Why didn’t these two disciples recognize Jesus Christ? We could come up with any number of reasonable ideas. Humanly speaking, we don’t have the means to see God unless He lets us see Him. The Bible tells us that “no one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18, NIV).
These disciples were talking about the crucifixion and everything that had happened to Jesus. But when they broke bread together, like when they had communion in the upper room, they recognized the peaceful presence of Jesus with them. It was the Lord—He had risen, but “but they were kept from recognizing him” (v. 16). Why?
Jesus explained in the upper room, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matthew 26:26–28, NIV).
The sacrifice of Christ opened the door of fellowship with God for us. The disciples are an example for us. They didn’t understand how God was working in all the events that happened, but through Jesus, they could “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him,” and that verse goes on to say, “For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean” (Hebrews 10:22, NLT).
The story makes clear two other aspects of Christian faith that we need to cultivate. One, the Bible is our resource to see Christ at any time. We can read it, even memorize it, so Christ is with us always. The additional thing that Luke wants us to see is that spending time with Jesus, as they did, causes us to love one another. “They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together” (v. 33).
So, three things come clear with the resurrection of Christ. We have fellowship with God through the sacrifice of Christ. We’ll find Jesus in the Word of God. We are to love one another and share all the good things that we learn from Christ.