Summary: A sermon about the 2 travelers on the Road to Emmaus and how God met them and exceeded their greatest expectation after Easter.
The Road of Great Expectations
Luke 24: 13-35
Delivered: March 30, 2008.
Youth Sunday-First Baptist Lake City
What is it about life that makes it worth living? What is it about the promise of a new day after the heartache of a bad day? What is it about the wanting and passionate desire to move beyond the here and now into the future?
For many, it is our expectations, our greatest dreams and desires that help us to roll ourselves out of bed each morning, dress ourselves, brush our teeth, put on our shoes, head out the door, start the car, and drive off to our jobs, schools, or careers that have been waiting on us since we last pushed the time card the day before.
But our expectations can be good or bad. For many people, having to face a new day can be very depressing. They would rather stay in bed all day and not have to put up with conflict or face a bad day ahead.
For these people, it is still their expectations that get them out of bed in the morning, but the joy of a new day is nowhere to be found.
Of course, our expectations shouldn’t simply have to do with what we expect to get out of our jobs or out of school or whatever it is that we do. Our expectations need to move beyond this world and into what we expect God can do in our lives and in the lives of others.
For the follower of Christ, instead of using the word expectation, it is more appropriate to use the word “faith.” I like what our sign currently says down the road: “Faith is not knowing that God can, it’s knowing that God will.”
When we have faith in Christ, whether it’s faith that He is going to help us face the day, even the bad days, or faith that He is going to help us with our personal or family problems, or faith that He will strengthen and grow our Church, then we should have the great expectation that this isn’t a hope that just shoots in the dark, but it is certain that God is going to work things out.
The Scripture today is a very powerful story that most of us will be familiar with. It tells the story of 2 weary travelers that had many great expectations, which we will talk about, but all of these great expectations came crashing down one fateful day, and it seemed that evil had prevailed and all hope was lost.
Join me as we look at this story from the Gospel of Luke 24: 13-35
READ: Luke 24: 13-35
The Sunday after Easter can in many ways be the calm after a very pleasant storm of joy and worshipful emotions.
Easter Sunday is often planned for months. The choir practices for countless hours, beautiful decorations are placed in the sanctuary, and sermons will often lead for weeks up to the glorious resurrection Sunday.
The Church is usually a lot more full than the normal, because, let’s face it, Easter and Christmas are the 2 times a year in which many people think they pay their religious dues by showing up for the morning service.
So, sometimes, the Sunday after Easter may seem a little commonplace, a little “back to normal,” maybe even a little disappointing to some people.
That’s why this story from Scripture is so significant for a time like this.
This story also occurred when some people were not feeling too religious. In fact, they had lost all hope of a bright tomorrow, and the great expectations they had been happily carrying on their shoulders for the past few years was now a disappointing, heartbreaking memory of what might have been… so they thought.
In this story, Luke gives us a very vivid glimpse about what was going through the minds of some of Jesus’ disciples as they traveled on this road home.
This story, most often simply called, “The Road to Emmaus” really doesn’t need a lot of explanation. It is so clear and dramatic in its own description of what occurred that day, and yet, I will attempt to do it justice.
There is definitely some mystery that surrounds this story. If you go to the Holy Land of Israel today, you will find that no one knows exactly for sure where Emmaus was actually located. The Bible tells us that it was 7 miles from Jerusalem, and the word “Emmaus” actually means “hot baths.” But beyond this we don’t know exactly where Emmaus was located centuries ago.
What’s more, these 2 disciples traveling on this road are also somewhat of a mystery. Only one of them is named, Cleopas, and we have no idea what the other disciple’s name was. It is important to mention that these 2 disciples were not part of the originally 12 Disciples, although these 2 certainly were very familiar with Jesus and they had desired to follow Him.