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Resurrected Dreams Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2022 1:00 am

Resurrected Dreams Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 15, 2022 1:00 am

The pain and disappointment had hit home. When Jesus died, His disciples’ dreams died. Their best-laid plans were in ruins. Was it best to move on and forget those three wonderful years with Christ? In this message, we learn how the resurrected Jesus revived their dreams, and how He can revive ours. Our living hope is stronger than our shattered dreams.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Early on, the disciples of Jesus argued over who would sit with Him in the kingdom. But when Jesus died, their dreams died.

Their best laid plans were in ruins. For some, the best thing to do seemed to be walk away and forget those three wonderful years with Christ. Today, how the resurrected Jesus revived their dreams and how He can revive yours as well. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, tell us about today's message you've entitled, Resurrected Dreams. Dave, this is found in Luke chapter 24, and I love this story about the disciples leaving Jerusalem, walking to Emmaus, and not recognizing when Jesus fell in step with them. Some day I'd like to hear about the conversation as Jesus Christ was explaining the scriptures to them. And even though they thought that they had just witnessed the end of a beautiful life, well, Jesus appeared, and they knew who He was, and they ran back to Jerusalem to say to the disciples, He is alive.

And that's what we're going to be saying on Easter Sunday, He is alive. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. Have you ever considered becoming an endurance partner? Many of you contribute, and you might want to become an endurance partner. That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's how you can find info. I hope that many of you join us and you hold our hands, so to speak, and become a part of the Running to Win family. But for now, it's the journey to Emmaus. Shattered dreams lie everywhere. Sometimes a dream is shattered because of an accident. Sometimes it is shattered because of a disease. Sometimes it is shattered because of people. We've all had our share of disappointments, our feelings of betrayal, or maybe even abuse. And the problem is that lying beneath those shattered dreams is another problem. It may be a problem with deep disappointment and even resentment against God.

All that you have to do is to talk to a skeptic, and the skeptic will tell you why he's a skeptic. What good is God's omnipotence, His tremendous power, if that power is not used to make a crooked world straight? Like one woman said to me, long ago I've given up on God and I've given up on prayer. I expected that my daughter, for whom I prayed fervently, would become a missionary. Now she not only hates God, but she also hates me. I don't want to pray again, lest I be disappointed.

Disappointment with God is not a new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, in the New Testament, the day of resurrection, early that morning, there were two disciples that set out for the town of Emmaus seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were going there because they wanted to forget their disappointment with Jesus. They remembered that some women had gone to the tomb and reported that the tomb was empty and the stone was rolled away, and there were some angels there at the tomb. But they did not believe the reports of those women who had witnessed that. Because among the women was Mary Magdalene. She was one out of whom Jesus cast seven demons, and these disciples probably thought that her story was actually an ape that had not yet been cast out.

And so they decided to leave and to forget it all. But the Bible tells us that a stranger fell in step with them, and they did not know that this stranger was Jesus. And we pick up the story in the 24th chapter of the book of Luke.

If you have your Bibles, you may turn there. You'll notice that Jesus began to speak with them, and as they were talking, he asks this question. He says, what is it that you are discussing together as you walk along? Verse 17.

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them named Cleopas asked him, are you only a visitor to Jerusalem, and do you not know the things that have happened there in these days? What things, Jesus asked. It's not because Jesus didn't know, obviously, but he wanted them to tell him.

And now comes the hurt. You'll notice they said, about Jesus of Nazareth, he was a prophet powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

And what is more, it's the third day since this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.

And that's where the pain was. We hoped that it was he who would deliver Israel. We thought that he was going to be the one to establish the kingdom, to break the yoke of Roman occupation. We are tired of saluting those pagan soldiers.

We're tired of paying taxes and being humiliated. And we thought that the Messiah was going to be one who was going to bring this deliverance. And now we notice that it's the tragic end of a beautiful life and it's all over. These disciples were as if they had lived through an earthquake so sad that they thought possibly they would never genuinely smile again. You see, it's not just that they were concerned about the Roman occupation. They felt betrayed. They loved Jesus. They were there when he fed the multitude with a boy's lunch. And they thought to themselves, oh, if only he would be king.

Think of all the miracles he could work in our behalf. They believed in him as far as they were concerned, though he raised expectations that he did not meet. And he gave them dreams which were now shattered at their feet. But Jesus spends two hours with them on the way to Emmaus. And as Jesus speaks and interacts with them, he gives them the answer to their shattered dream. And in the process, he gives us the answer to our shattered dreams as well. What does Jesus say to them?

