"As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him." — Luke 24:15-16
How could the disciples on the Emmaus road not recognize Jesus? They were returning from Jerusalem, where Jesus had been arrested, tried, tortured, crucified, and buried. Now his body was gone, amid rumors flying that he had risen from the grave.
Just a week earlier they probably had walked with Jesus as he rode a colt into Jerusalem. They had hoped he would declare himself king and take up the ancient throne of David. But instead he was arrested, sentenced, and then crucified. And now they heard tell of an empty tomb and a missing body! As they wandered home to Emmaus, they wondered about what might have been.
We know Jesus rose from the grave, yet we too can still live in the dark about his presence, or even ignore him. At this point those two disciples were in the dark since Jesus hadn't revealed himself to them. They must have wondered who this person was who didn't seem to know what had happened in Jerusalem. So they filled him in.
Walking the resurrection road is still challenging today. Living consciously and intentionally in Jesus' presence is a daily challenge. We so readily miss the reality of Christ with us. Yet this is our hope: Christ is with us whether we recognize him or not. Don't intentionally ignore him. Look for him. Immanuel, "God with us," walks with us.