“Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
What impact does Easter have on your life? Is it a once-a-year festive celebration with bright-colored spring clothing and Easter lilies or a life-changing reality which motivates you all year long?
The excited declaration of the Emmaus disciples describes a lasting Easter effect: “Were not our hearts burning within us?” But on Easter Sunday afternoon they were walking home from Jerusalem to Emmaus with heavy hearts. No fire burned within. They were downcast. A stranger joined them, whom they did not recognize as the risen Christ. They were sad because they thought Jesus was still dead. They told the Stranger about the visit of the women and the message of the angels that Jesus was alive. They even knew about the visit of the disciples who found an empty tomb. Still, they hadn’t seen Jesus personally and thus doubted His resurrection.
We know the story of Easter and may even accept Jesus’ resurrection as historical fact. But we don’t always believe that He is alive today in our lives and for our problems. Like the Emmaus disciples, our hearts are cold.
Jesus makes the difference. He opens the Old Testament Scriptures to them about the Messiah’s saving mission. While breaking bread with them in their home, Jesus reveals Himself. Now they joyfully speak the words of our text. They believe in the risen Christ and hurry to the city to bear witness.
Jesus kindles a flame also in our hearts. Sins exposed and confessed, we see Jesus as Savior, alive from the dead. The Scriptures come alive for us. Our hearts burn within, and we hurry to bear witness. Easter all year long. Burning hearts aglow with the risen Christ present in Word and sacraments!
PRAYER: Risen Lord, kindle the fire of Your Word in our hearts. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)