of Easter dispelled your discouragement? Listen to Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring profound truth simply The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a known fact that we fully believe as Christians.
However, in the days following this miracle, some of the disciples were struggling to believe it. Luke 24 tells of two disciples on the road to Emmaus who came face to face with Jesus himself the week after Easter. If you have your Bible, turn there now. We'll begin in verse 13 as Adrian Rogers shares Part 1 of The Week After Easter. I want to talk to you about the week after Easter.
And Luke chapter 24 deals with the week after Easter. And I think there's an incredible lesson for us here about a burning, blazing, emotional, passionate love for Jesus Christ. There's nothing deader than dead orthodoxy for a person who knows the truth, who can cross every T, dot every I, but they can't spell victory. This is what I want to talk to you about, how to have a passionate, burning, emotional love for Jesus.
I did have everything right, but I think of a preacher who was preaching and did not use proper grammar, as I sometimes fail to do, and he was saying in his message, I've seen this and I've seen that, and somebody corrected him and said, you should be like Pastor So-and-So, who says correctly, I have seen. And he thought about it and he knew Pastor So-and-So, who had that dead orthodoxy, and he said, well, I'll tell you the truth, I'd rather say I've seen when I've seen something than say I have seen when I ain't seen nothing. I want us to have a passionate love for Jesus Christ. The sign of Pentecost was a tongue of fire, and we need to have a burning, passionate heart for Jesus.
Now, let me give you the background. Jesus was crucified, put in that grave, came out of that grave and was seen, but the disciples were convinced, some of them, but some of them not totally fully convinced, they were half believing and half doubting. Some of them had taken a journey to a place called Emmaus, and I've been to Emmaus a number of times.
It's a beautiful little village about seven and one half miles from the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised. And they were trudging along, two forlorn disciples, discouraged and burdened. Let's begin in verse 13, and you'll pick it up there in Matthew and Luke chapter 24, verse 13. Behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem, about three score furlongs, that's seven, a little more than seven miles, and they talked together of all those things which had happened. And it came to pass that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were holding that they should not know him.
Now, God did that on purpose, and I'm going to tell you why in just a moment. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another as ye walk, and are so sad? And one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem?
And hast thou not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priest and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.
And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. But yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher, and they found not his body. And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher and found it, even so as the women had said, But him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.
Ought not Christ have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? Now, here they are, two of these disciples. And what I want to talk to you first of all is I want you to see what I'm going to call the discouragement of a confused heart. These people were discouraged, two of them. They're trudging along now, half believing, half doubting. They'd heard the story, but they were let down in body and in spirit.
And Jesus could tell by their countenance that they were discouraged, they were sad. And we're going to see that their discouragement and their sadness had this source. It was a misunderstanding. And I want to talk a little bit about the misunderstanding in a moment. But that misunderstanding led to disappointment. And disappointment led to doubt, and doubt led to discouragement.
Now, what was their misunderstanding? Well, they had been looking for a political messiah. They were hoping that Jesus would come and redeem Israel, and it had not happened.
And notice, if you will, verse 21, But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. Now, obviously, they were looking for a political messiah. They've been looking for a king. And now what had happened to the king? The king had nails for a scepter.
He had a cross for a throne, and his kingdom had contracted to the narrow confines of a tomb. Now, what had happened to the kingdom? The prophets had prophesied a kingdom.
The poets had pictured a kingdom. The angels had pronounced and announced a kingdom. And Jesus had preached the kingdom. And they were saying, Look, this is wonderful. Messiah is here.
Israel is going to be redeemed. And it had not happened. What had happened to these people is that they did not know, as Paul Harvey would have said, the rest of the story. They'd only seen part of the story. And they did not understand that Jesus was turning Calvary to Easter, and that Pentecost was coming.
Just like sometimes we don't understand when we're going through our own Gethsemane in Calvary, that he's going to turn our hurts to a hallelujah, and our Calvary to an Easter, and our tears to pearls. We only see a part of the story. I can remember when I was a little boy running away from home.
I was not even school age, but I can remember like yesterday. I came into the kitchen, and my mother was baking a pie shell. Just the shell. I knew she was baking a pie. I was too short to see up in the oven. But I stood around and hung around in the kitchen till she took the pie shell out.
I have never been as disappointed and angry in my life. I looked into that pie shell, and there was no pie in there. And I thought either my mother was extremely mean or she had absolutely gone out of her mind.
