This had been the worst weekend of their lives.
Cleopas and his companion, both disciples of Christ and perhaps of the 70 who had been sent out to heal and preach(see Luke 10), were making their way home to Emmaus from Jerusalem.
As they started the journey of about seven miles their hearts were heavy with sadness, despair, and disillusionment.
This would be a long sad walk. They explained to the Stranger who joined them that the Prophet Jesus had been condemned and crucified by the chief priests and rulers.
"We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" Luke 24:21.
All their hopes had died with Christ. To make matters worse, the body had apparently been removed from the tomb; and there was the women's report that angels had informed them that Jesus was alive, a story they judged as unbelievable. (Read the whole story in Luke 24:13-33)
"Then he (Jesus) said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" Luke 24:25-27.
It was well that the disciples did not yet recognize their Savior. This gave Him the opportunity to ground them in the prophecies fulfilled by His life, death and resurrection.
It was after urging the Stranger to lodge with them that at the mealtime blessing "their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight . . . . And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem" verses 31. 33.
Consider the difference between those seven mile journeys – one a slow walk of despair, the other a sprint of joy.
He had been with them all along, but it was recognizing and knowing their Savior to be risen that made all the difference.
What about your journey of life? Do you live each day with sadness and without hope not realizing Jesus presence, or is it clear that you are accompanied by a risen, personal Savior? It will make all the difference for you too.