“That same day two of Jesus’
followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from
Jerusalem. As they walked along
they were talking about everything that had happened.As
they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and
began walking with them. But
God kept them from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:13-16 NLT)
Let me begin with a Tarzan story. Well, this is as real as it is surreal. Johnny Weissmuller was a Champion Olympic swimmer. He donned the role of Tarzan the ape man in the Silver screen with as much aplomb in the 1930s & 40s as he dominated the Olympic swimming lanes in 1920s. He also had a “close encounter of a different kind” with the Pro-Fidel Castro’s soldiers in late 1950s, just as the Cuban uprising was reaching its peak. While on a recreational tour of Cuba, he and his golf mates were surrounded by gun-toting Cuban revolutionaries in one of Havana’s suburbs. The revolutionaries mistook them for Pro-regime supporters, and their intent was to kidnap them. He tried to convince them that he was the harmless movie Tarzan star and that he was on a normal tour with no political links. When his pleading failed, he came up with a spectacular ‘Tarzan act’. Thumping his chest in a typical Tarzan style, he gave out a blood curdling yell: “Kreegah Tarzan Bundalo“. The highly impressed Pro-Castro’s men immediately curtsied with the words, “Welcome Tarzan, welcome to Cuba!” They then escorted him and his friends to a safer area.
Let me cut this story short here; but doesn’t this story mirror, at least in a small way, the anguish of our own Lord in identifying Himself to his disciples post-resurrection?
Take a look: Mary of Magdalene failed to recognize him at the first instance (See John 20:14-15), ditto it with his followers on the road to Emmaus (See Luke 24:13). Throw in the confused disciples and the other followers who mistook him for a ghost on his sensational appearance (See Luke 24:37), and the picture of ‘identity crisis’ of a special kind would be complete. No wonder there is a record of He rebuking them for unbelief (See Mark 16:14)!
With Easter around the corner, we will be taking a look at the ‘Identification theme’ in this mini-series, with the following topics:
1. Identifying the Resurrection prophecies;
2. Identifying the Messiah’s cause;
3. Identifying ourselves with the Messiah’s cause;
4. Identifying ourselves with the Resurrection power;
5. Identifying the Completion of the Salvation work;
6. Identifying the “Blessed hope” borne of “Resurrection” in believers by Unbelievers; and
7. Identifying the times we are living in.
We invite you to join us on Saturday for “Of Easter and Identity Crisis, Part 1: Identifying Resurrection Prophecies and their Significance.”
Prayer: Father, at this time fill us with awe even as we ponder on the great miracle of Resurrection, which also fills us with Blessed Hope of Eternal life. In Jesus’ Name.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
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