Walking with Him to Victory (2012 Easter Sunday)

Title: Walking with Him to Victory
Series: Walking the Roads of Easter (Easter Sunday)
Scripture: Luke 24:13-34
Theme(s): Victory, Success, Easter

Unifying Message: We should return and walk in victory because He has risen like He said He would.
Unifying Need: We as a people should return to our Easter experience each day.

Outline
Issue from the text
Issue in our world
God’s action in the text
God’s action in our world

INTRODUCTION
The path to victory is not always a straight path. Sometimes there are setbacks and u-turns. By daily renewing our Easter experience and experiencing the power of the living, risen Lord can we truly “stay the course” and walk with Him in victory.

ISSUE FROM THE TEXT
In Luke 24:13-34, we find two men identified as followers of Jesus. They were traveling to Emmaus–roughly 7 miles away from Jerusalem. We do not know if they were returning home after Passover or they were fleeing from the loss of their leader and the possible persecution of His followers that may have ensued. They were discussing what had happened over the last week. They were passionately discussing what had occurred and what it might mean. They knew that Jesus had come back again. What is curious about these two men was that instead of being there with Jesus they were walking to another place, away from Jerusalem! Why would these men not be where their leader was? If they knew that He had returned, why were they not sitting at His feet?

ISSUE IN OUR WORLD
As Christians, we are people who all have experienced the incredible work of salvation in our lives. We all know the moment of happiness we feel the love of God flowing through us. After time, things can change. After a while, life continues and situations arise. We lose that Easter experience. We lose that feeling of joy. We, like the two men on the road to Emmaus, are walking away from the Good News and have taken a different path in life. We skirt around the issue. We play at the edges of God’s love. We gather together and try to recreate these experiences, but we still do not know that feeling. Are we still “Standing on the Promises?” Are we still resting in His “Blessed Assurance?” Do we remember “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” of Jesus?

GOD’S ACTION IN THE TEXT
Jesus travels along with the two men on the road. He travels with them and questions them. He even challenges them on what they were talking about. In verse 25, He calls them foolish. He reminds them that the Messiah would have had to endure a period of suffering before He could enter His glory. He then leads them through the teachings of Moses and the prophets. He reminds them about their history and legacy. He reminds them about where they had come from and how it applied to Him. Jesus could have been alluding to the prophecies of His coming and how He fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. When they stopped, Jesus was intending to continue one, but the men urged Him to stay. We get the impression here that the men wanted Him to continue teaching them, to continue sharing with them. Later, in verse 32, they remembered how their “hearts burned within” them as they walked together with Jesus.

He opened their eyes as they broke bread together. He later disappears and they are left with questions. Scripture says that within the hour they packed up and returned home. They made a u-turn. Having “seen” Jesus again for who He was, they had renewed faith and strength, renewed joy and excitement. They had received an Easter blessing! The power of Christ is undeniable and life-changing! When faced with the amazing grace, they returned with a new purpose. They head to the disciples and begin to tell them about what has happened. And, there is Jesus again! He knows the power of continual reinforcement—for continual contact.

GOD’S ACTION IN OUR WORLD
We like the two men on the road to Emmaus are blinded sometimes from the reality and the power of Jesus. We must also be given sight and see Jesus in our everyday lives. By renewing that Easter experience each and every day, we can walk with Him in victory. As Jesus spent time with His followers, so too has God provided for us continual reinforcement and support. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit’s power, we can be reminded of our Easter experience on a daily basis.

Walking in Triumph (Palm Sunday)

Title: Walking In Triumph
Series: Walking the Roads of Easter (Palm Sunday)
Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
Theme(s): Palm Sunday, Easter, Victory, Celebration

Image
OUTLINE

  • Preparing for worship (19:28-34)
  • Worship with all that you are (19:35-38)
  • Not letting others steal your joy (19:39-40)

INTRODUCTION
To “walk in triumph”, there is a path to follow and pitfalls along the way. One must prepare for walk. They must put themselves completely into the process. And, you cannot allow others to stop you. This morning, we will learn to “walk in triumph” together!

PREPARING FOR WORSHIP (19:28-34)

We find at the beginning of this part of our journey Jesus and his followers approaching Jerusalem. As they reach the outlying area, Jesus sends two disciples ahead of the group to gather what was needed for their entry. He is very specific about His instructions. He tells them that as they enter the village they will find a colt. And, not just any colt, but a colt that no one has ever ridden! He also instructs the two disciples in what they are to say if they are questioned about why they are taking the colt.

Jesus seems very specific about his instructions in preparation for His entry into Jerusalem. Jesus did not need an animal to ride into the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. In fact, this is the only recorded moment in the life of Jesus where he is riding an animal. He rode in on the colt to fulfill a prophecy of scripture. Jesus spent much time in preparation.

For us to truly walk in triumph, we must prepare ourselves to worship and praise God. Too often do rush into the house of God without preparing ourselves. How many times have you left worship with the thought that you had not received anything? Is it perhaps because you were not prepared for worship yourself? How do we prepare for worship?

We can prepare our hearts for worship through prayer and meditation. This is developing and maintaining a focus. We prepare for worship by involving ourselves with scripture. This is a form of inspiration. What good is focus without something to focus on? Some programs include a “call to worship.” This is an attempt to focus our minds and attention on God—to prepare us for worship.

WORSHIP WITH ALL THAT YOU ARE (19:35-38)

As Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the city of David, his followers began to “praise God in loud voices.” They were sharing “all the miracles they had seen.” They were bearing witness to the worthiness of Christ. They were demonstrating His worth by worshipping Him.

There is an often-overlooked section directly before this worshipful scene. In some of the other gospels, palm branches are mentioned, but here in Luke, they spread their cloaks, their outer garments, along the path. It is ironic that this passage is not more highlighted because it is this section that leads to the name, “Palm Sunday.” People, in an act of worship, laid all that they had at the foot of Jesus. During Jesus’ time, people did not own that many changes of clothing. They laid what they had along the way of Jesus.

Jesus in another passage tells a woman that there will come a time when people will worship in Spirit and in truth. Part of the truth of worship is that we cannot afford to hold anything back. We must be all in! There is no halfway with God. There is no in-between.

NOT LETTING OTHERS STEAL YOUR JOY (19:39-40)
During Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem, the religious leaders of the day came up to Jesus. They instructed Him to quiet His followers. They were making too much noise. They were drawing too much attention. Possibly, they were taking people’s focus off of those “leaders” in exchange for the true Leader that God provided for them.

Often, when others attempt to stifle the expressions of praise and joy in others, it is because they sense their own deficiency, their own weakness, where they fall short. We find an example in today’s culture. Whether you like the Denver Broncos or not, you probably know who Tim Tebow is. Is it possible that those who find fault in his witness are those who do not have a witness themselves?

You can imagine the look on Jesus’ face! He has just been accosted by the leading religious figures. Here He is the very embodiment of the scriptures, and yet they claimed they were the “chosen” teachers. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies that their forefathers and heroes of faith recorded. He was the promise and the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. And they were only thinking of themselves. They were worried about the power and control they would lose if this new Teacher gained a following. It was fine for Him to teach while He stayed out in the countryside, but now He was coming into downtown Jerusalem—the big leagues—and this would not do!

Jesus looked over at them and told them simply, if someone didn’t say something, the very ground, nature itself, would have something to say about His coming! Our joy comes in the knowledge that Jesus is the finishing line! We “walk in triumph” because we know who waits at the finish line. We are all striving for the moment when we are told, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE

This is not meant to be a complete sermon. This is merely a catalyst to help the writing and preaching process.