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The Next Phase Part 1  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Transition from death to life; Change and Transition in their lives and ours

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Introduction

New series focusing on the events that follow the resurrection and their impact on the earliest disciples and ultimately on us here in the 21st century.
We often overlook these events and miss out on important aspects of God’s Plans.
Here we are on the evening of the third day. The tomb is empty and a couple of disciples are going to a resting place seven miles away in Emmaus.
Luke 24:13–35 ESV
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Here we are on the evening of the third day. The tomb is empty and a couple of disciples are going to a resting place seven miles away in Emmaus.
Emmaus
Let me read this text from the Message translation and then make some comments.
Luke 24:
Luke 24:13–35 The Message
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?” He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.” Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” They didn’t waste a minute. They were up and on their way back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered together, talking away: “It’s really happened! The Master has been raised up—Simon saw him!” Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
Luke 24:13–35 NIV
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “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 is the third day since all 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 he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah 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. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

On the Road

Two Disciples on the Road
Matthew 18:20 The Message
And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 ESV
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:
John 14:21 ESV
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Fellowship with Christ
John 14:21 ESV
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
John 14:21

Change and Transition

Change – One time, short term event taking place in physical realm
Transition – Unknown duration, three phased effects taking place mentally and emotionally. Phases are “Ending, Neutral Zone and Beginning.”
Transition: Inward emotional , unknown duration, ending, neutral zone, beginning
Diagram from “Managing Transition,” William Bridges
Ending: Physical appearances with Jesus
Managing Transition, “ William Bridges
Physical appearances with Jesus are ending
Neutral Zone: Rely upon His promises
New Beginning: Holy Spirit coming.
Questions they had
What will that be like?
Will Simon Peter be restored?
What are we supposed to be now?
John 15:9–17 ESV
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
John 15:9-
Their experience:
John 14:21
Discussing the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
Jesus appears to them
That Passover and the events has moved them into a period of time they have never experienced before
Side Road - Change and Transition and its effects upon us
Acknowledging God as Lord imposes changes and transitions upon us all
Next Phase of God’s plan is beginning because the last phase ended with the change event of the previous days.
Holy Spirit has not yet come
Their hospitality to the stranger
Christ’s manifestation to them
Ending for them - Passover from hell
Their hearts burned because of the truth the Truth was sharing and revealing to them. It is all based upon God’s Word, not the other way around.
The Resurrection is the major change-event in world history and imposes transitions upon us.
New creation in Christ change and transition
Temple of Holy Spirit change and transition
Member of God’s family change and transition
Revelation is based on God’s time not human time. The openness of the two disciples reminds that the appearance promises in are true and apply to us today.
1or \ər, ˈȯr, Southern also ˈär\ conjugation [Middle English, alteration of other, alteration of Old English oththe; akin to Old High German eddo or] 13th century 1 —used as a function word to indicate an alternative 〈coffee or tea〉 〈sink or swim〉, the equivalent or substitutive character of two words or phrases 〈lessen or abate〉, or approximation or uncertainty 〈in five or six days〉 2 archaic: EITHER 3 archaic: WHETHER 4 —used in logic as a sentential connective that forms a complex sentence which is true when at least one of its constituent sentences is true; compare DISJUNCTION
MW Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.)
Narrative, Gospel
Narrative, Appearance 13–53
Jesus appears to two believers on the road to Emmaus Event
Lord’s Supper — An act that commemorates Jesus’s last supper with his disciples and his death on the cross; eucharist.
Angels, Blessing and Cursing, Doubt, Education, Faith, Foolishness, Glory, God: Power, Grief, Hope, Hospitality, Jesus: Death, Jesus: Miracles, Jesus: Resurrection and Ascension, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophecy: Fulfillment, Redemption, Scripture, Suffering, Thankfulness, Vision, Women

Its purpose is to enable the disciples to be prepared for the revelation of the risen Jesus by a fresh understanding of the prophecies of his resurrection; it may also be meant to show that one can know the presence of the risen Jesus without being able to see him, and thus to give help to Christians living in the era after the cessation of the resurrection appearances. It would, however, be difficult for later people to believe that their experience was related to the unseen, risen Jesus, if there were not evidence, such as this story provides, that Jesus really rose from the dead.

