The good news of God’s Kingdom is “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (Corinthians 15:3-5), and among the first to see him were two disciples walking away from Jerusalem, away from the revolution that never materialized the way they thought it would, away from God’s Kingdom come. They walked towards a little village called Emmaus. The gifted, compassionate, compelling King of kings was put down by the rulers of Israel and crucified by Rome. Now, three days later, there was rumor of his rising, but how could that be true? They were dejected and disheartened, wondering if good would ever win in this world.
Then, “Jesus himself drew near and went with them” (Luke 24:15), but they were blind to a dead man risen in glory, so they did not recognize him. Then Jesus opened the Scriptures to open their eyes. Perhaps he began in the beginning, in Genesis, when God cursed the serpent, “he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15), explaining that the cross that bruised the heel of the Son dealt a deathly blow to Satan. Certainly, he spoke of the first Passover in Egypt, when Jewish slaves painted lamb’s blood on their door frames, and God said “when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you” (Genesis 12:13). He read to them from the Psalms, “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!” (Psalm 22:16-19); and from the prophets, “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Page after page, the Old explained the New, and the disciples’ eyes were opened and they saw their Savior, and they believed, “The Lord has risen indeed” (Luke 24:34). Good has triumphed because the King is alive, and they turned around and hustled back to Jerusalem, to the disciples, to the coming church, to the revolution.
My God and Savior, You took my sins to Your grave, received the wrath I deserved, and rose to give me hope of a future in God’s Kingdom. Death need no longer be the end of hope, but only a pitstop into eternity. You give me confidence, the power to live well and right, to follow You no matter, to stand with those who call You King.
When I couldn’t see You at work in this world, in my life, you opened the Scriptures and it opened my eyes, showing me truth and grace, causing me to repent, to turn around, and join the revolution of grace which triumphs over evil and ushers in an eternal Kingdom of peace and righteousness. Shape me into a fit citizen of Your Kingdom.