How could any woman, how could any mother bake such a pie? It was nothing but a shell. I literally ran away from home.
I'm serious. I can remember, I went a whole half block. Out the front door, I had not even started school yet.
Out the front door, down the street, pouting, murmuring to myself. It was an entire half block before I repented and turned around and came back home. And by then, I had learned the rest of the story. That she was not finished with what she's doing. Now these disciples were very much like that.
It was only half done. And they were sad because their sadness was rooted in misunderstanding and unbelief. Jesus actually called them fools. If you look there in verse 25, it's a very interesting verse where he says to them, Oh fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken. Now they believed part of what the prophets had spoken, but they did not believe at all.
They did not understand at all. And so what you have here is what I want to call the discouragement of a confused heart. When we get confused, when we don't understand the Word of God, that can lead to discouragement. And I have met in my ministry so many Christians who get discouraged because they don't understand the Scriptures and they don't believe all that the prophets have spoken. Now, let's move from there and talk not only about the discouragement of a confused heart, and these men were confused.
But let's talk a little bit about the discovery of a challenged heart. Jesus met them, and he challenged them with the Word of God. And I'm so grateful that he did.
I want you to see how he did it. First of all, Jesus sought them. Look if you will in verse 15 of this same chapter. And it came to pass while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near.
And he's done that so many times to me, and he's done that so many times to you. Jesus just caught up with them. He did not seek them now to condemn them or even to condone them. But what he did seek them for was to claim them and to comfort them. And just as the Lord Jesus sought us when we were lost, by the way, we didn't seek him.
He sought us, and we love him because he first loved us. Now, these men evidently were already believers, although they were backslidden and discouraged. If Jesus would seek us when we were just out and out sinners, surely he will seek us when we're saved and away from him. And every backslidden Christian has known that, and every confused Christian has found Jesus just seeking them. But not only did Jesus seek them, but he caught them. He sought them, and he caught them. He drew near to them, and I'm glad that he did. I'm here to tell you this, folks, that Jesus has never, ever lost one of his sheep.
Never. And it's not because we hold on to him. He holds on to us. And he told us that in John chapter 17, verse 12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name.
And those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost. So what he did, he sought them, he caught them, but here's the incredible thing, he taught them. And he opened the Scriptures to them, and he opened their eyes. Look, if you will, in verse 27, and see what the Lord Jesus Christ did for them the week after Easter. And notice he says, In beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whether they went, and he made as though he would have gone further.
But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them, and it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and break it, and gave it to them, now watch this, and their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and he vanished out of their sight. Now, first of all, in verse 32, we're going to notice that he opened the Scriptures. Look in verse 32, And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?
Undescore that, it's so important. Our hearts burned while he opened to us the Scriptures. But it was not enough for him to open the Scriptures. Go back up to verse 31, And their eyes were opened, and they knew him. Now, there are two things that the Lord has to open to us when we're confused and discouraged. First of all, he has to open the Scriptures, and secondly, he has to open our eyes. Both are absolutely necessary. Light without sight is no good, and sight without light is no good.
It takes absolutely both. Now, why is it that God engineered it that they would not know who he was? Evidently, in his resurrected form, there was something about his likeness that was changed because they had known him, they had seen him, yet they did not recognize him. Why does the Bible say that this was holding from them or kept from them, that look in verse 16? But their eyes were holding that they did not know him.
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that his form was changed, but something happened to them. God doesn't let them recognize him. God, in some way, distorts their vision.
It does not give them cognition. Why did God do that? Why did he say, look, here I am, believe? Why? Good question.
I'm glad you asked it. Jesus is getting ready to go to heaven, and what he is doing now is the same thing that you and I need. We don't have Jesus before us in physical form. We have the Word of God. What he is doing now is putting their dependence not upon his physical presence with them, but upon the Word of God now. He's opening to them the Word. He's opening them the Bible. He's opening to them the prophets, and he is opening their eyes to see him now, not after the flesh, but to see him by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. You understand why he did this?
And so now we're seeing this transition. He's going back to heaven, but he is leaving the Word, and the written Word is what we have today to bring Jesus Christ to us and to make Jesus Christ real to us. It is significant that it was the Word and not the physical sense that made him real to them. They didn't say, oh, yes, we recognize him. That was really him. We saw him.
