Read Luke 24:22-24. When sadness overtakes you, it seems like the whole world comes to a grinding halt. It's hard to eat, hard to sleep. Oftentimes, you don't feel like doing much of anything.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus knew the feeling. They had lost everything when Jesus died on Good Friday. Then, they had to sit in their sadness. They couldn't travel the distance home because of the Sabbath. So they stayed in town, mourning their tremendous loss with the other disciples—descending more deeply into despair.
The cross that had shattered their dreams was the very instrument of their redemption.
On Sunday morning, they heard the reports that the tomb was empty, that Jesus' body was gone. So, they began their seven-mile journey home. Then Jesus showed up on the road as a fellow traveler. They didn't recognize Him at first, but He was there to challenge the reason for their despair.
How many times have you placed your hope in a dream, only to see it shatter before your eyes? Whatever the cause of your discouragement, I've got good news for you. It's a promise backed by the Word of God and confirmed by the testimonies of millions of people around the world: The resurrected Jesus will challenge the cause of your despair.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus did not realize the cross that had shattered their dreams was the very instrument of their redemption. They did not realize Jesus' death would pave the way for the power of the resurrection, that the old, rugged cross was God's instrument for bringing eternal life to everyone who believes. They did not realize the very tomb that held Jesus for three days is the permanent burial ground for sin, guilt, pain, suffering, and death for everyone who receives Him as Savior.
You see, the disciples were only looking at their circumstances from their limited perspective. But when Jesus showed up, He opened their eyes to see things from heaven's point of view. They saw the cross as a dead end, but it was a critical step on the path of redemption. Jesus' death was not a loss but a victory, not an end but the beginning, not a setback but the biggest breakthrough the world has ever seen. In this light, the clouds of discouragement dissipate. They cannot survive in the midst of so much hope.
Prayer: Father, thank You for a hope that does not disappoint. I know You are at work on my behalf because You love me. May I honor You by living joyfully even in the darkest of days with my eyes set on Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus" (Luke 24:24).