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.
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.