So beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus retells the narrative. As He unfolds the story, the “why” of Jesus’ death suddenly dawns on them and their hearts begin to burn. Still captivated, Mary and Cleopas invite this intriguing stranger for dinner, and He accepts. As He reclines at the table, the Lord breaks bread, blesses it, and passes it on to them. Immediately, their eyes are opened. It is the risen Christ, the One whom they have been following all along.

The message is clear: In His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ has reversed the fall of man and ushered in a new creation. Dead dreams became resurrected hope—all because of Jesus’ raucous resurrection. Fast-forward to the present. The world is full of people who walk to and fro, disappointed, disheartened, and perplexed. Most Westerners have heard a diluted version of the gospel. In fact, they have heard the story incorrectly. The biblical story has been stripped, added to, and complicated. For countless Christians, the story of Scripture has become all too familiar. It lacks color, redemption, and life. The need of the hour, then, is to tell the story differently . . . To tell it differently to those who don’t know Jesus. To tell it differently to the broken and downcast. To tell it differently to the church. To tell it differently to one another. Out of His infinite mercy, we both have experienced Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and it has caused us to exclaim a holy “aha” as we have encountered His outrageous love. Jesus is a beautiful Revolutionary—not overturning governments, but conquering hearts and making them burn with joy. The Australian philosopher Ivan Illich said it best when he wrote, “Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story. . . . If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.” We hope this little book ushers in that kind of change in your heart, your home, and your life.

Excerpted from The Day I Met Jesus by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2015.