Summary: Final message in series of four which follow Jesus' movements to the cross and beyond.
AM sermon preached at Central Christian Church March 23, 2008 EASTER
Jesus at the “Cross”roads sermon series The Road To Emmaus
[START SERMON SLIDES AS I’M MAKING MY WAY TO THE STAGE…THEY’LL ADVANCE AUTOMATICALLY TO THE 4TH SLIDE---A BLANK ONE]
So did you hear the story about the guy who was driving fast because he was running late for the Easter breakfast at his parent’s house? Just as he rounded this sharp curve he saw the Easter bunny carrying a basketful of goodies across the road in front of him. He tried but he failed to stop before hitting him. Fur flew, eggs exploded and candy went everywhere. Being a sensitive man and animal lover he stopped to help but it was too late the bunny was dead. “Oh no!” he shouted and he began to cry. About that time a second car came upon the accident and a woman jumped out and said is there anything I can do? The man with great emotion said, “I’m so sorry. I’ve killed the Easter bunny! Kids will have to go without their easter eggs and candy because of me!” The woman said, “wait, right there!” She ran back to her car, grabbed a spray can, rushed back to he bunny’s limp body and began covering it with spray. Then she backed away. In a few moments, the bunny jumped to its feet and waved. It quickly gather up the spilled eggs and candy and waved again. It hopped about 50 yards down the road, turned and waved again. Hopped another 50 yards, turned smiled and waved again. The man was estatic. He clapped his hands and asked excitedly, “lady what’s in that can?” She turned it so he could read the label. Hair spray---brings new life to dead hair and adds a permanent wave. Sorry but I read that this week and couldn’t resist sharing it with you.
This morning I do however want to talk to you about something that happened on a road, the road to Emmaus. Unlike the hair spray story though---this story is true. It’s found in the Bible, in what’s known as the gospel of Luke. We’re going to be looking in chapter 24 and we’ll begin our reading at verse 13…
[SCRIPTURE SLIDES---PLEASE JUST FOLLOW ALONG]
13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him. 17He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19"What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."
One of the first things we notice as we read these verses is that these two on the road have several symptoms that come with feelings of depression and defeat. [SLIDE #15] For example---they show a degree of isolation. When people are depressed, grieving or simply feeling down---they often avoid social interaction or they keep to themselves. They don’t go to parties or family gatherings. They want to be alone or only with the people they are closest too. They don’t want others to see them looking so glum. Notice how our passage starts--- these two are walking towards Emmaus and away from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is where the other disciples were. But apparently they no longer feel like keeping company with them. [SLIDE #16]
It appears that the two disciples walking the road to Emmaus were pretty self-absorbed. Jesus comes along and begins walking with them, but there’s no indication given that they greeted him or even acknowledged His presence with them until they answer Jesus’ question----what are you two talking about? I’m not a professional counselor but I have visited with and listened to a lot of depressed people through the years. And two of the most frequently used pronouns in their conversations are “I” and “me.” “I don’t think anyone or anything can help me right now.” “I’m so tired.” “Why did this happen to me?” “Nobody cares about me.” The two walking towards Emmaus were so caught up in their own conversation and their own thoughts about the things that had happened in Jerusalem that they didn’t seem to care that a third person had entered the picture.