Luke 24: 13 – 35.
The phrase, “You had to be there” is informative – it flags up that if only we had been present at the time, then we would be able to fully appreciate what happened. At the same time, that’s frustrating – maybe if we’d stayed around for a bit longer then we would have gained a fuller understanding for ourselves. That was the experience of the two people walking together along the road to Emmaus as they reflected on all they had seen in Jerusalem. They hadn’t yet experienced the resurrection light of Jesus burst into their darkness, and so their confusion and disappointment comes out as their conversation unfolds: “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Matthew 24:21).
We can look back from Hebrews and know that the sacrificial redeeming work of Jesus on the cross happened “once, for all” (Hebrews 9:29) and so we are able to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). What will it take to move us from confusion to rejoicing in the same way it needed to happen for the two on the road to Emmaus? For them it took the experience of an encounter with Jesus as he broke bread with them (Luke 24:45-48). On day we will have a face to face encounter with Jesus (Revelation 22:7-21) but we don’t have to wait until then. Experience Jesus now through the power of the Holy Spirit as we break bread together.