At the End of the Road
Luke 24 (NIV)
Jesus Has Risen
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away,wondering to himself what had happened.
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas,asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you:Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses,the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple,praising God.
(click on the arrows to explore both scriptures)
At the end of the road there is Light
At the end of the road there’s a man robed in white
Is this the same one on the cross they crucified
The One who came for sinners lost, the One whom man denied?
At the end of the road there He stands
At the end of the road light shines through nail-pierced hands
At first I thought it couldn’t be and failed to understand
But Jesus said He’s not afraid or bound by sin’s demand
He is risen
At the end of the road there is Peace
At the end of the road all my fears and doubts will cease
No longer will the darkness blind my eyes so I can’t see
I see Him now my heart is filled with love not unbelief
He is risen
BRIDGE 1 [2X]
The stone is rolled away, behold an empty grave
He’s not here
The angels said three days till He arose
Hallelujah He’s not here
BRIDGE 2 [4X]
At the end of the road there is Love
At the end of the road there is Hope for all who come
When life has reached its end I will ascend with Christ above
And see the man I saw that day leaving a tomb for us
He is risen
With heart wide open
I’m running to Thee
With arms wide open
You welcome me
Take a moment to release the thoughts of your heart and mind to the Lord, inviting the Holy Spirit into your time. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sins that you have not confessed, and as they come to mind, close your eyes, and picture your hands giving them over to our Father. Pray for guidance and illumination to the Word, and when you are ready, read through Luke 24 in the Bible.
He is not here
On any normal headstone, the name of the person is clearly printed with the dates of his life. It marks that this is the final resting place for that human body. His life on this earth has come to a close and now they lay beneath the headstone that signifies his previous existence. This is what people thought the tomb was for Jesus. They thought this was his resting place, and as the women walked towards the tomb with the spices they prepared, they thought they were going to find the body of Jesus. But they did not find the body; instead they found the stone rolled away and his body missing. They found two men, dazzling bright in appearance, who told them that they wouldn’t find the living among the dead, for Jesus had risen.
Many thoughts must have rushed through the minds of these women. There was probably a wave of confusion, frustration, and deep grief. This was their Lord and Savior who had endured such pain and brokenness; now his body was gone. Who would do something like that? But just when their grief had deepened within their hearts, the angels tell them the news that ultimately changes all of history. At the peak of their sadness, they received the greatest joy any human mind could fathom. Their Savior was not dead, and he was not stolen. He was not there in that tomb, for He is alive.
He is not here
As two men walked down a road, the resurrected Jesus drew near to them and listened to their conversation. The men did not recognize who Jesus was and began to fill Him in (as if he needed such a thing). They shared that women from their company had gone to the tomb and when they had gotten there, they saw angels. These angels had informed them that Jesus would not be found and that he was alive. As the men got closer to the village where they were headed, they invited Jesus to stay with them; when He broke bread that evening, the eyes of the men were opened and they recognized Him. The hearts of the men had begun to burn within them, even before their eyes were opened. This gave them hope and assurance in the resurrection.
These men were probably just as perplexed as the women, for how could the body of their Savior not be in the tomb where he was laid? Even more so, now they were hearing from women that angels had appeared to them and told them such an incredulous statement. Their Savior was not dead, he was not stolen, He is alive! How could they believe this?
Jesus then appeared to his disciples, which startles them at first. He shows them His hands and His feet. He invites them to touch him and to see. He ate real food in front of them and then opened their minds to understand the scriptures. He could do all of these things because Jesus had come back to life. He is alive and has conquered death. He is not bound by the things of this world, and He is not held in the ground, having a headstone signifying his life. He is not in that tomb for He has risen.
He is not here
In our human flesh, it doesn’t take much to convince ourselves that we will forever be like the women, a few moments before the angels appeared, or like the men, a few minutes before that bread was broken, or like the disciples, a few minutes before Jesus stood among them. For all of these people, their hearts were full of grief and loss. They had no idea that in a few minutes their lives would be completely changed.
Choosing to walk with Jesus Christ means choosing to accept that there will be moments of pain and hardship. 1 Peter 4:12-13 says “12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” There will come trials and tribulations, but we will not stay within the trial and within the suffering forever. We are called to rejoice because after we endure the worst thing that we can imagine, Christ will be there. When we come out of a trial, He is there. When we begin to feel joy again after such deep despair, He is there. When our lives take a turn in a direction we weren’t anticipating, He is there.
