Read Luke 24:13-21. For the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the cross hadn't just put an end to the life of Jesus; it had put an end to their hope as well. "[W]e had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel," they lamented (Luke 24:21). They saw their dreams dashed on the cross.
In the days that followed Jesus' crucifixion, these disciples were overwhelmed by a sense of utter hopelessness. You see, they loved Jesus. They had walked with Him. They had followed Him. They had placed their trust completely in Him. But the death of Jesus ended it all, and they didn't know what to do.
In the fog of despair, they'd forgotten that Jesus had to die.
In the fog of despair, they'd forgotten that Jesus had to die. This was the reason that Jesus came to earth in the first place. This was the reason He left the glories of heaven to be born of a virgin, and this was the reason He lived a perfect life. Every moment was lived in obedience to God the Father even unto death by crucifixion for the joy of taking away the sins of all who believe in Him!
But these disciples had forgotten Jesus' promise. During His public ministry, Jesus—God's only begotten Son in human flesh—said again and again that He would die to save everyone who repents of their sins and believes in Him. And then He told them, "I'm going to rise on the third day" (see Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22). In the darkness of disappointment, the disciples were so consumed by sorrow that they forgot this part of the story. They forgot that God had a plan.
Perhaps you've felt the weight of overwhelming grief and despair, too. Perhaps you're there right now. If so, you are not alone. Bouts of discouragement and anxiety plague people from every walk of life. Especially in our culture today, the struggle is all too common. But there is Good News: Jesus can cure every wounded heart. He alone can come alongside you and give you true peace. He alone can take away your misery and give you a mission.
And there's more. Jesus did not come from heaven just to cure our discouragement; He came from heaven to redeem us and give us eternal life with Him. He came to permanently forgive our sins. So let us turn from our sin and put our trust in Him!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I forget the big picture, the incredible promise of eternity with You in a redeemed new heaven and new earth. Help me hold fast to this wonderful Truth every day. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him" (Luke 24:15-16).