Easter: Captivated by Jesus at the Forks in the Road

“Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.” – Luke 24:30-

31 & 35

As we enter the beautiful season of celebration called Easter, is it

possible that we could all see Jesus in the simple sharing of a meal? Let

me share with you one of the most simple, yet complex stories in all the

Bible, about the power of a meal and seeing Jesus in a whole new light.

After Jesus’ resurrection on Easter, Luke is the only author who writes

about the account of “The Road to Emmaus”. Immediately after His

resurrection, Jesus ends up on a 7-mile hike with two strangers. One is

named, and one is not. As he walks and talks, the two people have no

idea that it is Jesus. Yet they are talking to Jesus about Jesus. They are

completely downcast and dejected, because this Jesus that they thought

was going to redeem and restore Israel, had been crucified and killed.

The dream had died for them, and they literally couldn’t take it


Jesus then goes on to lay out for these two strangers, the entire Bible

story. He moves from Moses, to Jesus, to eternity. And they still have no

clue it is actually Jesus. As they come to a fork in the road, like many of

us do so many times in our lives, they had a choice to make. Do they

keep walking with Jesus, or go their own way. But Jesus had captivated

these two individuals in such a powerful way, that they simply wanted

more! They beg Jesus to come and spend more time with them, and

share a meal. They are captivated by Jesus in a way that causes them to

want more.

Then it literally says in the Bible that when Jesus broke the bread, all of

a sudden they knew who He was. We have been talking about this as a

staff at River of Life Mission, and when we play it out, it all makes sense.

Even now, if you put your hands together as if holding a piece of bread,

your wrists are together. But if you act as if you are breaking a piece of

bread, your wrists are now exposed into plain sight. It was at that

moment of breaking the bread, that they then saw the holes in his wrists

from being nailed to the cross. It was in the breaking of bread that they

recognized Jesus. And it says in scripture that they were filled with “joy

and amazement”.

The Road to Emmaus account in Luke 24 is exactly what we get to do

every day at River of Life Mission. We get to walk with people, we get to

talk with people, and we get to break bread with people. And our

prayer and passion is that people will recognize Jesus in those moments.

Quite honestly, I had never seen this before in this story. The power of a

simple meal! It always starts with the most simple of things in life. A

conversation. Sharing a meal. Talking story. Taking a hike. And then

Jesus is recognized, and lives are changed for eternity.

This Easter we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. We celebrate our lives

being changed for eternity. We celebrate the mighty miracles that only

God could do, and still does today. We celebrate that God has given us a

vision to share a simple meal with people. To meet the most basic of

needs. In a critical time where not having a meal can crush a life, but

sharing a meal can bring a flood of hope. With the constant hope that

even in that simple meal, Jesus would be recognized and that people

would see the nail marks on his wrists, and understand and receive His

perfect gift of eternal life.

As you break bread this Easter with your family and friends, share this

amazing story from Luke 24. The very first thing that happened after

Jesus rose up from the grave. He walked, he talked, and he shared a

meal – but it was in that meal that they finally recognized who He was.

We pray this amazing blessing over you, to be captivated by Jesus in

new and powerful ways. Recognizing Him in big and simple ways,

possibly even over a shared meal. And thank you for helping us do this

with our beautiful guests, who see Jesus every day because of your


I truly believe that when we break bread and share a meal with others,

that Jesus is there in that moment, and people recognize Jesus. Some for

the first time, and others in new and glorious ways.

Happy Easter! Blessings to each of you as you walk, and talk, and share

a meal – being filled with fresh joy and excitement and being captivated

by Jesus…“Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.” – Luke 24:30-

31 & 35

Pastor Paul Gates

Executive Director