With Us in the Worst of Times - The Warrior's Journey®

With Us in the Worst of Times

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“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 … 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 24:30-32) 

In the previous chapter Jesus chose to die in the company of two condemned criminals. Perhaps this was to assure us that He is with the dying as they face eternity – regardless of how they’ve lived their lives – and offers them the gift of eternal life right up to their dying breath. 

But here Jesus chooses to show Himself alive to two grieving disciples. And just as He is with the dying, so He is with the grieving, even though they may not be aware of His presence. For the sorrowful are often blinded by their pain and cannot see Jesus who walks beside them. But He is there, all the same. 

These two bewildered and broken-hearted disciples could make no sense of the tragedy which befell those who awaited the Messiah’s coming.  “Jesus,” they thought, “was so right for the role of the Messiah.  Never did anyone speak such words of truth as He.  Never did anyone perform so many miracles.  If our wicked rulers were able to murder Him, then what’s to stop them killing off any prophet that God sends.  Never again will we see so great a prophet as Jesus.” 

Then a stranger intrudes on their discussion. Although they are first annoyed, they begin to be intrigued by His words. Eventually, they are spellbound. For this stranger brings perfect sense to their tragedy. Beginning with Genesis 3:15, the stranger explains how the Seed of the woman (the Messiah) would crush the serpent’s head, but be wounded in the process. Using hundreds of scriptures, He taught them that the Messiah had to shed His own blood and die as God’s ultimate sacrifice for sin (e.g. Genesis 22:8-14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Zechariah 13:1), of which all the Levitical sacrifices were mere shadows. Yet, the stranger explained, death could not keep the Messiah captive. For God would not allow His Messiah to undergo decay, but would raise Him up (Psalm 16:10). 

Hope is reborn in the two disciples. They beg the stranger to lodge with them. And as He breaks bread – perhaps they saw the scars in His hands – they finally see the stranger’s true identity. He’s the risen Christ who was with them in their pain all along. 


  • Do you feel as bewildered and brokenhearted as those two disciples? 
  • Isn’t Jesus also with you in your confusion and pain as He was with them? 
  • Believe that Jesus is with you now. Reach out to Him in prayer. Open up His word, the Bible, and allow Him to speak peace and healing to your heart. 

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