Lent Devotional | Easter Sunday

Hope in Despair

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NIV

American literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall notes that, “when we read nonfiction, we read with our shields up. We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we let down our intellectual guard. We are moved emotionally, and that seems to leave us defenseless.” Someone else (I cannot recall who) put it this way, “God wires us as humans to make sense of our lives through storytelling. In a sense, we do not know who we are or how to live until we understand our place in the story.”

The Gospel stories that make up the first Easter story have functioned this way in my life, and none so powerfully and enduringly as the story of the two disciples’ unexpected encounter with Jesus en route to Emmaus (Luke 24.13-33). Though I know it so well, it never fails to move me emotionally and inspire passionate, longing prayer as I relive it.

Two disciples of Jesus in whom all hope had been extinguished were walking into an uncertain and unknown future. They had invested three years of their lives in following Jesus and now their hopes were dashed that He was the long-awaited Messiah. Suddenly, Jesus joined them and slowly took over. In a masterful exposition of familiar Scriptures, Jesus explained how the disaster that the crucifixion had seemed to them, was in fact the culmination and fulfilment of the Scriptures.

The past now made sense.

At the same time, (they were to testify upon subsequent reflection) Jesus’ sermon set their hearts burning.

Hopelessness gave way to a living Hope in the present.

Of course, they only recognized who He was when they broke bread together over dinner. This encounter energized their tired bodies and with all thought of sleep forgotten, they immediately made their way back to Jerusalem with a new purpose and direction for the future.

The past invested with meaning, the present infused with new life, and the future shaped by new direction and mission*: all because of an unexpected encounter with the Living Word handling the written Word.

May the risen Lord Jesus Christ join you in your many conversations this Easter, whether with one or twenty, to set your hearts burning even as He instructs your minds to understand His Word, energizing your bodies and repurposing your lives.

* I owe this “one liner” summary to my pastor (and son) Vijay Krishnan in a sermon he recently preached at the church (The Well) that I attend.

Sunder Krishnan

Sunder Krishnan

Preacher and Mentor


Lord Jesus, as we meet together today with family and friends, help us to know that you walk alongside us, and speak into our lives. Help us to recognize your voice and know that you are leading in our present and guiding in our future. We look to you, our risen Lord for all we need and desire.

Read the devotions

Palm Sunday

March 24

Maundy Thursday

March 28

Good Friday

March 29

Easter Sunday

March 31