In the old Errol Flynn movie The Adventures of Robin Hood, there is a remarkable scene of revelation. Robin Hood has been fighting the injustice of evil Prince John, who was ruling England in the absence of his brother, King Richard the Lionheart. King Richard had gone to the Holy Land for a Crusade, and his whereabouts are uncertain.
Some believe him dead. However, Richard returns to England with a few men, incognito, in the dress of monks. Richard realizes his danger and decides to seek out Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest.
Still clad in monk’s robes, King Richard questions Robin until he is certain of his loyalty. Then, in a dramatic moment, Richard drops his robe and reveals his true identity by showing the royal coat of arms, the three lions of the king. Robin and his men bow in allegiance to their rightful sovereign. They know who their king is.
An even more remarkable scene occurs at the end of the Gospel of Luke. There, Jesus meets two of his disciples who are walking from Jerusalem to the nearby village of Emmaus. These disciples are deeply sorrowful because their Master, Jesus of Nazareth, was crucified a few days earlier. Luke does not give us details, but Jesus is incognito, unrecognized by the two. He is assumed dead, but in fact returned, risen from the dead.
Jesus talks with the unsuspecting duo, and eventually enters a house at their invitation. There they sit down to a meal. Luke tells us, “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him” (Luke 24:30, 31, New Revised Standard Version). It is in the breaking of the bread that Jesus is revealed to them.
As we come to the Lord’s table, may we, too, have our eyes opened. May we not fail to recognize our King. We have longed for this all week and have anticipated this moment of fellowship. May we experience his presence as we come together to commune with our Lord in the sharing of this meal.
Mark S. Krause recently accepted the call to serve as vice president of academics at Nebraska Christian College, Papillion, Nebraska.