No. They said we knew him because he opened the Word to us. That's how they knew him. They knew him now through the Word of God. Now, he challenged them through the Word of God, and I want you to see how he challenged them. I want you to notice the sermon that he gave to them. The method was to open the Scriptures and to open their eyes.
Now, notice the message. Look, if you will, in verse 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets. Now, that's just the Old Testament way of saying Moses and the prophets, first five books of the Bible written by Moses and then the prophets. That's just the way he speaks of a major portion of the Old Testament. So he'd just say, going back to Genesis 1, 1, that's what that says. And beginning at Moses and the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Now, look at it carefully. It doesn't say he expounded to them all the things concerning himself in the Scriptures. Now, that would have been fine, but that isn't what it says. It says he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
What does that mean? It means that Jesus is in all the Scriptures. And not that he is in some of the Scriptures, not all the things in the Scriptures, but in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Now, the New Testament had not yet been written. So he started in Genesis. That's Moses. Genesis is actually Leviticus numbers in Deuteronomy. And then he just continues in Moses and the prophets to speak to them from the Scriptures. What are the Scriptures about? Well, the things concerning himself. Now, if you read the Bible and you don't find Jesus, you missed it.
Go back. Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus. He'll be there in prophecy. He'll be there in precept. He'll be there in parable. He'll be there in poetry.
He'll be there. Somehow Jesus is there in the Bible. And he himself said and challenged the people of his day when he was talking about the Old Testament, he said, search the Scriptures, for these are they which testify of me. I've been preaching long enough to know that the Bible becomes a wonderful book to you when you find Jesus in you. Whether it's the Old Testament or the New Testament, you'll find Jesus somewhere. And really there's no lasting joy without Jesus and he's the one that you need and God has engineered it that you're not going to have joy without Jesus and you're not going to know Jesus really apart from the Scriptures.
Too many people are writing Dear Abby when they ought to be opening the Bible and reading, finding out what is in the Word of God. Now, he's walking with him. They're on the road to Emmaus. That's about seven and a half miles. So how long would it take them to walk seven and a half miles? How long? Two hours? Two hours. So there's a two-hour Bible conference.
Maybe they stopped a little bit. Let's give them three hours. Two hours.
Whatever. All the way now, he's opening to them the Scriptures. How would you like to have a tape recording of that? That's a seven-mile Bible conference. I would love to have a tape recording of that, of Jesus starting in the book of Genesis and going through the Old Testament and saying, here's Jesus, here's the Messiah, here's the Messiah, here I am, da-da-da-da.
But he didn't say, here I am because at that moment, they still didn't realize who he was, but he was talking about himself, all of the Scriptures about the Lord Jesus Christ. Fulfilled prophecy is such a wonderful thing. Did you know that there are over 333 precise details prophesying Jesus in the Old Testament? Centuries before Jesus was born, his birth, his career, his teaching, his suffering, his resurrection, his glory, his ascension, his second coming.
That was all prophesied. Now, don't take that for granted. Jesus is the only person ever born into this world whose ancestry, whose birth time, whose forerunner, whose birthplace, whose birth manner, whose infancy, whose manhood, whose teaching, whose character, whose preaching, whose reception, whose rejection, whose death, whose burial, whose resurrection, whose ascension were all written in a marvelous way before he was born.
Don't pass by that. Can you imagine anybody painting a picture of an individual having never seen that individual, him having never been born and paint that picture in striking and unmistakable detail? But then can you imagine not one person but 25 artists participating in the same picture? And then when that individual comes, there is that exact likeness. You see, the Scriptures, when Jesus took the Bible and he opened the Bible and began to show them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself, he's willing to open the Scriptures to us and he opens the Scriptures and he opens our eyes. Now, let me just before I pass on to the third and final thing, I want to tell you that the prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus are going to be fulfilled just as literally as those concerning his first coming.
Same Bible. Many missed the blessing of his first coming because they did not understand the Scriptures or they did not believe them. Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. I don't want to hurt your feelings, but there's something wrong with your mind and something wrong with your heart if you don't believe the Bible. Jesus would say to you, you're foolish and your heart is very slow if you don't understand the Scripture. The world is not through with Jesus, but I'm going to tell you something, this world is through without Jesus.
He is coming again. And tomorrow we'll hear part two of this important message, but maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is or what he means to you, how to begin a relationship with God through Christ. Go to our Find God's Love page at the website.
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