As the faithful continue to meditate on the meaning of Easter, Gospel passages concerning Jesus after his resurrection offer illumination.
The gospel story of Jesus encountering two travelers on the road to Emmaus teaches Christians many lessons, one Texas-based pastor told Fox News Digital.
The story, which is recounted in Luke 24:13-17, tells the story of Jesus Christ, newly resurrected from the dead, encountering a man named Cleopas along with his unnamed companion.
“The two were not any of the eleven disciples, and this town is mentioned nowhere else in scripture,” said Brandon Jenkins, pastor at Arkoma Bible Ministries in Rockwell, Texas.
“This could be argued as the moment when the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection was now being identified to more than his disciples and the women who testified of the empty tomb,” he said.
“The Gospel is now beginning to spread as it continues to spread today across our globe,” he added.
In the encounter, Jesus asked Cleopas and his companion what they were talking about. Cleopas and his companion were, in fact, discussing the reports of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but they did not recognize Jesus right beside them.
The two were shocked, “their faces downcast” as they discussed recent events, the Bible reveals.
Luke 24:18 says, “One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened here in these days?'”
Jenkins said, “The crucifixion of Jesus was a well known event to all in Jerusalem.”
This begs the question, he noted, as to why Jesus, an all-knowing figure, would question Cleopas and his companion as to the topic of their conversation.
“Sometimes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit allow us to ask questions to understand better why a situation is happening,” Jenkins said.
“According to our faith, we know that Jesus knew exactly what was being discussed, and what he would say as the conversation progressed,” he continued.
Cleopas and his companion informed Jesus that they were upset that Jesus had been crucified, saying, “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place,'” as Luke 24:21 reveals.
The use of the term “third day” is significant, said Jenkins, and is “used as a potential indicator that the hope of a resurrected Messiah to arrive was still in the hearts and minds of those who believed in the message of Jesus.”
Continuing along the road, still unaware that the person they are talking to was the risen Christ, Cleopas and his companion said that they were amazed by reports that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb, and that he was alive.
Luke 24:25-26 states that Jesus replied to the two men, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe that all the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
Having revealed himself to Cleopas and his companion as Jesus Christ, he then “explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself,” starting with Moses and the earliest prophets. (Luke 24:27)
What exactly is said by Jesus is not revealed, noted Jenkins.
“The Bible does not communicate what was explicitly said in the dialogue of ‘all the Scriptures concerning himself,'” Jenkins also said.
He continued, “One would identify that he likely brought up the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, the crucifixion [and] his death and resurrection,” adding that “Jesus Christ fulfilled over 300 Messianic prophecies in three-and-a-half years.”
He noted, “Jesus had a plan, a mission and a mandate to die on the cross for your sins and rise to give you everlasting life.”
This is true even if a person does not believe or even recognize the presence of Christ in front of them, said Jenkins – as was the case with Cleopas and his companion.
“He did it for you,” said Jenkins of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.