isn’t that part of what My life was about? Wasn’t I the Holy One of heaven Who came to earth to be your human host Who makes all meals in My name into an especially sacred moment of shared grace!

So join Me on the road or at the family dinner table or the communion table. Each of these is an especially sacred place of grace when you gather in My name to remember, reflect, and renew our friendship. More than just giving thanks for your meals, invite Me into the moment and let’s share together in an ordinary, yet especially sacred, space of grace!Verses to LiveThis story that Luke provides is very precious to Me. Enjoy your reading. Begin anticipating when we will sit at the table of grace together with your friends and family of faith. Blessings to you as you read!Picture this:

That same day [resurrection Sunday], two other disciples (not of the eleven) are traveling the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walk along, they talk back and forth about all that has transpired during recent days. While they’re talking, discussing, and conversing, Jesus catches up to them and begins walking with them, but for some reason they don’t recognize Him.

Jesus:You two seem deeply engrossed in conversation. What are you talking about as you walk along this road?They stop walking and just stand there, looking sad. One of them — Cleopas is his name — speaks up.

Cleopas:You must be the only visitor in Jerusalem Who hasn’t heard about what’s been going on over the last few days.Jesus:What are you talking about?Two Disciples:It’s all about the man named Jesus of Nazareth. He was a mighty prophet Who did amazing miracles and preached powerful messages in the sight of God and everyone around. Our chief priests and authorities handed Him over to be executed — crucified, in fact.

We had been hoping that He was the One — you know, the One Who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning — the third day after the execution — some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn’t see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something — a vision of heavenly messengers — and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn’t see Jesus.Jesus:Come on, men! Why are you being so foolish? Why are your hearts so sluggish when it comes to believing what the prophets have been saying all along? Didn’t it have to be this way? Didn’t the Anointed One have to experience these sufferings in order to come into His glory?Then He begins with Moses and continues, prophet by prophet, explaining the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures, showing how they were talking about the very things that had happened to Jesus.

About this time, they are nearing their destination. Jesus keeps walking ahead as if He has no plans to stop there, but they convince Him to join them.

Two Disciples:Please, be our guest. It’s getting late, and soon it will be too dark to walk.So He accompanies them to their home. When they sit down at the table for dinner, He takes the bread in His hands, He gives thanks for it, and then He breaks it and hands it to them. At that instant, two things happen simultaneously: their eyes are suddenly opened so they recognize Him, and He instantly vanishes — just disappears before their eyes.

Two Disciples (to each other):Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn’t you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures?So they get up immediately and rush back to Jerusalem — all seven miles — where they find the eleven gathered together — the eleven plus a number of others. Before Cleopas and his companion can tell their story, the others have their own story to tell.

Other Disciples:The Lord has risen indeed! It’s true! He appeared to Simon!Then the two men report their own experience — their conversation along the road, their moment of realization and recognition as He broke the bread.
(Luke 24:13-35)Response in PrayerO holy Father, what sweet grace that Jesus has given us the promise of His presence in the most ordinary places of our lives. We always welcome Him to our table and receive Your grace in Jesus’ name. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Beyond Bread
Source: Passion for Praise