Look closely at what happens to these two brothers as they journey from Jerusalem to their home in the city of Emmaus seven miles away. A stranger, whom we know is Jesus, joins them. He asks them what they are talking about and they stop dead in their tracks. They can hardly bring themselves to discuss it they are so saddened by the events of the last three days. Their friend, their master, their rabbi, the one they describe as a mighty prophet, has been unjustly condemned to death and violently killed on a cross. They say to their companion, “Are you the only person in all of Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place?”
This would be enough to unsettle anyone but new and disturbing information is being told. Reports about his tomb being empty and the crazy notions of some who say he is alive. Listen to what happens next on that dusty road at the end of the day. This is the part that intrigues me. Jesus begins to interpret the Old Testament and explains to them how all these things were spoken of by Moses and the Prophets. He opens the Scriptures to them. He transforms their thinking. They had no idea these things were supposed to take place. They had concluded that Jesus’ mission had failed. They now understand that the last three days was the plan all along.
Finally the two brothers invite Jesus into their home. He has dinner with them. Again Jesus transformed the event. There at that ordinary dinner at the end of the day this stranger takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, gives it to them…and their eyes are opened. In that moment they were transformed.
There’s a story about a young boy named Walter Elias. Born in the city, his parents one day moved out to the country to become farmers. Walter had a vivid imagination and the farm was the perfect place for a young boy and a wondering mind. One day in the apple orchard he was amazed when he saw sitting on a branch of one of the apple trees an owl. He just stood there and stared at the owl. He thought about what his father had told him about owls: owls always rested during the day because they hunted throughout the night. This owl was asleep. He also thought that this owl might make a great pet.
Being careful not to make any noises he stepped over sticks and leaves. The owl was in a deep sleep because it never heard Walter Elias walking toward it. Finally, standing under the owl, he reached up and grabbed the owl by the legs. Now, the events that followed are difficult to explain. Suddenly everything was utter chaos. The owl came to life. Walter’s thoughts about keeping the bird as a pet were quickly forgotten. The air filled with wings, and feathers, and screaming. In the excitement Walter held the legs tighter. And in his panic, Walter Elias, still holding on to the owl, threw it to the ground and stomped it to death. After things calmed down, Walter looked at the now dead and bloody bird and began to cry. He ran back to the farm, obtained a shovel, and buried the owl in the orchard.
At night he would dream of that owl. As the years passed he never got over what had happened that summer day. Deep down it affected him for the rest of his life. As an older man he said he never, ever killed anything again. Do you see it? Something significant happened after that event. Something that Walter didn’t miss. Something which transformed Walter Elias, something that redeemed him from the pit of despair, something that resurrected him, something that made Walter Elias Disney give life to thousands of animals on the big screen.
The resurrection changes everything.
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