Home > Reading > Daily Reading – April 9, 2023

The Resurrection of Our Lord

Dear friends, greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus on this day when we remember and celebrate His resurrection from the dead! Easter Sunday is the day to which all of the Old Testament promises where ultimately pointing, and the day in which all of God’s promises to us were fulfilled. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can be certain in our hope of eternal life when we die; we can be confident in our witness in this life to what He has done and accomplished for us.

Today’s passage is one of several accounts of Jesus’ appearing to His followers during the forty days between His resurrection and ascension. It comes on the afternoon of that first Easter. Two men were walking from the city of Jerusalem to the small village of Emmaus. One of them was a man named Cleopas. The other is not named, although some of conjectured that it might have been Luke, the writer of this account. We don’t know for sure.

It says, while they were traveling, they were talking about the things that had just happened in Jerusalem, about how Jesus had been killed on a cross, and, on the third day, had raised from the dead. Jesus was with them while they were talking, but they were kept from recognizing who He was. When they arrived at Emmaus, they convinced Jesus to stay with them, and so He did. While they were eating, Jesus blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to them. And when He did, Luke tells us, He suddenly disappeared from their sight.

Now, there is much in this resurrection account to which we could devote our attention. Allow me to share just a few thoughts from one verse. In verse 31 it says, “Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him””.

As it was with those two men on the road to Emmaus, so it is possible today, as well, that Jesus walks along the path of life, known to some, but unrecognized by many. Proclaimed in the Scriptures, witnessed to by the body of believers known as the Church, signs of His goodness and grace and love for this world all around, and yet people still fail to see who He is, what He has done for them, and how much they are loved by Him.

Luke tells us that Jesus, as He walked, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself…” Does that not make it clear that hearing the Word of God in our daily lives is important? Does that not make it obvious that learning from the Word and following it in life are key to knowing and understanding who Jesus is, and what life on this earth is all about?

“Their eyes were opened,” it says. When He blessed and broke the bread and gave it to them, “they recognized Him”. As is true in His Word, so it is true in the Sacrament. When we gather together and share that blessed meal, we hear His word of promise and how His death on the cross has paid the price for, covered, and erased all of our sin. Our eyes are opened, and we recognize Him for who He is and for what He has done for us.

Just as it was with the early disciples, so it continues to be in the fellowship of believers that our knowledge of Jesus is nourished and strengthened and grows to maturity. Whether the two on the road to Emmaus, the eleven gathered in Jerusalem, the 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost, or the millions of believers who have come to faith ever since, eyes continue to be opened, and Jesus continues to make Himself known in His Word, in the Sacrament, and in the fellowship of the Church.

May what happened to those two on the road to Emmaus, on that first Easter Sunday, be said on this Easter Sunday of us. 

Prayer: Lord God, on this day when we remember and celebrate our Lord’s resurrection from the dead, we find ourselves living in a world where eyes continue to be closed to Him. Help us to live with open eyes, with receptive hearts, and with a willingness and readiness to speak His Word that others might begin to see. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Selbo

“”Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher,
Martyr, 1945″”

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After several challenging years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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