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It's Personal (Part 4)

Easter - It's Personal

After Jesus' Resurrection:
• He appears to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women.
• And then, oddly enough, 2 men are walking back from Jerusalem to Emmaus. The story is found in Luke’s Gospel, 24:13-34 (posted at end of blog).

This story speaks such a relevant message to me this Easter.

“We were hoping,” these men said to Jesus. Looking for an answer to:
A. Their bondage
B. Their broken lives
C. A preferred future

The crucifixion to them was the final death nail to their hope.
A. They had followed Jesus.
• Heard about Him
• Hung out with Him, and the 12 – they were there when the ladies returned saying He wasn’t in the tomb.

B. They had hoped He’d do something.
• Much like us.
• Things are kind of messed up right now.
• People are angry – frustrated.
• Our government is broken. We have little confidence in our leaders.
• This presidential primary process has become a circus.
• We all have kind of been hoping for some positive changes.
• Some thought religion would help. Church might be good for all of us.
• Oft times we were disappointed.
• Truth is, we all have questions. I too have been disappointed at times. Brokenhearted. Even disillusioned.
"I was hoping." And we all joined the chorus of the Emmaus Road Duet, “We were hoping.”

Notice, the Bible says when Jesus was with them, “sadness was still written on their faces.”
• Describes so many today – empty stares, empty lives, sad faces…
• Maybe you’re on this road today. Maybe you’re having your own “Emmaus Road” experience.
• Maybe you’ve been disappointed in others.
• Disillusioned by empty and broken promises.
• Since last Easter a lot has happened – serious diagnosis, broken relationship, death of someone dear.
• Here’s what I’ve found – somewhere in my pain – in my sadness – in my despair – when all hope seems to be gone – the same Jesus – the One Who walked that Emmaus Road 2,000 years ago fresh from resurrection – that Jesus – that same Jesus - so often walks into my life.
And He will walk into yours if you’d like.

Luke 24:13-34 NLT
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
19 “What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.