Emmaus and Bethany

Luke 24.

Notes of an address by W. T. Turpin, 31/3/1893.

There is a pretty general thought that the Old Testament saints and the New Testament disciples looked forward to the Lord's death as the foundation of their blessing. That it was so in the mind of God is true; but the state of mind illustrated by the two disciples on the road to Emmaus shows that His death had shattered their hopes; indeed the journey proved that for them all was over, and Jerusalem was left with weary hearts. Yet it was the brightest day that had ever dawned on this ruined earth. Three things marked it: the Risen Lord, the empty tomb, the rolled away stone! "He is risen" They set forth the new beginning. Their hearts were in the gloom of death, but the risen One is the same, and they had a place in His heart. They were attracted to Him. How comforting to know that He alone can really take that journey with us! In the skill of His love, He captivated their poor hearts and drew them with the gentleness peculiar to Himself. They drew nigh to the village and He made as though He would have gone further, but they constrained Him. He had awakened ardent attention! Observe the beauty of His action. He was indispensable to them. One feature of this is that He will surely bring us to the place where He is! Let us dwell on the recognition scene, as they sat at the evening repast. He gave thanks as the head of the house and broke bread and in so doing caused the fact of His death to pass before their souls. He was there as alive, passed through death and now risen, as such they knew Him and He vanished. Their eyes had rested on a risen Christ, henceforth they were to know their relationships with Him as such. Their words were "did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us by the way and while He opened to us the scriptures?" Next they rose up the same hour to join Him where He was; this is ever so! He came into the midst and certified that He was the same Jesus and a living man in their presence. He ate before them and invited them to assure themselves that He was really a man but of a new order; hence "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." So that in a risen Christ they were to behold the One who is the beginning of the new order. The cross and the grave closed the history of the old; the opened tomb and the resurrection morning began the history of the new! Hence He is not only the Second Man, but also the Last Adam, i.e., there never will be any other order of man! Next we have the closing scene. He led them out for blessing, Bethany was His platform of departure. It was the only place that afforded Him a shelter in His path of sorrow. He left the world from Bethany. The blessings He gives are from the place where He is, the departing one and now the exalted one, and we receive them as we are led out by Himself to Himself.