In one of the resurrection stories, Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, walking unrecognized with them. The story is found in Luke 24:13-35. This depiction by an unknown Flemish painter around 1600 is dependent on pilgrim clothing and imagery familiar to the artist, but it does capture an important theme. The world is a busy place, full of distractions, and as we wander through it we can miss the Savior even as He walks with us. Be sure to zoom in on the tiny details. There’s more going on in this painting that you initially will see.
John 20:1-18 (New Testament for Everyone)
On the first day of the week, very early, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark.
She saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. So she ran off, and went to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved.
‘They’ve taken the master out of the tomb!’ she said. ‘We don’t know where they’ve put him!’
So Peter and the other disciple set off and went to the tomb. Both of them ran together. The other disciple ran faster than Peter, and got to the tomb first. He stooped down and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter came up, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the napkin that had been around his head, not lying with the other cloths, but folded up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, who had arrived first at the tomb, went into the tomb as well. He saw, and he believed. They did not yet know, you see, that the Bible had said he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she wept, she stooped down to look into the tomb. There she saw two angels, clothed in white, one at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus’ body had been lying.
‘Woman,’ they said to her, ‘why are you crying?’
‘They’ve taken away my master,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they’ve put him!’
As she said this she turned round, and saw Jesus standing there. She didn’t know it was Jesus.
‘Woman,’ Jesus said to her, ‘why are you crying? Who are you looking for?’
She guessed he must be the gardener.
‘Sir,’ she said, ‘if you’ve carried him off somewhere, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.’
‘Mary!’ said Jesus.
She turned and spoke in Aramaic.
‘Rabbouni!’ she said (which means ‘Teacher’).
‘Don’t cling to me,’ said Jesus. ‘I haven’t yet gone up to the father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I’m going up to my father and your father – to my God and your God.” ’
Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples, ‘I’ve seen the master!’ and that he had said these things to her.