Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. (Luke 24:18-27)

 

Still incognito, as it were, Jesus explains to Cleopas and his companion on the road what kind of Messiah he really was. Cleopas relates all that has happened, but is still bewildered and confused by it. Jesus’ response is basically that Cleopas shouldn’t have been surprised at all, had they really listened to him while he was alive! Jesus is patient, though, and engages in what had to be the world’s best Bible study, walking these two disciples through the Pentateuch and the Prophets in such a way that interpreted the Messianic prophecies properly. We discussed quite a lot during the season of Lent just how radically Jesus upended the people’s expectations of what a Messiah would be. The Messiah was supposed to be a victorious king, a successor of David who would restore the monarchy of Israel and overthrow their oppressors. Instead, Jesus suffered, died, and rose to establish a kingdom far more extensive than first-century Palestine.

 

Let us pray: We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Rest: As you take your sabbath rest today, meditate on how Jesus continue to upend your expectations.

The Second Big Bang is a daily meditation for Eastertide curated by Fr. Justin Crisp, our Associate Rector and Theologian-in-Residence. Meditations follow the schedule of readings for our Eastertide adult forums, feature prayers for the season of Easter according to the Book of Common Prayer and Lesser Feasts and Fasts, and are patterned on the seven practices of The Way of Love, a rule of life for the Episcopal Church.