Faithlife Sermons

The God of Hope

Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Two years ago we began this journey through the Gospel of Luke. We have followed Christ through his birth and death and everything in between. We have learned of His parables, we have heard from His critics and we have watched as His disciples walked with Him for three years. In the last few weeks we have talked about the events leading to His death, we heard His horrific cries from Calvary and last week you were reminded of the victorious news of His resurrection.
Scripture Introduction: As you can imagine emotions were very high for the followers of the Lamb of God! The tomb was empty, the angel had revealed He had risen and surely there was much discussion among His followers about what had happened. We know some doubted, while some reflected upon Jesus’ promise to rise again. In the midst of all the excitement and confusion we are introduced to two followers of Jesus who had decided to take a journey to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. Let’s read the passage together and as we do we will find out this trip turned into . . .

A Journey of Hope

(vv. 13-35)
The events were still fresh on their minds and the conversation was still fresh on their lips as they were joined, by what they thought was a stranger. At first, Jesus did not allow these men to discover His identity. He asked them to elaborate on the discussion they were having. The Bible says they “looked sad” (v. 17). It was quite evident they were discouraged. One of these men, named Cleopas, almost sarcastically asked Jesus a question in verse 18. Imagine, if he would have only known who he was speaking to at this time. Jesus knew better than anyone what had happened over the last few days, because “these things” had happened to Him!
Still Jesus probes further in verse 19, so they began to describe what happened from their vantage point in vv. 19-24. Note their words in verse 21: “We had hoped.” Their hope was gone. It had been shattered. Jesus noticed this and it’s as if Jesus could not stand their despondency any longer. He stops them, and reprimands them (vv. 25-26) and reminds them of the purpose His death served for all of humanity.
Then in verse 27, the Bible says that Jesus began with Moses (Pentateuch) and proceeded to go through the prophecies concerning Himself and He laid bare all the Scriptures that referenced Him and how He would fulfill those prophecies and lay down His life for the sins of the world. What a glorious time that must have been as Jesus preached a message from the OT about why He came and what He was to accomplish!
I love what the Bible guide has to say about this last part . . .
The Bible Guide On the Road to Emmaus (24:13–35)

When they reach the village, the disciples invite Jesus to stay with them. As they share the evening meal, Jesus takes bread, gives thanks to God, breaks it and begins to pass it to them. It is through this familiar gesture—or perhaps the sight of his wounded hands—that they recognize him. Jesus disappears, but they know without doubt that he is alive. It was the scripture lesson which first kindled the fire of hope within them, and the breaking of bread which fanned it into flame.

Yes, a flame that caused HOPE to burn bright!
As they approached Emmaus, Jesus, acted as if he was going to continue on His journey. Now keep in mind, He had still not revealed to these followers who he was. But they didn’t want Him to leave. They strongly urged Him to come to Emmaus with them . . . it was getting close to evening, but I think they really had a burning desire to hear what else He had to say. He agreed to stay with them, and while He was there the Bible says He broke bread with them (v. 30), and as He does they recognize Him and He vanishes from their sight (v. 31).
I love what they say to one another in verse 32: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while He opened up the Scriptures.”
One study Bible says the reference to their “hearts burning within them” refers to: “. . . their excitement and renewed hope as Jesus explained the Scriptures to them.” (Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, DFaithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Hope is a wonderful thing! The restoration of hope can go a long way! “Bits and Pieces” tells this story to illustration the point:
The school system in a large city had a program to help children keep up with their school work during stays in the city's hospitals. One day a teacher who was assigned to the program received a routine call asking her to visit a particular child. She took the child's name and room number and talked briefly with the child's regular class teacher. "We're studying nouns and adverbs in his class now," the regular teacher said, "and I'd be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn't fall too far behind." 
The hospital program teacher went to see the boy that afternoon. No one had mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upset at the sight of the boy, she stammered as she told him, "I've been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs." When she left she felt she hadn't accomplished much. 
But the next day, a nurse asked her, "What did you do to that boy?" The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. "No, no," said the nurse. "You don't know what I mean. We've been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He's fighting back, responding to treatment. It's as though he's decided to live." 
Two weeks later the boy explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way: "They wouldn't send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?" 
Bits & Pieces, July 1991.
Just as the boy’s passion for life was restored, and just like the passion of these two followers was restored, to the extent that they turned around to tell the rest of the group, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ should restore our hope and passion as well! We serve a risen Savior and this promise and this fact changes EVERYTHING about our future and eternity!
We have hope and we need to instill that hope into others!

Hope Gives Way to Peace

(vv. 36-43)
These two followers hurry back to tell the other disciples what they had experienced. As they were talking about these amazing events Jesus appeared to them and speaks a word of PEACE (v. 36). This was not the first time Jesus had spoken peace. It the midst of the storm, He spoke peace. He is referred to as the Prince of Peace. In Scripture we find that Jesus is the ONLY way to have peace WITH God and He is the only way we can experience the peace OF God.
They were taken back by His sudden appearance and some thought they were seeing some type of “spirit.” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asks them, “Why are you troubled . . . why are you doubting.” Jesus wants to alleviate their fears and He also wants to demonstrate that He is not in some type of “spirit form” so He invites them to touch Him.
They now had the opportunity to touch His nail scarred hands and realize that the resurrected Messiah was standing in front of them! What the women had told them was TRUE! What these two followers on the Emmaus Road reported was TRUE! What the prophets, and even Jesus Himself had predicted was TRUE! But they still struggled with their comprehension of the events.
Oh the peace that must have rushed into their souls and they touched His now nail scarred hands and realized that the resurrected Messiah was standing in front of them! What the women had told them was TRUE! What these two followers on the Emmaus Road reported was TRUE! What the prophets, and even Jesus Himself had predicted was TRUE!
So Jesus goes a step farther and demonstrates to them His physical humanity by asking for something to eat. Someone brings Him a piece of broiled fish and He at it in front of them. This was ultimate “COMFORT FOOD.” They could take comfort in the TRUTH that Jesus was alive and well and they could take comfort in knowing He was literally, physically raised from the dead! No wonder He responds with “Peace to you.”
Why does this bring peace you may ask? It brings peace because it reminds us that if the Lord Jesus Christ can conquer death, the greatest enemy, He can also conquer anything and everything else I may face in life. I can have PEACE knowing that He has already won the victory for me and all I have to do is rest in Him and trust in Him!

