The Day I Met Jesus- Frank Viola & Mary DeMuth
APRIL 11, 2015
In Luke 24, the author tells an incredible story about the risen Christ. Earlier that morning the greatest historical event known to humankind occurred: Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. As the sun begins to set, two disciples of Jesus walk from Jerusalem to the town of Emmaus. Cleopas and his wife Mary. Perplexed and saddened, they had expected Jesus to save Israel from pagan domination. But instead, the Romans put the young prophet to death in the most violent way. As Cleopas and Mary walk along the road to Emmaus, a mysterious stranger joins them. The stranger inquires about their conversation. They respond, “We followed a prophet who we thought was the Messiah. We hoped that He was the One who would redeem Israel. But He can’t be the Messiah because He was put to death on a cross.” This mysterious stranger is Jesus, the risen Lord. But they do not recognize Him.
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. http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com