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From Sunset to Dawn

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From Sunset to Dawn

Luke 24:13-35

Opening Illustration

v    End of Ocean’s Eleven

Ø     Standing in front of the fountain at the Bellagio

§        11 men who came together to pull off the biggest heist in history

·        Their cause holding them together now gone

¨     They slowly disperse

Ø     One by one

v    That is the scene before us today in our text

Ø     The empty tomb left many wondering what had happened

§        Not just Peter

·        But wonder was not enough to keep the rag-tag group of Jesus-followers together

¨     They had come to Jerusalem 7 days earlier, Palm Sunday, on a high

Ø     Believing that Jesus was going to do something great!

v    What they got was a crucified prophet…a humiliated teacher

Ø     A dead end for all the disciples

§        So they began to disperse…break up…go home

·        The cause holding them together no longer remained

v    So we pick up our story with two of them leaving Jerusalem on their way back home to Emmaus

READ v. 13-14

Unbelief

v    So here we meet two dejected disciples wallowing in their unbelief

Ø     Cleopas and an unnamed disciple

§        On a 2 hour journey to Emmaus

v    They are discussing between themselves all that has happened in the last several days

Ø     Triumphal entry

Ø     The cleansing of the temple

Ø     The confrontations with the elders, Pharisees and scribes in the temple all week

Ø     The Passover meal they shared

§        And the strange twist Jesus put on it

Ø     The Garden experience

Ø     The arrest of their rabbi

Ø     The many hurried trials

Ø     The horrible death

Ø     The mystery of the empty tomb

v    The road is teeming with people leaving the Passover celebration

Ø     And as they are talking…

§        A stranger begins keeping pace with them and engages them in conversation

 

READ V. 15-19a

 

v    This story is so well known and loved for many reasons

Ø     But surely one of them is that we are on the inside

§        We know who this stranger is…Jesus

·        And it makes it exciting

v    For whatever reason, Jesus lets on that he does not know what has taken place

Ø     Some suggest that he is testing his disciples

Ø     Some believe that he is using a typical rabbinic style of teaching

§        But for whatever reason…

·        This prompts the two disciples to tell the fellow pilgrim the story…

 

READ 19b-24

 

v    The two disciples tell the hidden Jesus a story

Ø     But it is a story of lost hope

v    Their hope was lost because they thought they had found the Messiah

Ø     V. 21a ~ we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel

§        You see…

·        The disciples’ hope was crushed because they were looking for the triumphant Messiah

¨     Not the suffering Messiah

·        They believed that this Jesus was going to redeem Israel in the political or physical sense, meaning…

¨     Kick the Romans out

¨     Restore Israel’s pre-eminence

¨     Reclaim the empty throne of David

¨     Rule with scepter and staff once again

Ø     They were looking for the physical, not the spiritual

Ø     They were looking for the crown, not the cross

Ø     I wonder how many Christians get disillusioned for the same reason these two did

§        Start following Jesus thinking that everything in this life will be OK now

·        The longer I am a Pastor…

¨     The more I find it my job to inform Christians that that is not the case

Ø     My job is to prepare you for the difficulties, hardships, tribulations of being a Christian this side of Glory

Ø     To undo the health/wealth type of doctrine that is preached so often

Secondly…

v    Their hope was lost because it was the third day

Ø     Even though they knew Jesus died on the cross

§        There was a glimmer of hope that he would return three days later

·        He had told them over and over again

¨     ‘Handed over to chief priests, will be killed, three days later I will rise again’

 

Ø     In the darkest of times, people will hang on to even the remotest of hopes

§        And Jesus returning was just that for these disciples

·        The remotest of hopes

Ø     So these two disciples stayed until the third day

§        When they did not see him return…

·        They left

v    And that is the last reason for their lost hope…

Ø     They did not see him

v    Their hope was lost that because they did not see

Ø     They tell of what the women experienced

Ø      And then they say something interesting…

§        V. 24 ~ Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see

·         They did not see him

¨     They did not believe the empty tomb because they did not see the risen Christ

Ø     Even though all the evidence was there

Ø     We depend so heavily on our sight

§        Let me ask you a question:

·        Would your faith be stronger…

·        Would you have more faith…

·        Would you follow Jesus more diligently if you saw the risen Christ?

§        The Scripture overwhelmingly teach that seeing the supernatural does not inspire greater faith or dedication

·        Look at the Jews in the wilderness

¨     40 years with Yahweh

Ø     Saw…

§        Plagues, parting of Red Sea, Manna, Quail, water from rock,

·        And on top of all that…

¨     God presence in cloud and fire!

·        Look at the disciples

¨     With Jesus 3 years

Ø     Saw…

§        Healings, walking on water, calming of storms, multiplication of food, rising of the dead

·        On top of that…

¨     God presence among them, the incarnate Word

v    Yet still did not believe

Ø     We think that seeing is believing

§        But look what Jesus says about seeing and believing

·        Matt 12:39

¨     A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!

·        John 20:29 ~ Upon seeing the risen Christ

¨     Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed

·        John 14:8 ~ Jesus in upper room explaining who he is

¨     Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? I and the Father are one.

§        Perhaps most germane is…

·        Luke 16:31 ~ Parable of rich man and Lazarus

¨     If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.

v    You see…

Ø     Christianity is not about seeing and believing…

§        It is about reading and believing

·        It is about having faith in the Word of God

¨     And that is what Jesus goes on to teach them

v    READ V. 25-27

 

Evidence

v    Still hidden from their eyes, Jesus rebukes them

Ø     He rebukes them because they have everything they need for faith…

§        Yet they do not see

Ø     They have as evidence his life lived before them

§        They have as evidence his death played out in front of them

·        And most importantly…

¨     They have the OT Scriptures that tell of all this…

Ø     Yet they do not understand

§        So he takes the remaining time they have together before they reach Emmaus and he explains it to them

·        He explains how the whole OT is about him!

