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Responding to the Resurrection

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The Reality of the Resurrection calls for a life to be lived for the Gospel

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A perspective of the Resurrection based solely on Reason brings sadness and/or skepticism ()

Explanation: These 2 disciples, Cleopas and friend, are dejectedly leaving Jerusalem on the Sunday after the Crucifixion and are heading to the village of Emmaus. While traveling, they were discussing the chaotic events of the past week. They may have been reliving the Triumphant Entry, or remembering with gladness how Jesus had silenced His critics. And then they probably started retelling the nightmare of the trial and the scourging and the crucifixion of the One they had hoped would redeem their people. What a shock to face the seeming end of all your hopes and dreams. Even when presented with the account from the women at the tomb, all they could see was that the body of Jesus was gone. It was not if they called the women liars, it was more like, “well these poor gals are so overwhelmed with grief they are somewhat delusional.” Focusing on the physical led to despair and skepticism.
Illustrate: human nature to repeat and relive traumatic events. We go back over the same ground in a dazed confusion, hoping the picture will change.
Argument: In the midst of pain and loss, humans have a tendency to focus on the moment, on the physical nature of trauma. In those times of loss and despair the Truths of God remain constant. The Love of God for us is not altered by our circumstances. He is constant and ever present. () If, however, we continue to focus on only what can be discerned by Reason, only that which we can see, we will miss out on what God has for us.
Application: There are definitely moments and seasons of pain for humanity as a whole, and believers are not exempted from hardship and loss. God does not supernaturally protect us or keep us from the difficulties of life in a fallen world. He does, however, promise us His presence. Believers are not to focus solely on the natural aspect of the journey. Jesus Himself told us we would encounter tribulations in this life, but He also promised to deal with them for us (John 16:33)

A perspective of the Resurrection based on Revelation from Scripture yields truth and gladness (, )

Explanation: In the midst of their pain, Jesus became present with them. He walked with them and He listened to their hurt and confusion as they talked of lost hopes and despair. Jesus did more than listen, He brought them a fresh perspective on the same events. He went to the Scriptures to bring the light of truth on the situation. He taught them how the OT prophecies spoke of the Suffering Servant and the necessity of the Crucifixion.
Illustrate: On more than one occasion I have turned to the Word of God when my words were insufficient. When standing by the bed of a loved one who is dying, only the promises of Jesus will bring comfort and hope.
Argument: There is power in the Word. The 2 disciples attested to how their hearts burned within as Jesus opened the Word to them (v. 32). What an incredible privilege these 2 received: the Living Word taught & revealed the Written Word. It was such a powerful time that neither wanted it to end. When they reached their destination they implored Jesus to stay. During the journey with Jesus their despair and gloom lifted - their perspective had been changed!
Application: As believers, we have the privilege of the whole canon of Scripture. We have the complete Word. God’s full Revelation is with us and it should be our first resource in time of need, not the last. Jesus chastised these disciples for being “slow of heart to believe” the Word they had. We have the complete Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s truth.
Note for the unbeliever: no one is ever brought into the Kingdom through Reason. While Christianity is reasonable in that it presents a coherent understanding of reality, it is not merely a plausible acceptance of its views that alter lives. Scripture is clear that the natural man does not accept the things of God () and that those in the flesh cannot please Him (). Only those who approach through faith are acceptable () and that faith is brought alive by the Spirit of God in the lives of those who yield to the truth of the Word (; )

A Perspective of the Reality of the Resurrection leads to joyous Gospel living ()

A Perspective of the Reality of the Resurrection leads to joyous Gospel living ()

Explanation: The two disciples succeed in persuading Jesus to come into the house with them. In the manner of 1st century hospitality, they prepare a meal and sit down to eat together. Note the striking fact that their guest is the One who takes the position of prominence during the meal. Jesus is the one who blesses and breaks the bread. In that act of blessing at the Table, Jesus is revealed to them for Who He is: the Resurrected Christ in their midst. And then, miraculously, He is gone. Can you imagine the scene? The startled exclamations, the shouts of Joy, the exchanges of their time together must have been tremendous. Cleopas saying to his friend, “You know, I felt something special, but I just couldn’t figure it out! I mean, I knew He was different, but wow ...” And then, looking at each other, they both said, “we have to tell the others!” and off they went to Jerusalem.
Illustration that feeling of exuberance that comes when the news turns out to be good instead of bad; when the expected test for which you are unprepared is put off for a few days; when the follow up tests show the cancer is gone.
Argument: With hope restored and the darkness lifted, the 2 disciples go rushing out to share the Truth they had witnessed. They wanted the others to know the Truth - Jesus really was alive, and that made all the difference in the world.
Paul, the Apostle born out of time, faced similar circumstances. His was based on belligerent and hostile opposition to the Truth, but when Truth revealed Himself to Paul on the Damascus road, Paul did not waste anytime in sharing the Good News (, espec. vv. 20-22).
Application: For those of us who have personally encountered the Risen Christ and bowed the knee to His Lordship, we too have the privilege and duty of sharing the Good News with others. This should be our burning hope, and the love of Christ is to compel us in our witness to others.
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