Summary: We Believe in the risen Christ, how can we recognize his presence?
Recognizing Jesus in the Road to Emmaus Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008
33 year olds? – tell the story of my first funeral at Humber – people would not leave the grave
Jesus was 33 – not just a young mother, but “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel”
Tell the story – the shock, the fear, the disillusionment of the two disciples…
Have you ever been living in a tragedy, and you meet a friend who has no idea what you are going through and they need to be brought into your pain – our friend showing up at the door when we almost lost Hayley “On second thought, my day is just fine.”
The two disciples on the road experience the same thing.
Read Luke 24:13-33
The difficulty of recognizing Jesus in pain
Not just the Emmaus disciples – Mary Magdalene thinks Jesus is the Gardener at first, until He says her name,
The 11 Disciples, think he is a ghost until he invites them to touch him
In John’s telling, Thomas says he won’t believe until he sees the wounds.
When Jesus meets Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus, Saul has to ask who he is – not described as a vision, but as the risen Jesus
And us – do you see Jesus?
For many, the old hymn doesn’t ring true…
Alfred H. Ackley
I serve a risen Saviour; He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He’s always near.
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
Nicholas – “I don’t see him so well”
Jesus promises us that he will be with us to the very end of the age.
I believe the hymn – but I don’t always experience it
I also believe that “special appearances” happen more often that we might think – Doe’s conversion experience
After Jesus opens their eyes, it was in hindsight that they realized that it was Jesus who had been with them all along.
Particularly when we are in pain, it is hard to recognize Jesus’ presence – we are likely to quote the psalms as he did himself, crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But as we reflect on our experiences, this is often where we recognize that Jesus has been with us.
This was one of the good things about the D.R. trip – the evenings were slow enough that we could spend some time and reflect on the day – both as a group and individually. I had the added bonus of a retreat after the team left to be able to reflect. It is often hard to find the time to reflect in Toronto – we are usually too exhausted at the end of the day, or the TV is too enticing to sit in quiet and recollect where we saw the risen Christ today. But the reality is that you don’t ever “find” time – you only make time to do what is important.
You may have given something up for Lent, so in the Easter season I’m going to invite you to add something. Take a few minutes at the end of each day for hindsight – ask yourself, “where did I see the Risen Christ today?” Ask Jesus in prayer, “where were you today?”