I wonder how many of us understand that!

I wonder if we understand that…

v    He is our ram caught in the thicket who takes our place on the sacrificial alter of Gene 22

v    He is our Passover Lamb of Ex 12

v    He is our Guilt offering and Sin offering offered up to God of Lev 6-7

Ø     He is what the whole sacrificial system pointed to!

v    He is the star that came out of Jacob, the scepter that rose out of Israel of Num 24:17

v    He is the our Moses who led us out of bondage Dt 18:18

v    He is our Joshua who secured our spiritual inheritance

v    He our Samson pulling down the strongholds of our enemies of Judges 16

v    He is our Kinsman-Redeemer of Ruth 4

v    He is our Samuel, leading and protecting us of 1 Sam

v    He is our David, the once and future king reigning over us of 2 Sam

v    He is our Solomon, full of wisdom and knowledge of1 Kings

v    He is our Elisha, who restores life to the dead of 2 Kings 4

v    He is our promised King whose kingdom will last forever of 1 Chron 17:14

v    He is our Hezekiah, who purifies our temple of 2 Chron 29

v    He is our Ezra who shares the Word of God with his people

v    He is our Nehemiah who restores our spiritual home

v    He is our Esther, who saves his people

v    He is our Job, faithful to God amidst terrible suffering

v    He is our rock, our fortress, our high tower and good shepherd of the Psalms

v    He is our heavenly father teaching us Godly Wisdom of Proverbs

v    He is the bread of life that returns to us when we cast our lives upon the waters of Ecc 11

v    He is our beloved of the Song of Solomon

v    He is the one who was…

Ø     Pierced for our transgressions

Ø     Crushed for our iniquities

Ø     Oppressed and afflicted because of us

Ø     Led like a lamb to the slaughter of Isa 53

v    He is our Jeremiah, a prophet rejected by his own people

v    He is our Jerusalem, destroyed for our sins of Lamentation

v    He is the one who makes the valley of dry bones live of Ez 37

v    He is the one who enters the fiery furnace with us of Dan 3:25

v    He was the one called out of Egypt of Hos 11:1

v    He is the one who repays the years the locusts have eaten of Joel 2:25

v    He is our plumb line of Amos 7:7

v    He is our House of Jacob and house of Joseph of Obed :18

v    He is our Jonah, in the belly of the earth 3 days only to come out again!

v    He is our Bethlehem born savior of Micah 5:2

v    He is our yoke breaker and shackle smasher of Nahum 1:13

v    He is our hinds feet in high places of Hab 3:19

v    He is our Emmanuel of Zeph 3:15

v    He is our signet ring of Hag 2:23

v    He is the our King riding on a Donkey of Zech 9:9

v    He was the one whose way was prepared by John the Baptist of Mal 3:1

v    He was the one that all the Scriptures spoke of

Ø     He was the focus of all that came before

§        He was not only the fulfillment of hundreds of prophesies

·        But the meaning behind everything

v    These two disciples soaked it all in…

Ø     And the town of Emmaus came to soon

READ v. 25-35

 

Belief

v    This passage is so very interesting!

Ø     We see that belief comes to these disciples

§        But not the way we think

v    Look at v. 31

Ø     Some think that it was the evidence that Jesus spoke to them about that brought faith

§        But no

Ø     Some commentators believe that Jesus using the same words as he did at the institution of the Lord’s Supper awoke their minds

§        But no

Ø     Some people believe that the disciples saw the nail marks in his hands as he broke the bread and they remembered and believed

§        But no

v    It was Jesus revealing himself to them

Ø     He opened their eyes

Ø     He allowed himself to be recognized

Ø     He revealed himself to them

Ø     He chose that time to be revealed to them

Ø     And that is how it is, isn’t it?

§        You can tell a person all about Jesus

§        You can prove to them that the resurrection is factual

§        You can answer all their questions

·        Overcome all their objections

¨     Yet it is Jesus who reveals himself to them

v    November 23, 1654, a single word written on a page of a journal...”FIRE!”

Ø     What follows are the words:

§        “Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy”

·        And then the words…

¨     “Jesus Christ”

Ø     This is how Blaise Pascal described the scales falling off of his eyes

v    In a way, conversion always happens in a Pauline fashion

Ø     Scales falling off eyes…

§        That finally allows us to see Jesus Christ for who he is

·        Lord and Savior


v    Notes:

Ø     This the second of three post-resurrection rebukes

§        Remember the angels rebuke the women at the tomb (v. 5-7)

·        Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again

§        The women get rebuked for not remembering what Jesus told them

·        The rebuke these two disciples receive is different

¨     They are rebuked for not understanding the Scriptures

v    The “Elvis” syndrome

Actually, some people do believe that Elvis did not die but has perpetrated "the Graceland Hoax" - this despite the fact that he was pronounced dead by several physicians, was autopsied and the cause of death determined, and was prepared for burial by two morticians, dressed by his wardrobe manager, made-up by his personal cosmetologist, his hair colored to jet black by the famous Larry Geller, and then viewed by his entire family before closing the seamless copper casket

v    Jesus rebukes them because they have told him the whole Gospel…

Ø     Yet they cannot put the pieces of the Old Testament together

Ø     They are blind to the fact that that is what the Scriptures prophesied concerning the Messiah

Ø     They are blind to the fact that the Old Testament Scriptures are not feel good stories

§        They are not moral lessons

§        They are not history lessons

·        They are the word of God about his coming son!

¨     So that is what Jesus tells them

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