Hope Produces a Message

(vv. 44-52)
As Jesus is standing before His amazed disciples He begins to speak some important truths into their lives. He reminds them that He has fulfilled, is fulfilling and will fulfill Old Testament prophecies concerning Himself. As we have already seen, specific prophecies about His birth, His life, His death and now His resurrection have already been fulfilled. We also know from Scripture, there are more to come. There are prophecies regarding His Second Coming that one day will be fulfilled, just as the others have been fulfilled in specific detail.
In verse 45 He “opens their minds to understand these Scriptures” and reminds them what had been specifically spoken about Him in relation to His death burial and resurrection. This unbelievably great event will now produce a MESSAGE—and not only a message, but a MOVEMENT that will turn the known world upside down. Luke wrote more about this in the Book of Acts.
Illustration & Application
Notice the MESSAGE
Repentance for the forgiveness of sins
Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of direction. Repentance comes from genuine, godly sorrow over our sin, that is no longer content to continue in sin, but desperately wants to be free from the power of sin. Biblical repentance does not mean that one “tries to do better” but rather understands that their “flesh” offers no power to leave sin behind and therefore depends upon the mercy and grace of God to overcome and be victorious over sin.
The message of repentance was a part of John the Baptist’s preaching:
Acts 13:24 ESV
Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
The message of repentance was a part of Jesus’ preaching:
Matthew 4:17 ESV
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The message of repentance was a part of Peter’s preaching:
Acts 2:38 ESV
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The message I share with you today is REPENT. It not “rationalize your sin or excuse your sin and blame others for your sin” but the message is to “REPENT of your sin.”
Notice the METHOD of the Message
In His name (the name of Jesus). We are not going in our own name, or in the name of a denomination, but we are to go in the name of Jesus! His name brings salvation and hope to a world without God. There is power in the name of Jesus! We do not proclaim our own name, but His name!
Notice the SCOPE of the Message
To ALL nations beginning at Jerusalem. The message is for EVERYONE! Jesus wanted this message to go to ALL nations. He wanted this message to go to Jews and Gentiles. He wanted this message to be shared with all ethnicities, all people were to be included in this message because ALL people needed to repent for the forgiveness of sins . . . ALL people need a Savior!
Notice the POWER behind the Message
the promise of the Father . . . power from on High. The wonderful news is we do not have to proclaim this message in our own strength, through our own ingenuity, but rather God would provide the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us and empower us to share this message. Paul talked about preaching in the “power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.” Once again we find in the Book of Acts that God sends the Holy Spirit upon believers and they are empowered to take the supernatural message to a world that desperately needed truth and used their lives and this message to change the world!

What are You Currently Doing to Share This Message With Others?

It is IMPERATIVE that believers share the message of the Gospel with others on a regular basis. Over and over again the Apostle Paul would share his testimony. He would share the story of what happened to him on the Damascus Road. He was never the same. He repented of his empty religion and he embraced Christ and he wanted others to know about the hope that was now within him.
Have you shared this message with anyone in 2017. I mean personally, individually, outside of the walls of this building, shared the Gospel with someone/anyone this year?
What are you going to do to make 2018 any different? If you don’t know how, let us know so we can get you some resources that will help you.
One of the greatest things you can share is how God has changed your life through the power of the Gospel. Be real about the sins that were separating you and God, and how you repented of those sins and trusted Christ to forgive you of those sins.

Have You Repented?

I listened to a podcast by James Merritt this morning, who pastors in Georgia, and he made this statement: “Cover your sin and God will uncover it, or uncover your sin and God will cover it.” You have got a choice to make this morning . . . you can continue in sin and deprive yourself of the joy of the Lord and the joy of your salvation or you can repent and flee from your sin and experience God’s forgiveness and God’s freedom that He offers through the power of the Gospel of Christ. The message that we must preach is REPENT!

Have You Experienced This Message of Peace and Hope Personally, For Yourself?

What a tragedy it would be for YOU to leave this place today, hearing about the cure of the penalty and power of sin, but leave the cure sitting on the shelf. The prescription has already been written, the bottle has already been filled, as a matter of fact it has already been paid for—the question is will you receive the cure for YOURSELF!
You and I all have a problem and that problem is that our sins have separated us from God and there is no way to be reconciled back to the Father except through Jesus Christ! Maybe you are hesitant to share this message because you aren’t really confident that you’ve received it for yourself.
The message of Christ, the message of His life, death, burial and resurrection is a message of HOPE! We want you to have and experience this HOPE. He died to give you this HOPE. He saved you to enjoy this hope and He wants you to take that message of HOPE to others.
That’s why Flagship Church exists . . . will YOU be the one who helps us share this message?
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