THE STORY OF CLEOPAS
In our recent series of posts we read how Peter was converted and became a changed person when he received the Holy Spirit. Now, in this new series, we shall read stories of how other people since then have had a life-changing experience through receiving Jesus as Saviour.
It was the same day that Jesus Christ revived and rose from the dead. Two of the disciples were walking back home late in the day from Jerusalem to their village, and they were talking with each other about all that had happened. One of them, was Cleopas.
As they talked a stranger appeared and joined them. What are you talking about? he asked.
Cleopas, “Are you the only one who doesn’t know?”
The stranger, “What is it I don’t know?”
Then they spoke in a rush, first one then the other “About Jesus of Nazareth of course … how the chief priests got him crucified … we had hoped he was the Messiah Christ … and this morning some of my women friends told us the tomb was empty … and some angels told them that Jesus was alive … we didn’t believe, but two of our men went to check, and – well – the tomb was empty … “
But the stranger interrupted, “Why so slow to believe! The prophets did tell how the Messiah Christ had to suffer – be killed like a lamb – and then return to heaven.” And he went on to explain how the whole Hebrew shastra spoke of Jesus (because that is who the stranger was).
At their home they asked him in. Then at supper he thanked God for the meal in the manner in which he had always done, and they realized he was Jesus!
At once he vanished, and they were left looking at each other open-mouthed, “Didn’t great feelings of joy warm us inside as he explained the shastra?” they said.
Instead of Jesus’ death being the end of all their hopes for salvation, it was actually the final fulfilment of God’s plan which had existed from the very beginning. And they rushed back by night, and found the others too had no thought of sleeping, because Jesus had risen!
(Read the whole story as it is told in Luke 24:13-35. It is posted separately for you)
It was by meeting the risen Jesus in person that the first believers became converted. But it could not always be like that, and it became necessary for one person to tell another as those women did; that is, whether other people will believe you and me or not (The apostles did not believe the women at first). And only rarely, as in some of the stories that we shall be reading, did Jesus show himself again to people on future occasions.
Next time : A god-fearing African meets a disciple of Jesus in the desert.