Luke 24 begins with history’s pivotal event. Stone rolled. Grave empty. Jesus alive. In the greatest plot, the one that defines our future, the one that was did not originate in a screenplay, the twist on Jesus’ death by crucifixion is life!
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)
And so the work of the Gospel begins. This good news must be shared by those who believe. That’s you and me, friend.
Jesus kicked off the missionary work. Luke 24 continues (verse 13) with two of Jesus’ followers leaving Jerusalem. They are headed to Emmaus, on a seven mile walk. “Is that it? Death on a cross?” “I know, right? Did you hear that the grave is emtpy?” “Yeah, no Jesus to be seen, though.”
Jesus joins them.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
The resurrection truth is the foundation of Christianity and it has been shared person to person for over 2000 years. I’m intrigued by the Emmaus walk for reasons beyond the Gospel’s beginning, though.
Emmaus is the Latin name for the town near Jersusalem, so it appears in that form in our English Bible translation. In Aramaic, the primary language of the Jews and Jesus at that time, Emmaus is Imwas (these are the English letters for the Arabic characters).
Imwas. I’mwas. I’m was.
I am. I was.
I’ve taken some interpretive liberty here, but this speaks directly to Jesus’ identity.
The Gospel of John begins:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
Jesus was before time began.
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and stubborn, fearful (you know, like you and me) Moses asked for a name, an identity for the one who sent him, to give to the Israelites, God replied simply:
I am who I am. (Exodus 3:14)
Finally, in the revelation from Jesus Christ, the final book of the Bible:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)
Listen: Step out on the Emmaus road. Walk the Imwas path. Head straight toward the I am, I was. You won’t walk alone. He’ll walk with you and tell you all about the good news.