LÖHE ON LUKE 24:15-16.30-31

Jesus in EmmausAs they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him…When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. (Luke 24:15-16.30-31 NIV)

As the Lord wanders with his disciples and reveals himself to them, he is touchable. He touches, lifts up and blesses the food. He breaks the bread and gives it to them. It was he, who had hung upon the cross. He was there in bodily presence. His disciples recognize him, yet he disappears before their eyes. His bodily presence stops and he is absent – no longer with them as before. He was present in the room, but the room could no longer hold him. His body was no longer bound by space and time. We don’t know from where he came and where he went – not even how exactly he was with them, while his presence lasted. Yet we do know, that his body in which he appeared to his disciples, was not his just for a brief moment, but rather that of all eternity, the real body but no longer subject to the spatial and timely restrictions of our mortal bodies. He was visible and invisible, present and absent, just as the Lord wanted to be. What a wonderful matter this eternal body of our Lord, which we too will share by his grace and mercy + as he already has made us part of this new creation through holy Baptism.

Resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ + We trust your gracious promise that the resurrection from the dead is to be a reality for all our bodies, dead, buried and deceased in many different ways. Yes, you have promised an eternal life for your saints and an eternal death for sinners. You have said so, so it will be like that. We rejoice in this wonderful prospect and praise your holy name o God of our life and our salvation. Amen.

Jesus lives! The vict’ry’s won! Death no longer can appall me. Jesus lives! Death’s reign is done! From the grave Christ will recall me. Brighter scenes will then commence; This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! To Him the throne High above all things is given. I shall go where He is gone, Live and reign with Him in heaven. God is faithful; doubtings, hence! This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! For me He died; Hence will I, to Jesus living, Pure in heart and act abide, Praise to Him and glory giving. All I need God will dispense; This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! I know full well Nothing Me from me shall sever, Neither death nor pow’rs of hell Part me now from Christ forever. God will be my sure defense; This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! And now is death But the gate of life immortal; This shall calm my trembling breath When I pass its gloomy portal. Faith shall cry, as fails each sense, Jesus is my confidence!

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after Easter. It is found on Pg. 163 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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