Its purpose is to enable the disciples to be prepared for the revelation of the risen Jesus by a fresh understanding of the prophecies of his resurrection; it may also be meant to show that one can know the presence of the risen Jesus without being able to see him, and thus to give help to Christians living in the era after the cessation of the resurrection appearances. It would, however, be difficult for later people to believe that their experience was related to the unseen, risen Jesus, if there were not evidence, such as this story provides, that Jesus really rose from the dead.

Revelation is based on God’s time not human time. The openness of the two disciples reminds that the appearance promises in are true and apply to us today.
Christ is known by revelation
Summary of the gospel is recited
Old Testament scriptures witness of Jesus
Christ is revealed in the sacramental meal
Disciples understand by remembrance
Disciples witness to what they have seen and heard. 6. Disciples witness to what they have seen and heard. The return of the two disciples from Emmaus to Jerusalem (vv. 33–35) serves three functions in Luke’s narrative. First, they must share their good news. Having been turned from sadness and despair by having been at table with Christ they now recognized, their excitement moves them naturally toward their brothers and sisters who have been trapped in the same hopelessness. Their witness is to other disciples, not to the world; that task must wait until they are empowered from on high. But witness and proclamation have their place among believers as well as unbelievers. The message that creates a believing community needs to be heard again and again by that community. To do so is to confirm, strengthen, encourage, and deepen faith.
Craddock, F. B. (1990). Luke (pp. 287–288). Louisville, KY: John Knox Press.
The Message of Luke b. The Word of the Divine Saviour

The second step is to see that that meaning is to be found only in Christ. Just as his words alone could make sense of what to the women at the tomb seemed a meaningless jigsaw of events, so his words alone could reveal to the couple on the Emmaus road his own living self as the key to the jigsaw. See, by their own confession, what it was that warmed them into new life: ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?’

Again it is the word which brings life. The word’ here means two things, yet the two things are one. First, it is Jesus who speaks. This is something even better than the word of his earthly ministry. It is the word of his risen power, for he has been ‘designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead’ And in the power of the Spirit he is living yet. That is why still today we can turn to his words, written and preached, and our own dead hearts come to life; still today we can tell others with delight what ‘Jesus says’ and they come to life in their turn.

Secondly, the Scripture speaks also—the Old Testament which Jesus was expounding, in which, on his own authority, we find everywhere ‘things concerning himself’ (24:27), and to which we add the apostolic witness of the New Testament. To the Scripture also we turn eagerly, for it is a living testimony to the living Christ.

John Wesley found his ‘Emmaus road’ in London, on May 24, 1738. ‘In the evening’, he tells us in his Journal, ‘I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.’ It was William Holland’s reading of Luther’s, commentary on Paul’s epistle, but even at those three remove Wesley heard the voice of the living Christ and found in it salvation.

Craddock, F. B. (1990). Luke (pp. 287–288). Louisville, KY: John Knox Press.
The Gospel of Luke The Sunset Road that Turned to Dawn (Luke 24:13–35)

It tells us of the ability of Jesus to make sense of things. The whole situation seemed to have no explanation. For these followers of Jesus all their hopes and dreams were shattered. There is all the poignant, wistful, bewildered regret in the world in their sorrowing words, ‘We were hoping that he was the one who was going to rescue Israel.’ They are the words of people whose hopes are dead and buried. Then Jesus came and talked with them, and the meaning of life became clear and the darkness became light. A storyteller makes one of his characters say to the one with whom he has fallen in love, ‘I never knew what life meant until I saw it in your eyes.’ It is only in Jesus that, even in the bewildering times, we learn what life means.

