Read Matthew 28:16–20
Jesus tells his disciples to move past the disappointment they experienced after his death and let the world know of the joy they felt when he came to them, risen from the dead.
Two heartbroken and bitterly disappointed disciples, leaving Jerusalem after Jesus’ burial, were on the road to a town called Emmaus. They had hoped and believed that Jesus was the one sent to redeem Israel. But those hopes were shattered just as his body was shattered, and then beaten, bruised, crucified, and buried. Their dreams died on the cross with him.
A man met them on the road and walked along with them as they talked of these things. But they were so downcast, so crushed, they never took a good look at their fellow traveler. Their heads, like their hearts, were bent in despair.
“What are you discussing?” the man asked.
Amazed, they stopped. “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” the man asked.
“The chief priests and rulers handed Jesus of Nazareth over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him,” the men replied. “It is the third day since all this took place.”
It was then that the apparent stranger began explaining to them how Israel was going to be redeemed. He knew the promises of God by heart, and explained how those promises would be fulfilled in such a way that they would change the world. A new kingdom was at hand.
When they reached Emmaus, the disciples urged the man to stay and have dinner with them. He did, and when they all sat down to eat that night, he “took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them.”
Suddenly their eyes were opened. The one walking with them through their disappointment, the one who gave them hope that God had a plan––a plan so big that even a crucifixion couldn’t stop it, a plan that would in fact use the crucifixion to redeem the world––was Jesus himself. He was not only alive but here, right in front of them, blessing them, feeding them, walking them through their deepest disappointment. He had not left them; he had not forsaken them.
Sometimes, like the disciples, we’re so blinded by disappointment that we can’t see Jesus walking with us through our heartache, leading us to something better ahead. He wants to show us that God has made a way for us that leads far beyond disappointment.
Christ promises that something better awaits beyond disappointment. Some mission God designed just for you, custom tailored—something that takes you not on a road to nowhere but to a place where you can feed others just as he has fed you.