And here is an even more beautiful truth: He is with us through it all. In the midst of our suffering and pain, He holds us tightly and does not let go. When we are overcome with the weight of this world and feel hopeless, He is there being our reason to hope again. God knew that Jesus was alive and resurrected even when the women were preparing their spices and walking to the tomb that day. God knew that Jesus was walking with those two men, even though those men didn’t recognize who He was. God knew that Jesus would appear to the disciples even as they were discussing if what they had heard was true. God was in the midst of every emotion these people were feeling, and He knew that their greatest joy was yet to come. He knew that Jesus was not in that tomb, and He knew that He was alive.
Take a moment and reflect on what it means to you that Jesus is alive. Praise Him for the empty tomb and the life that He has given to you through His sacrifice. Think about what it truly means to be alive in Christ Jesus.
We can live free from the chains of sin and death because Jesus was crucified and rose to life. Romans 10:9-10 says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” If we confess that we believe this truth, the truth that Jesus was crucified and is now alive, we will have everlasting life with Him. Because of His sacrifice, we can be saved, and we will not have to live our lives in the darkness of believing that His body is still in that grave. What a magnificent, marvelous promise.
And one day, when we reach the end of the road of our lives, we will finally see our Jesus Christ in all His glory. He is not here in the tomb anymore, for He is alive and waiting for us with open arms.
He is not here
He is alive
Questions for Reflection
What would your first reaction have been if you were the women who saw the angels that day? Why do you think you would have responded that way?
Are you living your life in a way that is glorifying to the Lord? If today was your last day on earth, would you know where your soul was headed?
Have you invited Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior? If you have, share your story with those around you (or write it out if you are alone), along with the joy and trials that you have experienced along the way. If you haven’t invited Jesus Christ into your life, what is holding you back? Share your story and where your heart is.
Biblical Point of View:
Mary Magdalene & women who went with her to the tomb
(Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others
with them who told this to the apostles.) Two men walking the road
to Emmaus (Cleopas & the other)
In the beginning of At the End of the Road you hear the vocalist Giovanna Johnson sing from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. It begins with this single vocalist because Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus in John 20. This vocalist is then joined by two other vocalists, Mollie Landman Hunker and Brooke Bannister, to represent Joanna and Mary mother of James who were with Mary Magdalene as she traveled to the tomb in Luke 24.
In the second verse you hear the vocalists, Adam Bannister and Peter Stauffer, sing from the perspectives of the two men on the road of Emmaus, Cleopas and the other man, who were kept from recognizing Jesus until He revealed Himself to them.
The chorus of At the End of the Road contains a portion of the same lyrics in the bridge of In His Eyes. In the bridge of In His Eyes the heavenly hosts sing “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, He’s alive” as they praise God for the birth of the Son of Man, the Messiah, The Savior. This same lyric is used again in At the End of the Road because now at this point in the Gospel story Jesus is no longer present and alive, but He has fulfilled the task of what He has come to do. Therefore, in light of this knowledge the people praise and worship Him.
The Bridge of the song contains the same pattern as the rest of the song. The female vocalists sing first of what they saw and then the men come in and join them. This bridge is also representative of the women running back to tell the men what they have seen and then Peter goes and explores the situation for himself. Thus, they are all joining in the hallelujah chorus after they realize what they say is in fact true, Jesus is alive and the stone has been rolled away.
In verse 4 you now hear the vocalists all sing together about the and then it cuts to one single vocalist, Giovanna Johnson, who sings the words “And see the man I saw that day leaving a tomb for us”. It cuts to one vocalist and the perspective of Mary Magdalene here because she saw Jesus first by herself outside the tomb and then ran to tell the others. The other vocalists join in to represent the spreading of this news and they together sing the hallelujah chorus.
The outro of the song and conclusion of the album sings the words “With heart wide, I’m running to thee. With arms wide open, You welcome me”. The lyrics of the outro are symbolic of several different topics. First, they are symbolic of the great reunion Christ will have His children when they pass from this life to eternity. Second, it is symbolic of His reunion with Mary the disciples, and the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. Third, it is symbolic of Christs overall love towards mankind and willingness to forgive them as they turn to Him with heart wide open so He may welcome them in with arms wide open.
Finally, this final outro and lyrics of this song and album share the image of that of Coming Home. In Coming Home, the son is welcomed home by his father, given a robe, ring, and sandals. Thus this image is similar to how we are welcomed into a relationship with God in this life, and then will be welcomed home to God in eternity.
How to sing:
This song is to be sung with resurrection joy!