Summary: The two disciples on the way to Damascus as part of the Easter story.
Walking with the Risen Christ
Suppose you were in Jerusalem A.D. 30. You purchased the Jerusalem Daily News, the edition is labeled, “Extra.” The startling big type headline reads, “Nazarene’s Tomb found Empty.” One of the column captions catch you eye, “Death Now Vanquished!.” Reports people of the way. Another headline reads, “Body Stolen” reports Pilate.
Luke 24 would make a great news story. Verses 1-7 is the account of the resurrection. (See New Living Translation) Verses 13-34 is the Walk to Emmaus.
Two disciples are walking 7 miles back home to Emmaus from Jerusalem. Jesus joins them in their walk, but they don’t recognize him. Maybe they are too preoccupied, with shattered dreams, to recognize him. The last time they saw him was when his limp lifeless body was being taken down from the cross.
Have you ever been so overcome with personal problems and personal challenges you lost perspective on life?
The disappointment of the two disciples caused them to walk blindly forward in a daze. They were preoccupied with their hopeless situation.
Jesus joined step with them and asked, “You seem to be in a deep conversation about something; what are you concerned about?”
They stopped walking and one of the disciples replied, “Haven’t you heard, you must be the only one who hasn’t heard what just happened in Jerusalem.” “What things.” Jesus asked. Aren’t you glad Jesus has a listening ear? He wants you to tell him your hurts, anxieties and confusion.
I. The Story If There is no resurrection
The two disciples had great hopes that Jesus was their long expected Messiah. “We had thought he was the Messiah.” “But he was arrested and crucified. This is the third day. His body is missing, but no one knows what happened to the body.”
Many people today are still living as if this were the end of the story. The body is still missing. The story went out that during the night the disciples stole the body of Jesus to make up the story that Jesus had risen from the dead just as he had said.
People are still living as if they Body of Jesus is still missing. Jesus was born, arrested, crucified, dead and buried, end of story.
A man and his little grandson were out walking down the beach one afternoon. They saw a crowd of people gathered around a man who had been overcome by the heat of the sun and had suffered a sun stroke. The grandfather was trying to explain this to the boy. The little fellow looked up at his grand father and said, "Grandpa, I hope you never suffer from a sunset."
Without the hope of the resurrection all hope is gone. The sun has set and there is no hope for sunrise.
We have gathered this afternoon to celebrate the good news that even though we face many sunsets there is always a sunrise.
There is a simple beauty in this Easter story we have read today about Jesus and two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. It shows us the great contrasts which were so much a part of that resurrection experience. Those followers of Jesus - and all who loved him faced a sunset on that fateful Fri day. The sun went down on all their hopes and dreams.