Christ on the Road to Emmaus

During the season of Easter (Easter Sunday, March 31—Pentecost, May 19), our worship bulletin will depict a work of art from the 14th century artist, Duccio, entitled, “Christ on the Road to Emmaus.” This painting draws on Luke’s story of one of Jesus’ resurrection appearances to the disciples on a road to Emmaus.

For your devotional journey in this Easter Season, may I suggest you spend some time reflecting upon this story in Luke and Duccio’s artistic rendering. First, place the picture before you, or cut it out from your bulletin and carry it around with you. Second, read Luke’s story— Luke 24:13-32 every day. Surely one of the blessings you will experience is that you will know this story like the back of your hand—a good thing. Thirdly, each day reflect upon some aspect of Luke’s story that is depicted or pointed to in the painting. [Copies of the painting with the scripture are available in the atrium]

For example, Luke’s story has three settings: a conversation on the road to Emmaus, a shared meal in Emmaus, and Jerusalem. It is interesting that most artistic paintings of this story focus on the supper scene in which the two disciples recognize Jesus as they are breaking bread. This painting, however, depicts the conversation between the Risen Jesus and the two disciples as they enter Emmaus.

What point of the conversation do you think is depicted in this painting? One disciple is named Cleopas; the other is unnamed. What do we learn from an historical point of view? When I look at this painting, it appears that the two disciples, still unaware to whom they are speaking, appear to be inviting this “stranger” to have a meal with them. How does this artist interpret the story?

Finally, if you choose to take this devotional journey reflecting upon Luke’s story and Duccio’s painting, keep a journal recording how God speaks to you. In this time may you “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Experiencing God’s Blessings,
Hal