As I reflected on the story of the Road to Emmaus for our recent Easter service, I ran across this painting by Caravaggio from the 17th Century. I thought that this Supper at Emmaus was a beautiful rendering of this 1st century revelation. (You can view this and other Caravaggio images at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/caravaggio/) When I took a second look at the photo, though, I began to wonder about the number of people seated at the table. The Biblical record would tell us that Jesus walked the Emmaus road and then sat down for dinner with two men. Who's this third guy?
Now, I'm not an art major, but my understanding is that Caravaggio had a habit of painting himself into many of his portraits. Do you notice the man seated in the overly-modern chair? I believe Caravaggio put himself in a place that we all need to find ourselves in at some point on our faith journey. Caravaggio put himself there, where Christ revealed himself as the risen Savior and Lord. Shortly after the moment this painting depicts, Jesus disappears and the two men sprint back down the Emmaus road to Jerusalem to share the revolutionary news- Jesus is alive!
The revelation of a living Christ changed the lives of these two men, as well as countless others who would follow after them. I believe that for each one of us, Jesus walks into our life, and at some crucial moment, reveals himself to us, proclaiming, "I am all that I claim to be." And when we accept him as the everlasting Savior, our lives our changed forever.
Have you sat at the table with Christ? Has he revealed his resurrected life and hope to you? Will you receive it? I hope you have, and I hope that you will. It's the life changing message of hope for the ages.