As the Lenten season draws to a close this Passion Week, Easter will be upon us once again. Last year Easter seemed so dismal because everywhere was locked down. Everywhere in the world! We were in the heat of the first wave of the corona virus pandemic and even medical science and the world medical police were at a loss as to what was going on. Fast forward to March/April 2021, following a lot of deaths from the deadly virus and a lot of research and development, vaccines have been created to help reduce the risk of contracting the disease and spreading it. Churches and places of worship all over Nigeria where I live and in some other countries have been opened to worshippers (with the observance of all COVID 19 protocols) and as such, this year many of us are looking forward to celebrating Easter in Church.

It is because of Easter that we even have a “Faith”. Jesus was crucified for us, He took all our sins upon Him, He died and rose again and now He lives and reigns forever. Halleluyah!!!

But do we recognise this Jesus that gave His life for us? Do we recognise the God that became man, to dwell with man, to save man, to reconcile man to Himself? Do we recognise Him at all? We are told that when two of the followers of Jesus were busy discussing all that had happened after the crucifixion and resurrection, that Jesus himself came close to them, “But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” Luke 24:16 ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION (Some versions say that God prevented them from recognizing Him.) I pray that we will never be kept from knowing when Jesus walks with us through our difficulties.)  Now this was Jesus in bodily form and they still did not recognize him.  Are we like these followers of our Lord and Saviour who are so busy worrying and talking about our trials and challenges, are we like them, so overwhelmed and so consumed that we do not see Jesus walking with us through the  “valley of the shadow of death” that we do not even recognise Him?

See what happened next? “As they sat down to eat, he took bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognised him. And at that moment he disappeared!” Luke 24:30-31 NLT It was when they sat down to a meal together that they saw it was really Jesus who had been with them all the while. In more recent times business lunches and dinners have become a norm. But traditionally, meal times were more of an intimate affair. At the last supper we have visions of how Jesus reclined and spent time with his disciples. So I want to believe that in verse 30 above, they must have been in a more relaxed and intimate setting. They must have had time to see their guest in a closer way that revealed his true identity as being Jesus.

My charge to us is this:  “Are we intimate with Jesus?” Are we relaxed in His presence or are we always in a hurry to rush off to something else? Bread is also indicative of the Word of God. Jesus is the bread of life and Jesus is also the Word of God. Every time we sit down to eat from the bread of life that is the word of God, then shall our eyes be open to more of whom Jesus is.

Therefore as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, let us commit to intimacy with the Word of God, being Jesus Himself, and spend quality time with Him in His word. When we do so let us be assured that we will always recognise His presence with us no matter what we are passing through. “For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41: 13 NLT  The act of holding us by the right hand is a continuous one. Let us therefore know beyond any doubt that He is always with us.