Luke: A Commentary 24:13–35 Revelation on the Journey to Emmaus

The spatial movement away from Jerusalem bears symbolic meaning: the disciples’ hopes, pinned on Jesus the liberator, have been crushed (v. 21). As in the center of Jesus’ ministry (9:51–19:27), he teaches the disciples as he travels with them, but it will not be until they share a meal with their guest-turned-host that they will realize Jesus himself has been accompanying them. Luke thus narrates an artful reversal-and-recognition scene that builds audience suspense as characters come to transformed perception that permits recognition of identity previously undetected.

As the Risen Lord does, only God can reveal to you where you are in the transition that the change has imposed upon you.

And they were conversing with each other. It was a proof of godliness that they endeavoured to cherish their faith in Christ, though small and weak; for their conversation had no other object than to employ their reverence for their Master as a shield against the offence of the cross.

As the Risen Lord does, only God can reveal to you where you are in the transition that the change has imposed upon you.
Ending for them - Passover from hell
Transition for them - Risen Lord, expanded understanding of God’s plans, unknown future with great promise.
Jesu asked them a question to gain their interest. God often does that with us to get us to focus on Him.
Despair and bewilderment had taken over their lives because they didn’t really understand what had happened. The tomb was empty, but where was Jesus?
Psalm 118:22 ESV
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
The path to glory goes through the experience of suffering. Jews wanted the glory but didn’t understand the suffering part and neither do we.
As they walked on the road to Emmaus, they had no idea of the future. We know because of the biblical record. Our challenge in this time is to live out God’s plan in this day and time. Pentecost was 2000 years ago, but the Holy Spirit’s power and presence has not diminished only intensified. How do we live out God’s plans and invade the culture? That will determine the effect we have for Christ and His Kingdom.

Our Foundation

“In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rosetti
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor can earth sustain; Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign. In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed for The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Big God
God is unchanging
All-present
All-knowing
All-powerful
All-loving
"I am God—yes, I haven't changed. (MSG)
This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you ever build me a temple as good as that? Could you build a dwelling place for me? My hands have made both heaven and earth, and they are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. (NLT)
God is constantly unveiling Himself
His plans
Abraham
Moses
Jesus
Jesus
Disciples
Jesus replied, "Believe me, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know so little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." (NLT)
God is constantly unveiling Himself
Always calling us to new adventures
Always with us
Always directing us
This was Stephen's reply: "Brothers and honorable fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he moved to Haran. God told him, `Leave your native land and your relatives, and come to the land that I will show you.' (NLT)
"Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. Moses saw it and wondered what it was. As he went to see, the voice of the Lord called out to him, `I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.' Moses shook with terror and dared not look. "And the Lord said to him, `Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. You can be sure that I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries. So I have come to rescue them. Now go, for I will send you to Egypt.' (NLT)
God’s Changes, Our Transitions
Members of His family
Ministers of His love and grace
Members of His family Ministers of His love and grace Mission and witness in the world Maximizing His impact
Mission and witness in the world
Maximizing His impact
Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. …None of them was able to stand against the wisdom and Spirit by which Stephen spoke. (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven. (NLT)
God’s Changes, Our Transitions
“The New Beginning” A new heart
And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. (NLT)
“The Neutral Zone” A transformed mind
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (NLT)
“The Ending” Discovering life
And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.... I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (NLT)
Prayer,
Thank you Lord, for bringing an end to the old ways and pains of my past life and enabling me to sense your sweet grace in Christ’s sacrifice for me.
I want to thank you for the effectiveness of that sacrifice and how my guilt has been changed to freedom in your eyes.
I also thank you for putting me in this neutral zone of discovery, challenge and renewal as You show up in my life ever more often in these days.
I am declaring that I as I head into all of the new beginnings that are before me that I want to know you more and love others into relationships with You.
Help me to see all the opportunities where I can bring God-changes into the lives of others and watch as they discover how big a God You really are.
I now commit to Increase in my love for You, God, increase in my love for those that I do know and increase in my love for those that I don’t know.
I can do it all because of the power of Your Holy Spirit,
Amen
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