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.

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

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

It’s a Prayer-ful Life!

Ephesians 6:18-20

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be

given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

  1. We should pray at all times, good or bad, thick or thin.
  2. We should pray for others and ourselves. We should ask for prayer.
  3. We should pray as God’s ambassadors to this world.

We should pray at all times, good or bad, thick or thin.

  • Whether things are going well or not so well, we should be bringing our prayers to God.
  • As humans, we have a tendency to only come to God when we need something. Or, we only thank God when we were getting what we want. No matter what we are going through, we should be talking to our Father.

We should pray for others and ourselves. We should ask for prayer.

  • Paul asks with a great sense of self and of longing for his audience to pray for him.
  • When did it become a sign of weakness to ask for prayer?
  • We should be committed to pray for each other.
  • Reading is the way you get through the Bible; prayer is the way you get the Bible through you.—Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

We should pray as God’s ambassadors to this world.

  • Prayer gives us the strength, the vision, the message to share with others.
  • Prayer is our power source. When setting goals, we should start and end with prayer.
  • Paul is in prison yet still presents the World boldly. He has good prayer support.

An Epiphany

The day of Epiphany is twelve days after Christmas at the end of the season known as Christmastide.

The Christian feast day celebrates that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ (Wikipedia). This revelation of God’s humanity is one of the greatest triumphs of Christianity.

Normally, when a people or a culture idolize a person, that person is usually depicted as strong and indestructable, powerful. We picture conquerors, commanders, and conquistadors (hey, I was going with the alliteration thing). We elevate our heroes. We put them on pedestals. Even the term idolize conveys a sense of worship.

Our hero, our leader, went from divinity to humanity, from everything to nothing, from the highest to the lowest. Jesus became human, so humans could become like Him.

So, if our highest goal is to become more like Jesus, if our endgame is to be like Him, if He is the perfection to which we are traveling towards, then we must first acknowledge our own humanity. But through that humanity recognize the spark of divine that is in each one of us.

Thank you, Lord, for the day of Epiphany! Thank you for your humanity! Thank you for you divinity! Thank you, Emmanuel, for being with us!