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Summary: THE RISEN CHRIST GIVES US THE FOUNDATION OF HOPE FOR ETERNITY. IT COULD BE USED AT EASTER.

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THE RISEN CHRIST BREAKS THE BLUES

LUKE 24:13-35

DEPRESSION IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PROMINENT ILLNESSES. NO ONE IS EXEMPT FROM HAVING IT, AND WHEN IT HAS YOU, IT CAN BE A BIG BATTLE TO DEFEAT IT. THOUSANDS ARE EITHER HOSPITALIZED OR USING MEDICATION TO HELP DEAL WITH THE EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION, SOME MAY BE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE.

THERE ARE NO OUTWARD SIGNS OF DEPRESSION. BREAK AN ARM OR A LEG AND YOU HAVE A CAST, HAVE AN OPERATION AND YOU HAVE STITCHES OR STAPLES. THERE ARE FEW OUTWARD SIGNS OF DEPRESSION AND MOST OF THESE ARE CAREFULLY HIDDEN.

DEPRESSION OFTEN OCCURS AT A TIME OF LOSS. IT COULD BE A LOSS OF LIFE, LOSS OF SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT, LIKE A JOB OR HOUSE, POSSIBLY A SPOUCE THROUGH DIVORCE. SOMETIMES IT IS A LOSS OF POTENTIAL OR DREAMS, AS OCCURS WHEN A PERSON IS FIRST DIAGNOSED WITH A MENTAL OR PHYSICAL CHALLENGE. IT IS A LONG PROCESS TO REASSESS AND RECONFIGURE OUR DREAMS.

SUCH WAS THE CASE WITH THE MEN ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS. THEY WERE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, THOUGH NOT AMONG THE TWELVE. THE CRUCIFIXION HAS JUST OCCURRED, AND ON THE SAME DAY AS THE RESURRECTION, THEY WERE USING THE SEVEN OR EIGHT MILE JOURNEY TO EMMAUS TO DEBRIEF ABOUT THE EVENTS OF THE LAST FEW DAYS.

WE HAVE AN ADVANTAGE LIVING ON THIS SIDE OF THE CROSS. WE STILL HAVE TO BELIEVE BY FAITH, BUT WE HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF OVER 500 WITNESSES TO THE RISEN LORD, TWO OF WHICH ARE THESE MEN ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS.

THEY WERE FACED WITH THE SAME PROBLEM THAT THE PRODUCERS OF SESAME STREET FACED, WHEN THEY HAD TO EXPLAIN THE DEATH OF WILL LEE WHO PLAYED MR. HOOPER ON THE SERIES. HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE DEATH TO 10 MILLION OR SO CHILDREN WHO WATCH THE SERIES.

THEY DECIDED TO GO WITH SOME BASIC STATEMENTS, HE’S GONE, HE WON’T BE BACK, HE’LL BE MISSED.

ON THANKSGIVING WHEN THE SHOW AIRED SO PARENTS COULD BE WITH THEIR CHILDREN, BIG BIRD SAID HE HAD A BIG PICTURE OF MR HOOPER AND COULDN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM. A CAST MEMBER SAID “BIG BIRD, REMEMBER, WE TOLD YOU THAT MR. HOOPER DIED.

BIG BIRD SAID “OH YEAH I FORGOT,” THEN HE SAID “WELL, I’LL GIVE IT TO HIM WHEN HE COMES BACK.”

THE STAFF MEMBER PUT HIS ARM AROUND BIG BIRD AND SAID “BIG BIRD, MR. HOOPER ISN’T COMING BACK”

“WHY NOT” BIG BIRD ASKED INNOCENTLY

“BIG BIRD, WHEN PEOPLE DIE, THEY DON’T COME BACK.”

THIS WAS THE REALITY THAT THESE TWO MEN WERE DEALING WITH AS THEY WALKED TO EMMAUS. JESUS WAS DEAD AND THE DEAD DON’T COME BACK.

THIS DAY THOUGH THEY WOULD NOT BE ALONE IN THEIR THOUGHTS.

AND WHEN MARY MAGDALENE STOOD BY THE EMPTY TOMB (NOT KNOWING SHE WAS TALKING TO ANGELS) IT SAYS THAT THE ANGELS ASKED HER, "WOMAN, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?"

JOHN 20:13: THEY ASKED HER, “WOMAN, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?”

“THEY HAVE TAKEN MY LORD AWAY,” SHE SAID, “AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE PUT HIM.”

THIS IS A TOTALLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION IF YOU DID NOT CONSIDER THE RESURRECTION. WHY SHOULD SHE? THE DEAD DON’T COME BACK.

PETER HEARD THE STORY AND WE’RE TOLD

LUKE 23:12: PETER, HOWEVER, GOT UP AND RAN TO THE TOMB. BENDING OVER, HE SAW THE STRIPS OF LINEN LYING BY THEMSELVES, AND HE WENT AWAY, WONDERING TO HIMSELF WHAT HAD HAPPENED.

HE WAS WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BODY OF JESUS. WHY, BECAUSE THE DEAD DON’T COME BACK!

THEY WERE ALL WONDERING WHO MOVED JESUS’ BODY AND WHERE IS IT NOW?

FOR THE MEN WALKING TO EMMAUS IT WAS NOT JUST THE TOMB THAT WAS EMPTY, BUT SO WERE THEIR HEARTS. THEY UTTERED THE CRY OF THE DEPRESSED WHEN THEY SAID

LUKE 24:21: BUT WE HAD HOPED THAT HE WAS THE ONE WHO WAS GOING TO REDEEM ISRAEL.

HOW SAD THOSE FIRST FEW WORDS ARE, BUT WE HAD HOPE. THEY HAD PUT THEIR HOPES AND DREAMS IN THIS CARPENTERS SON. THEY HAD HEARD OF HIS DYNAMIC TEACHING, AND KNEW OF HIS HEALING. THREE YEARS OF HOPES DASHED BY THE SOUND OF A WHIP, AND THE CLANK OF A NAIL. NOW THEIR HOPE WAS GONE.

JESUS WAS EXECUTED ON THE CROSS. HE WAS DEAD AND THE DEAD DON’T COME BACK. THEIR SPIRITS WEEPED WITH THE MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT THEY WERE FEELING.

AS I LOOK AROUND AT YOU TODAY I WONDER HOW MANY OF YOU ARE IN THAT SAME POSITION. HOW MANY OF YOU JUST FIND THE RESURRECTION JUST TOO FAR OUT TO BELIEVE. HOW MANY OF US HAVE HOPES AND DREAMS CRUSHED, AND ONCE THEY ARE DEAD, THEY DON’T COME BACK. IT’S NOT SO FAR FETCHED TO RELATE TO THESE TWO MEN AFTER ALL.

THIS PASSAGE GIVES US SOME WAYS THAT BELIEVING IN THE RESURRECTION CAN HELP US DEFEAT THE DEPRESSION THAT WE MAY FACE, AS JESUS HELPED THESE MEN DEFEAT THEIR DEPRESSION.

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