Resurrection, Part One: From Despair to Certainty


When we tell others we have faith in them, we generally mean that, based on our prior experiences with them, we believe they are up to the next task. We use this math (experience = ability) to make daily judgments about whom to trust with our problems, ranging from the mundane (car repairs) to the major (health issues).

In today’s passage, two of the disciples doubted Jesus’ identity and struggled with trusting his abilities. They were transformed when Jesus, the perfect teacher and witness, corrected their doubts and misunderstandings.

  • In what ways do you doubt Jesus?


13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What did the two disciples reveal about their understanding of Jesus’ identity (vss. 18-20)?
  2. What had they hoped Jesus would do? How did he correct their misunderstandings about the Christ (vss. 21, 25-27)?
  3. At what point did they recognize Jesus? What did they immediately do (vss. 32-33)?
  4. Upon their return to Jerusalem, what dramatic and confirming news did they receive from the Eleven regarding Jesus (vs. 34)? 
  5. What has been your response to Jesus’ resurrection?


Bewildered by the sudden arrest, trial, and execution of Jesus, the disciples were leaderless and beginning to splinter. Jesus joined in a conversation between two of his followers on the road to Emmaus, and he gently interpreted for them the Old Testament prophecies about the Christ’s suffering and resurrection. When their eyes and hearts opened, they recognized Jesus, were transformed by their new understanding of God’s redemptive plan, and immediately returned to Jerusalem to share the truth of Jesus’ resurrection with his followers. Seeing Jesus clearly moved them from aimless fear to faithful and obedient declaration of the truth.

  • Praise God for sending his son and raising him from the dead.
  • Ask him to replace your doubts with undeniable certainty about his truth, sovereignty, and everlasting love for you.