Summary: An Easter sermon looking at the things that stop us recognising Jesus.(suitable for before communion)
The Emmaus road- what ‘keeps’ you?
Luke 24:13-35 WBC Easter Sunday 20/4/3 am
V13- “… two of them…”
Two unknown Jews, here
Told later (v18)- one of them = Cleopas
- other = wife?
o Certainly = an eyewitness
But basically – unknown. Anonymous. Just your average Jo (or Joseph, or Joanna)
- they’re not one of the remaining disciples (v33 ‘the Eleven’)
- probably just two of the crowd that followed Jesus around
But they met Jesus!
• You don’t have to be a hero to meet Jesus! Just an average person- like so many here. Me
V15 “… Jesus came alongside”
Jesus seeks them out. Knows their hearts, actually.
- = such a comforting thing! Jesus knows YOUR heart
- knows how/when to seek you out. Knows your sincerity and desire for truth
= bit of a traumatic time… week:
- hopes dashed. Violent crucifixion. Fear and violence still around
Actually- often God DOES speak to us… come to us… in time of
- trauma, trouble, shattered dreams
o (sometimes it’s the only time we’ll listen… be open!)
But the point I want to make is:
- he came alongside
- He was there… even though they couldn’t recognise Him
o (Easter version of ‘Footprints!’)
He was there. And He is with you. I pray you may recognise Him, and ask Him to stay, this morning.
But here’s the thing to me!: why didn’t they recognise Him?
- I wanna know! Why?!
Others in the Bible didn’t recognise him immediately, either:
- Mary (John 20)- thinks He’s the gardener
- Disciples in the boat, Jn 21, Jesus on the shore. Only Peter’s sure, immediately
o Sees with the eyes of faith. Proven right
It’s quite possible- Jesus was the same, yet different
- death is NOT the end. THIS proves it. Jesus= ‘prototype’
- but between ‘here and beyond’, ‘us now and us then’:
o = continuity of existence, personality, features (bodily even)
cf Jesus’ wounds, and the fact that He WAS recognisable (ultimately)
o = discontinuity, too. Or should I say ‘transformation’
(or maybe better ‘metamorphosis, cf grub> butterfly. Seed> plant)
= new!. Fulfilment of this!
- So, somehow, we’re US… but like the angels, too
o (cf Jesus- had a body… ate… but not bodily limitations)
So- don’t be surprised they didn’t recognise Him initially. May ‘simply’ have been because of something ‘supernatural’ that we can’t grasp
But here’s some natural reasons why they might not have recognised Him
- certainly some reasons why some don’t, today
= the trauma of it all. Their journey so far
- Illustr: was speaking with someone recently (don’t come here) and the ‘tears in their eyes’ were certainly stopping them seeing Jesus was RIGHT THERE
o = just like Mary, Jn 20
= possible, here.
- v17. Downcast. V21 “we had hoped”
o such hopes and dreams, shattered
o oh gosh. When things don’t work out as hoped/expected- can be so v hard
can affect our walk with God
= almost always a crossroads for coming closer or bitterness driving apart.
Their language is v revealing, here.
- understand some things: ‘prophet’. ‘powerful before God’ v19
- ‘… was going to redeem’ v21
o understood something of coming to save, pay the price
- but didn’t understand other things: “redeem ISRAEL”
o = a give-away. May have thought He was a Messiah. But a certain kind of Messiah
one to deliver ISRAEL (rather than PEOPLE)
- Illustr: Liz & I chatting Fri. Choosing “Jesus Barabas or Jesus Christ”
o Rejected Jesus because He was not the kind of Messiah THEY wanted. On THEIR terms
And so with us. We often feel most let down by God over plans/promises that were not His in the first place
- the struggle with ALL of us is ‘God’s plans or mine’. AS His ways are not ours (but they ARE better)
- Illustr: “don’t let them die, Lord” “Why did you let them”
- Honest truth: death STINGS – but it’s better for the Xian! This is what Easter is about. We get to go to be with HIM! Don’t grieve like those who have no hope
PS 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his saints.
o But He’s not concerned about it in the way WE are
They’re crying to Jesus “we had hoped He would have redeemed Israel”- & He knows he’s done something better, fuller, global rather than national. For the true Israel
Pain? Tears? What’s the way through? To see Jesus through them?
Note: - HE joins them. Seeks them
journeys with them. IS there
LISTENS to them
In time, brings TRUE understanding