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As we journey through this life, many things happen. If certain events or a person does not live up to our expectations, we can loose perspective and become unsettled. Emotions and doubts can take over, seize control and rob us of that moment.
This is exactly what happened to the disciples when confronted with Jesus death on the cross and His empty tomb.
Let us walk along the road to Emmaus, with two wayfaring travellers whose eyes have been restrained.
We will read a few verses at a time.
Verses 13-14 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
The two walked together. In the bible the number two is very significant. The law required two or more witnesses. So together the two walked and talked about all that had happened.
on the road to emmaus jesus draws near
Verse 15-16 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
The two were not spiritually in tune with what had happened or who it was that spoke to them. They did not know Him and felt disconnected from Him. Yet Jesus draws near to them and joins them on the road to Emmaus. He doesn’t just draw near for a moment, He joins them on their journey.
In their despair and disappointment in Him, He is the one who reaches out to them.
God understands when for whatever reason we cannot reach out to Him. He is there with us and draws us ever so close. Even when we don’t feel Him, He is there. Always with us, in every season.
on the road of grief
I remember when my mum passed on. After her funeral I was in a fog for 40 days. Yet God was there. I knew He was with me, intimately and personally. Together we were walking along the road of grief. He continued to speak to me, even tho I had no words to utter. As He comforted me, He brought me out of the fog.
He knows exactly what we need, when we need it and He is there for us at anytime.
Also those times when I have been so sick or tired, that I don’t have the energy to speak or concentrate in focusing on Him. Yet I know He is there. Regardless of circumstances, environment or weaknesses, He draws close. Always wanting to go deep into our hearts. He so loving, gentle, good and kind.
The truth is He never leaves us nor forsakes us, as His desire is to always be with us.
As we journey through this life, no matter the circumstances, God Himself draws near to us.
Verse 17-18 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
Not only does Jesus draw near to them and join them on their journey, but He knows the sorrow of their hearts. He sees they are sad and engages in conversation with them. He shows them that He sees their sadness and has concern for them. In doing so He honours them and shows that He cares.
on the road to emmaus hope into hopelessness
He breaks through the heaviness of sorrow and hopelessness.
God breaks through this life of disappointment, confusion and hopelessness to bring satisfaction, clarity and hope.
Verse 19-20 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.
The irony is, He is the One they are disappointed in. As a result they feel all hope is gone. However the truth is, He is the One who never disappoints, brings clarity in confusion and gives hope. He gives eternal hope.
They know and testify of Him as a prophet who was mighty in deed and word. Oh but if only they could see, know and receive. He is far greater than any prophet, as He is the Son of God. God who became flesh and dwelt amongst us.
Not only is He alive, but He is reaching out to them at their point of need.
Jesus reaches down to our lowest point of need to raise us up equal with Him.
Verse 21-24 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
jesus is greater
They heard the truth that He is alive! But they failed to receive and believe, as sadness had gripped their heart. They had not seen and experienced for themselves.
Yet Jesus is greater! He breaks through the darkness and shines His glorious light.
Jesus is greater than any darkness, as He is the light of the world.
Verse 25-27 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Jesus, the word who became flesh, who through Him and by Him all things were created, speaks light into their darkness and joy into their sadness. Moses together with all the prophets sent to ancient Israel testified of His coming.
They knew the scriptures. Therefore Jesus reaches into their hearts, to the level of what they believed. To reveal the truth to them and the truth will set them free.
He opened their hearts through the scriptures expounding on all things concerning Himself.
The truth that He is the Messiah, who at the hands of the chief priests and rulers was delivered up to be condemned to death and crucified. That He had to suffer to set humanity free. He is risen to come into His glory.
If only they knew that the truth is standing right beside them.
on the road to emmaus jesus abides with them
Verse 28-29 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
They were hungry for more, as their hearts were ignited with hope and fuelled by His presence. They constrain Him with intensity and fervour.
Jesus instantly responds and went in to stay with them.
Jesus never rejects us and never gets tired of being with us. He is always ready, willing and able.
Verse 30-31 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Jesus continues to serve, even tho His work is finished. As He journeyed with them their hearts were ignited with His fire. Yet they still did not see. Upon invitation Jesus drew closer.
In Jewish culture and customs, sharing a meal is one of fellowship, intimacy and value. Even the everyday meals were special.
Jesus shares a meal with them and speaks with His actions.
He sat at the table with them. Rested with them and abided with them. As a result, the three of them were equal. No one was higher or lower than the other. They all sat together at the table.
He took the bread. This word that has been translated as took is very interesting. It has duel meaning of either receive or take, depending upon the context. Jesus used it when He declared He would lay down His life and take it up again.
on the road to emmaus jesus blesses
He blessed the bread. Could it be that they remembered how He blessed the 5 loaves and 2 fishes? Was there something in how He blessed the bread that was to remove the scales off their eyes?
He broke the bread. Had they heard how He broke the bread and said to the 12 at the last supper, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me?
His flesh was broken and torn apart. Oh that they could remember.
He gave them the bread.
When He took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them, their eyes were opened. They now know Him and are truly free.
Verses 32-35 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
They rose up that very hour. It must of been late, yet they returned to Jerusalem to testify from their own experience. They confirmed what the women and angels had been saying.
His presence opened their eyes. They have seen His glory and know the truth.
They testify He has indeed risen. He is alive.
Jesus was condemned to death, crucified and is alive forever more!
The resurrected Jesus before He ascended into heaven appeared to many people. Each ones eyes were opened in different ways according to what they needed to receive and believe.
Jesus’ presence opens our eyes to Him and the truth about Him.
By His Spirit as we journey through this life, He is with us. We can be expectant to hear from Him and be intimate with Him, as this is the heart of the Father. As He so desires us. He draws near to us.
It is through the scriptures we learn and know the truth about Him. His presence ignites our hearts.
When we come to the Bible let us surrender what we think the text means and ask Him
to reveal to us what He wants us to know about Him. He will do this individually and
personally as this is His hearts desire.
Download the pdf version of this sermon – On The Road To Emmaus.