The answer to their need comes in two parts. First of all, he says, disciples, you should have known and you should have believed the promises of scripture. You'll notice it says how foolish, I'm in verse 25, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself.

Don't you wish that you had been there? Wouldn't it have been wonderful to run a tape recorder to see what Jesus had to say about himself? They didn't know that they were in the presence of the one who was the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies. I can imagine that he began with a book of Genesis and explained how that the Messiah was the seed of the woman and there would be conflict and the woman's seed would crush the head of the serpent. Then I can imagine him going into the book of Exodus and talking about the Passover lamb and explaining once again how the Israelites had to kill a lamb and put blood on their door and those who had blood on their door, the angel of death would pass over them, which is where the word Passover comes from, and they would be exempt from God's judgment and how the Messiah was now the lamb of God that took away the sin of the world and he had to die on a cross. He had to be crucified so that that blood would be shed so that we would be spared from the consequences of our sins. And then as he went into the book of Leviticus, he would have explained that the Messiah was the fulfillment of all of the prophecies regarding the sacrifices and the burnt offerings.

In Numbers, the Messiah is the rock from which water flows. And then I can imagine he gets to the Psalms, Psalm 22, and points out to the disciples, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? That that description of crucifixion was actually fulfilled just three days before when Messiah was dying on the cross. And then he got to Isaiah 53. He was wounded for our transgressions.

He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. He died for our sins.

And notice Christ's point. He's saying to them, you should have known that first of all, first of all, he must suffer and then enter into glory. You're right about all the prophecies about political deliverance.

You're right about the fact that someday the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. You're right about that, that great days are coming, but the suffering comes first. The grime comes before the glory and the cross has to come before the crown.

The order is important. Today we have television preachers that tell us that we can be healed whenever we want to be, that we can have wealth whenever we want to be. And they're right that the Bible talks about these things, but they forget the fact that first of all, in this life, we must be willing to suffer. This is a life that is not easy, but the suffering eventually leads to glory. There are some people who want it all right now.

They say, give it to me now. And they're confused regarding the order of how it is to occur. And so the scripture says, first of all, there is suffering and then there is glory. And what Jesus is saying to these disciples whose dreams have been shattered as he speaks to us as well is this, remember the promises of scripture and we do not interpret this life simply on the basis of what we see. There's a life to come. There is glory that lies ahead.

We do live in a Good Friday world to be sure where there is injustice and cruelty and bloodshed and violence. And we do all that we possibly can to overcome it. But at the end of the day, we know that there's going to be this until this world ends. And in the meantime, we look to the glory that shall be revealed. And it is that that gives us hope. God doesn't have to answer all of our prayers now to be faithful to his promises. And so Jesus says to them, first of all, you have to believe in the promises of God. But you say, well, Pastor Luther, does that mean all that we can do now is to simply grin and bear it and wait for the future?

No, there's another part to Jesus Christ's answer. You'll notice the scripture says that verse 28, as they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly and said, stay with us for it is nearly evening.

The day is almost over. So he went to stay with them. While he was at the table with them, he took bread and gave thanks and broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he disappeared out of their sight.

Wow, what a story. Isn't it interesting that the one who is invited in, he's invited as a guest, he now becomes the host. The one who is invited to receive is now the one to give. And as he breaks bread, they say this is Jesus, very probably because as they saw his hands, they saw the nail scars and they remembered this one is the Messiah. We're in the presence of the one whom we love.

Our dreams weren't shattered after all. And then suddenly, boom, Jesus disappears. You say, well, Pastor Luther, do you actually believe this story that Jesus disappeared? The answer is yes, because, you know, his body was a resurrected body.

It had a different molecular structure. He could go through doors. He couldn't be in two places at one time with that body, but he could travel very quickly from one place to another. Some of you who are visiting here today may wonder what kind of a place is Moody Church anyway? What do you all believe you're wondering? So just to clarify, I wanted you to know that we actually believe this stuff here at Moody Church because we believe, we believe in a resurrected savior who is capable of all kinds of miracles. And so Jesus disappears and the Bible says that they say to one another, we're not our hearts burning within us while he talked to us on the road and opened the scriptures to us. That's why we were so intrigued. That's why he knew so much.

That's why he was able to get it right. And then we read that that very evening they got up and returned once again to Jerusalem. It didn't matter whether thieves were along the way. It didn't matter whether it was dark.

It didn't matter whether they were tired. They'd already walked the seven miles. They had just completed the journey. But you know, there's something about meeting Jesus that makes you want to go find someone else to tell you to tell about Jesus. And as a result of that, they go back and they're saying to everyone, guess what? The risen Christ appeared to us.

