Summary: 1. Always assume that the Lord is nearby (vs. 13-21). 2. Let the Lord fortify your faith (vs. 17-27). 3. Seek to stay close to the Lord (vs. 28-31). 4. Tell how God has touched your life (vs. 32-35).

Easter Is Over -- Now What?

Luke 24:13-35 (Initial reading: vs. 13-21)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 3, 2013

*We had a tremendous Easter Sunday. The Worship Service blessed our hearts, and the fellowship breakfast was out of this world. But what now? -- Where do we go from here?

*Charles Kettering once said, "My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." (1)

*So what about the future? -- Easter is over, but Jesus is still risen! -- Now what?

1. First: Always assume that the Lord is nearby.

*Last Sunday we focused on what the Lord does when He comes close to us. Tonight, the focus is on when He comes, and the truth that we should always assume that the Lord is nearby. Two of Jesus’ followers found this out in a miraculous way on the first Easter Sunday.

*Listen again to how it happened in vs. 13-17:

13. Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.

14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

16. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17. And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’’

*At first those two disciples didn’t have a clue, but Jesus was with them on that day.

-And by His Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is with us, even when we don’t realize it.

-And like that first Easter, Jesus is with us when we are sad.

-He is with us when the rug has suddenly been pulled out from under us.

*We need to realize this truth, and many of us already have. Many of us could give testimonies of how the Lord showed up in a special way when we were going through the hard times.

*King Duncan gave this testimony from a lady who is a strong leader in her church. She said: "My husband and I had it all, all the good things that our society values: Good jobs, a nice home, vacations in the Bahamas.

*I now realize, though, how shallow and inadequate our faith was. I can remember when I picked out a church for us because it had beautiful chandeliers. Then it happened. Both of us lost our jobs. For over a year we struggled. It was during this time that we both came to know the goodness of God." (2)

*When the rug was pulled out from under them, that couple found out that the Lord was with them. And He will be with us too!

*I am glad that Jesus somehow supernaturally blocked the disciples’ vision on the road that day. It teaches us an important lesson: They couldn’t see Jesus, but He was there. And even though we can’t see Jesus, He is here! And He will be here with us 24/7 as we go forward in life.

*Jesus Christ is still risen! -- So always assume that the Lord is with you.

2. And let the Lord fortify your faith.

*Jesus was building up their faith on the road that day. And that’s what He wants to do in our lives. How does the Lord Jesus fortify our faith?

[1] One of the most important things He does is probe our hearts.

*That’s what Jesus did starting in vs. 17:

17. And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’’

18. 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?’’

19. And He said to them, "What things?’’ And 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,

20. and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

21. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. . ."

*"We were hoping." -- Mark Schaeufele asks us to "imagine that you are one of these two disciples.

-You have left everything you knew to follow Jesus.

-You have been alienated from family and friends.

-You have given your finances, talent, and time to follow Jesus.

-You truly believed in your heart that Jesus was the one.

*He was going to change everything.

-He was going to bring freedom.

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