Summary: In the series, "A Journey To and From Easter" we're now moving from Easter with two disciples as they're on the Emmaus Road, moving from God's promises and presence into obscurity until they met with the risen Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
A Journey To and From Easter
“The Emmaus Road”
Simmering just beneath the surface there are three basic secrets no one wants to admit.
1. We Feel Exhausted
The first one is that most of us just feel exhausted, and worn out. We say, “I’m tired, and I just can’t keep up this pace much longer. I’m just too overloaded with everything, and when I get home, all I do is crash and burn.”
Most of us are just worn out. We’re out of energy and exhausted with life. In fact, if we had to do it over again, we’d be too tired to try.
2. We Feel Empty
The second secret is just how empty many of us are feeling. We do everything; we belong to and are involved in just about everything. And at the end of the day we’re not only tired, but we feel an overall emptiness inside. We wonder, “What’s the meaning of it all? I have more, but that doesn’t help, and when I go out to get more, this still leaves me unsatisfied. So, what’s the point of even trying?”
Now, if I were to ask how many have this secret, no one would raise their hand, and that’s because if it’s a secret, no one is going to admit it.
3. We Feel Trapped
The third secret is an overall feeling of being trapped. Many things trap us.
• We’re trapped by debt and don’t know how we’re going to get out of it.
• We may feel trapped in a relationship with nowhere to turn.
• We may feel trapped by the expectations of others, and this is then followed by guilt, fear, or anger; all of which are themselves traps.
• Others are trapped by bitterness and resentment over what someone has done, and this usually ends with us feeling that no matter what we do it isn’t going to help.
These are three overall feelings that almost everyone has in one form or another.
Today I’d like to do is to introduce you to two such people and the road they found themselves walking down, and feeling these same things. But after they met the risen Lord, Jesus, their lives were radically altered. Not only did they find joy, but also a renewed hope, a hope that erases exhaustion, emptiness, and enslavement.
Further, they were walking on a road that led them away from Jerusalem and towards the town of Emmaus. Now it is important to see this picture. These disciples were moving away from Jerusalem, the city of God, capital of the Jewish people, and the city associated with the promise, purpose and presence of God. And they are on their way to a small insignificant town known as Emmaus, whose name means “obscure,” and “despised.”
Get a sense of this picture with me if you would
Two disciples were walking away from the purposes and promises of God towards obscurity, and in the end, despised, unless they get turned around.
Read Lk. 24:13-35
What we see then are two disciples, not of the original twelve, mind you, but ones that followed Jesus’ ministry and traveled with Him. Now, one of them went by the name of Cleopas (KLEE-oh-puhs), while the other disciple we have no name or description. And this is a good thing, because what it allows us to do is place ourselves in this story. This second person could be any one of us in this room.
As disciples they had followed Jesus, but they had thought, like all the others, that things would turn out better, not only for them, but for the nation, because they expected Jesus to overthrow Roman rule from out of their beloved land, the land of Israel, and land of promise.
But Jesus’ death upon the cross and the empty tomb meant that something different and unexpected occurred, and they didn’t have a clue as to what it was. And it is with this overall attitude that we find these two disciples walking away from Jerusalem and towards Emmaus, heartbroken, downhearted, and with all their hopes and dreams shattered.
Have you ever noticed how some of the saddest words begin with the letter “D?” For example, there is disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement, despair, doubt, defeat, and death. And then there is the name Dennis. When they were looking for the perfect name to associate with Menace, they didn’t choose Jimmy, Bob or Elliot. No, it was Dennis, Dennis the Menace. Further, when I was looking through all the saints of the Catholic Church I ran across Saint Denis, and do you know what he was the patron saint for??? Headaches!!! That’s right; I am the patron saint of headaches. So when you leave here with a headache, you’ll know why.