The Two Necessary Lifetime Journeys We All Need To Make!
During our lifetime, Jesus invites us to make--with Him--two important journeys. The first is Jesus' pre-resurrection walk to Jerusalem, a journey filled with fearfulness about His future and much squabbling with and among His disciples. Jesus spent most of His three-year ministry preparing Himself for His entrance through the imposing gates of Jerusalem. Although Jesus always knew He had to enter that city, He also realized that when He did--He would die on the cross for all of us. This journey had to fill Jesus with both anxiety and apprehension--each step and every mile of the way to Jerusalem.
Besides these interior misgivings, Jesus faced other challenges. His disciples quarreled about earthly power, including such matters as sitting in like the special seat at Jesus' right hand. And not too much later, Jesus had a strong confrontation with Peter.
As you may remember, Peter didn’t want Jesus to enter Jerusalem if it meant danger. Rather, Peter, always protective, suggested Jesus not go. Jesus exasperated, by all their lack of understanding, snapped at Peter.
"Get behind me Satan. You are a stumbling block to me; you surely don’t have in mind the concerns of God, but merely the things of men…” Matthew 16:23.
Sounds harsh, yet Jesus wanted to be forceful to remind His disciples then and now that passing through a "Jerusalem-like" experience as He was about to do is--in all of our lives.
He wanted us to grasp that discipleship came with a steep price. We may be rejected, falsely accused, not believed, or even destroyed in some form or another. The clear message was that these same occurrences might one day be ours.
Jesus, as we know, promised another ending to all this pain. He rose up from His torture and abandonment to live again at home with His loving Father; and, as we believe, the same ending was is ours too.
The Second journey is more about enlightenment than sorrow. This is Jesus’ post-resurrection journey to Emmaus and in His meeting with His despairing and disgruntled disciples.
These pilgrims are upset because they saw Jesus die on the cross in Jerusalem. Walking with these disappointed disciples Jesus asked, “Why are you troubled?” Well, they told Him, they believed Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, but He died and now they know it can’t be true. Jesus listened and then explained through the Scriptures how this had to be true.
Listening to Jesus' explanations, these wayfarers’ hearts burned with delight with every word spoken. Later, while He ate a meal with them, they saw it was Jesus, the Savior.
Jesus had risen, they now believed He had risen, and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others. These Emmaus Road travelers had become true believers, because of this meeting with Jesus and their breaking bread with Him. Then, they began to spread the Good News to all they met. They were now witnesses for the Risen Jesus Christ.
This is why we need to walk these same roads in our lifetime. We journey through struggles, disappointment and doubt to pass through our Jerusalem. Once through, however, we head for Emmaus to understand what Jesus is all about, and Jesus unfolds it all for us.4
On these journeys with Jesus as our guide, we transform our lives and witness with our lives--the Jesus--who lived through Jerusalem and begs us to follow Him all the way to Emmaus and finally to His home--where Jesus resides happily with His father.