Hopelessness. Sadness. Anxiety. Lethargy. Depression.
They stood still, their faces downcast. (Luke 24:17)
What brought about such a despondent attitude?
The two men who were wandering on the road to Emmaus that day no doubt wandered slowly and purposelessly, their feet dragging through the dust as they pondered their shattered dreams. Frustrated by the ignorant question of a stranger, they recount recent events that have brought about their downcast faces. They had hoped the redeemer of Israel had come – but alas – he had been killed. And now, in a turn of events, his body was gone – some of their women claiming he had risen but the men not so sure (v19-24).
Ignorance must seem to become arrogance to them as the stranger turns on them with an initial burst of rebuke as he began to explain the sensibility of all these events in light of scripture. His interruption of their day became warming to their hearts as they listened and talked with new enthusiasm continuing their journey to Emmaus.
After persuading him to stay with them, he takes bread, breaks it and begins to give it to them “Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:31 – Bold mine)
Something incredible had taken place that these two men could not see. Despite their confusion there was a new reality that would have changed their downcast faces. Yet it was not until their eyes were opened that they could see this reality, and live in its hope.
How often do we drag our feet through the dust of life, neglecting to open our eyes to the true reality of Jesus as the resurrected King of the world. Sure, it doesn’t remove the pain, agony or anger at our experiences in this world. Nor does it necessarily take away the downcast feelings. But having eyes open to the reality of Jesus as resurrected King does bring heart warming hope.
When trouble terrorises us – Jesus is resurrected King.
When suffering strikes us – Jesus is resurrected King.
When anxieties attack us – Jesus is resurrected King.
When relationships wreck us – Jesus is resurrected King.
Recently Hillsong have revived a great old hymn for a new generation. They call it “Cornerstone”. Some know it as “My Hope is built”. Either way, these lyrics are a great call to open eyes to Jesus as the resurrected King no matter what happens around us:
When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand
(Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all)
Perhaps you have reason for a downcast face today. In whatever storm you face, look to him as the resurrected King.