It says that there they found the 11 and those with them assembled together saying, it's true. The Lord has risen and appeared to Simon. And then the two told what happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke bread. And now notice in verse 36, while they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, peace be unto you.

If the first answer to shattered dreams is to properly interpret and believe the promises of scripture. The second is the reminder of the fact that Jesus Christ is with us among his people. He is with his people in body.

He is with his people in spirit. And he says to us today, I will never leave you. I will never forsake you depend upon it. I have not left you alone. I will come to you. In fact, Jesus said that the reason I'm going to heaven is so that I can give the Holy Spirit of God who will come and indwell the lives of all those who know Christ as savior.

And as a result, you can be assured of my presence. I am with you till the end of the world. Let's boil this down where we are today so that we can pick our own shattered dreams up off the floor and understand its relevance to us today. First of all, I want us to realize that when Jesus was raised from the dead in that resurrection, he brought every one of our shattered dreams with him. And he took those shattered dreams and he will someday give us their fulfillment. Just like you find that God would not create a fish unless he created water so that the fish would have a place to swim. In the very same way, God would not have created these longings for the eternal, these desires. He would not have given those to us unless there was a place where those desires would be fulfilled. What is your deep desire today?

What is your shattered dream? Is it a physical problem? Is it because of the fact that maybe you have been involved in some tragedy? Maybe you are suffering from some illness.

Maybe the doctor came to you and told you things about your body that you thought could only be true of someone else. And you say to yourself, oh, this is the end. I begin to see the end coming.

I will never be able to enjoy life again. I want you to know today that when Jesus was raised from the dead with that resurrection, he gave a promise of health, of beauty, of strength. All that we need to do is to look at how Jesus Christ's body functioned. With that tremendous power that we spoke about, the ability to say the word and to go from one place to another. And we shall be like him, the Bible says, for we shall see him as he is like Christ. Isn't that remarkable? I've often pondered these scriptures because as you think of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose body was physical, but nonetheless the molecular structure was very different from ours so that he could travel through space instantly. What a remarkable body we are going to have. You know, there are those of you who are suffering today.

You're going through all kinds of physical illness, and I won't take time to even begin to list all the different ways that we can suffer. But I need to tell you that you do not have a problem that a good resurrection will not solve. And that's why on Easter Sunday we rejoice in the fact that Jesus rose and because he lives, we shall live also. I'm so glad for the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. It's really because of you that this ministry is in 20 different countries in four different languages. Thank you. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner?

That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course, you need more info, so I hope that you have a pencil handy. And what you can do is to go to rtwoffer.com. When you're there, you click on the endurance partner button. That's rtwoffer.com, or if you prefer, you can call right now. You can call 1-888-218- 9337. Let me give you that contact info again, rtwoffer.com.

Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And let us rejoice. I say again, because he lives, we shall live also. It's time once again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. As we get older, we're prone to develop diseases and conditions that constrain our most precious relationships.

An anonymous Running to Win listener is a victim of this and writes for advice. She says, My husband has Alzheimer's disease and has begun to yell at me all the time. As a Christian, I'm having a difficult time knowing how to handle this. Pastor Lutzer, what should I do? Well thank you, my dear sister, for your question, and it is a dilemma that I'm sure is close to your heart every single day.

Just a couple of thoughts, probably things that you have already thought about on your own. First of all, you have to understand that your husband, because you knew him, is not the husband that you know today. This disease has a habit of playing with our minds and playing with our brains. And so when he lashes out on you, remember that he is not doing this as the person whom you married.

Something has gone radically wrong. So don't take it personally. And of course, as a corollary of that, whatever you do, don't respond in kind. Because you have to take into account that you need to pity him, because he also is the victim of a disease that is creating this kind of havoc in his life. And he apparently is very uncomfortable, he does not like his circumstances, and he is becoming increasingly more difficult for you to handle. But second, my sister, very important for you to get help.

I can't imagine you dealing with this 24-7. What you need to do is to get help from other believers, you need to investigate other possibilities for your husband, perhaps a home that he can go into, there are places that have been designated like this so that those who struggle with these kinds of illnesses can be cared for professionally, because it might simply become too much for you. Bottom line, I conclude with a prayer in my heart for you, that God will give you real wisdom in working this out. And remember, my sister, eternity is coming. Thank you, Pastor Lutzer, for that compassionate answer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer. Or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time, the triumphant conclusion of Resurrected Dreams, featuring the Moody Choir and Orchestra with the Hallelujah Chorus. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 03:57:33 / 2023-05-01 04:06:07 / 9

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