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March-April 2020 - Road to Emmaus

March 1, 2020 by Kathryn Kimball
Artist: Michael Torevell (England, Contemporary)

Artist Michael Torevell states that his desire in Road to Emmaus was to paint a setting that leaves the viewer with a sense of surprise and wonder — a setting where the viewer can enter the story and catch a glimpse of the divine nature of God. His use of a stylized landscape that incorporates many details but little specificity invites us into the narrative. Buildings that resemble modern-day structures also recall ancient villages. Three crosses on a hill capture our attention and anchor us to the Crucifixion story.

Luke 24:15-27 tells us that Cleopas and another traveler were discussing the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion when another person joined them. The unknown traveler reminded them of Jesus’ teachings. They were unaware that it was Jesus who appeared to them as an ordinary traveler along the road. As Torevell depicts it, the road could be anywhere, and the blurred faces of the travelers could be anyone.

An Emmaus experience can occur along any “road” that we travel in life — during times of grief, the Lenten journey, or even in ordinary times. Like Cleopas, we might encounter the risen Christ where and when we least expect it. Will we recognize Jesus? Perhaps others traveling the road will see Christ within us as we share the joyful news of our risen Savior.

Cover image courtesy of Michael Torevell ©2014  Michael Torevell. Prints of cover art are available from and/or

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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