It happened, on a solemn eventide,
Soon after he that was our surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied, as they went,
In musings worthy of the great event:
They spake of him they loved, of him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurred perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The farther traced, enriched them still the more;
They thought him and they justly thought him, one
Sent to do more than He appeared thave done;
To exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wondered he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A Stranger joined them, courteous as a friend,
And asked them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begged a share.
Informed, he gathered up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explained, illustrated, and searched so well
The tender theme, on which they chose to dwell,
That reaching home, “The night,” they said, “is near,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here.”
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And welcome at their simple feast,
He blessed the bread, but vanished at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, “Twas the Lord!
Did not our hearts feel all he deigned to say,
Did they not burn within us by the way?”
Read the story of the walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) and see Jesus the great physician and counselor at work. Here were two people in a very distressed state, unable to think straight.
First of all Jesus asked questions: he got them to talk, established a relationship, and so made them receptive to what he had to say. His opening gambit drew from Cleopas only rudeness (people who are hurt often react in this way), but he persisted and they shared their trouble. In this way healing was able to begin.
Second, he explained the Scripture, showing them that what had been puzzling themthe death of the one whom they thought would redeem them by ending the Roman occupationhad actually be prophesied centuries before as Gods way of redeeming, in the sense of ending the burden and bondage of sin.
Finally, he revealed his presence. “Stay with us” they had said to him on reaching Emmaus. In the deepest sense he did, even after they ceased to see him. What a blessing for them that they were given to hospitality! What they would have missed had they not been!
Jesus is still the great physician and counselor today. We shall receive his healing as we tell him our trouble, let him minister to us from Scripture, and ask him to assure us that as we go through what may feel like fire and flood, he goes with us and will stay with us till the road ends.