I'm planning to start tomorrow with "Christ the Lord is risen today", leading into Townend & Getty's brilliant resurrection hymn "See what a morning". But the theme of our guest service is "Death by Love" (inspired by Mark Driscoll's book of the same name), so we'll be rewinding back to the cross for a while.
I'd already thought of using Luke's "Road to Emmaus" as a precedent and segue to "Have you heard of a God of love?" (Simon Brading, Graham Kendrick & Nathan Fellingham), "Oh to see the dawn" (Townend & Getty), "Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice" (Matt Redman), and "When I survey the wondrous cross".
So I was already excited about Luke 24, but this quote from Tom Wright just blew my socks off ...
Think of the first meal in the Bible. The moment is heavy with significance. "The woman took some of the fruit, and ate it; she gave it to her husband, and he ate it; then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked" (Genesis 3:6-7).
The tale was told, over and over, as the beginning of the woes that had come upon the human race. Death itself was traced to that moment of rebellion. The whole creation was subjected to decay, futility and sorrow.
Now Luke, echoing that story, describes the first meal of the new creation. "He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them; then the eyes of them both were opened, and they recognised him" (Luke 24:31).
The couple at Emmaus - probably Cleopas and Mary, husband and wife - discover that the long curse has been broken. Death itself has been defeated. God's new creation, brimming with life and joy and new possibility, has burst in upon the world of decay and sorrow.
What a Saviour!