HOPE THROUGH RESURRECTION – THE JOURNEY OF HOPE
Luke 24:13-35 New International Version (NIV)
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 morning 23 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.
Luke 24:13 Or about 11 kilometers
Two hopeless and desperate disciples walk a journey of 11Kms, perhaps to escape their minds from the events that had taken place in the last couple of days. The discussion of the events are still on their lips lamenting how the scribes had taken the Lord and crucified Him. Their world had been turned upside down with the confusion of first celebration, then conflict and violence and eventually death. Though they expected the resurrection, it was confusing as the crucifixion itself. It did not fit into any rational world view, including the theology of resurrection of the first century Jewish people. They could imagine a resurrection of all humanity at the end of history, but not the resurrection of a solitary individual.
As they share their common grief, the enter into an unusual conversation with a stranger! This new companion starts to reveal the story of salvation through resurrection to them. Somehow, they do not recognize the Savior Jesus Christ though He speaks so plainly about what the prophets had written would happen to the Messiah. Perhaps they had no imagined that it will come to pass that indeed he will rise.
Nonetheless, they invite this stranger to stay with them and it is this act of compassion that brings salvation to them. As they invite Him to supper He takes the bread and breaks it and gives it to them and they immediately receive an open mind to recognize Jesus as the risen Lord.
WHAT KIND OF A JOURNEY ARE YOU ON?
Many times, we are on journeys of confusion and sadness and even though the Lord is walking with us, we are blinded by our life situations that we do not realize that the savior is with us and He is for us!
What are the things that you have allowed to crowd your life that you are ever mourning, and you even imagine that the Lord has abandoned you?
Allow Jesus to come and dine with you and He will reveal himself in your situation so that your joy may be restored. Jesus is RISEN, so that we may have joy! The mourning belongs to yesterday, He is no longer on the cross, let Him come and break bread at your table of challenges and frustration and it will fade away.
He says in Rev. 3:20 “Behold here I am I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door; I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”
Jesus re-energized these brothers, they immediately rose up and left for Jerusalem at night, a journey of 11Kms to spread the news that Jesus is risen, and He is on the road. They were no longer sad but filled with joy. Their hope was restored, and they could not hide their testimony. When Jesus reveals Himself to you, you will never be the same again.
Jesus is Risen, and He is on the road, He is revealing Himself to millions daily through His works, He is healing people, He is saving people, He is setting people free from demonic oppression, His blood is cleansing people from sin, people are being set free from anger, bitterness and revenge. Jesus is Risen!
God is alive and doing new things with people, He is sharing new experiences with pilgrims on the journey. Where is your Emmaus? Jesus is saying cut the journey sit and dine with me and I will renew your strength. I am the resurrection and the life.
Let’s keep moving, and chart new adventures, because Jesus walks beside us on the road.
THE RESURRECTION IS A SIGN TO SEE
“But they were kept from recognizing Him.” Luke 24:16
In John account of the resurrection in John 20:10-18, Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener, recognizing Him only when he calls her name.
Her grief had blinded her; she didn’t see Him because she did not expect to see Him. Then He called her name, and immediately she recognized Him.
Imagine the joy that filled her when she heard her Savior call her name. Jesus is near you and he is calling your name. can you like Mary recognize Him and regard Him as your Lord?
His resurrection is a sign for you to see; death could not hold Him down. His resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection.
Jesus’s resurrection is the key to our Christian faith:
- His resurrection gives us the confidence that He will accomplish all that He has promised
- Jesus’s bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ not a false prophet or imposter is ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom.
- We can be certain of our resurrection because Jesus was resurrected. Death is no longer the end-There is a future life.
- The divine power that brought back Jesus to life is available to us to resurrect our spiritually dead selves back to life.
- The resurrection is the basis of the church’s witness to the world.
Jesus is our companion on the way, but we do not recognize Him. The astounding story of the women who visited the tomb early in the morning had not been enough to kindle these two men’s faith. Their recognition of Jesus comes when He took bread, blessed, and broke it” (24:30). In that moment, recognition dawned. In that moment they had a change of heart: from being “slow of heart to believe” (24:25) to having hearts that burned within them as He spoke to them on the road (24:32).
What Jesus did for these two disciples He now does for us today. He places their way in the context of his Way. He places their journey in the context of His journey. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ now leads Christians on a journey to God, a journey in which disappointed hopes are interrupted by the recognition that the Risen Lord walks by their side. And when we recognize His companionship on the way, we allow Him to breathe life into our despair and frame our aimless, anxious journeys in His Way. Now we know who it is who travels with us: He is the Way. Now we know the path along which He accompanies us.
Our hope is not in Christ at the cross but the risen Lord! Shout about Him!