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Risen

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The following sermon is going to review the disciple’s trip to Emmaus to show that while Christ’s grace is enough in our weakness, honoring Him on this resurrection morning means asking Him to keep our eyes open to our responsibility to be living sacrifices in His presence!

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Open our Eyes Luke 24:13-35 Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567 The encounter with Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus reveals much truth concerning our struggle to honour Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His subsequent resurrection.1 We partake in communion on Easter so that we might “remember” and rejoice in the truth that Christ’s once and for all sacrifice on the cross purchased freedom from the slavery of sin and death to all those who believe He atoned for their sins.2 So important is communion that it has not only been ordained or “commanded” by Christ but is to be a time of selfexamination and confession lest one be found guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:26-28)! To this end one can’t help but wonder if our “new” regenerate hearts are possibly still too skeptical of His truth and blinded by our “old self” that we are disrespectfully coming to the Lord’s table as spiritual babies, void of power, good deeds and barren of fruit! The following sermon is going to review the disciple’s trip to Emmaus to show that while Christ’s grace is enough in our weakness, honoring Him on this resurrection morning means asking Him to keep our eyes open3 to our responsibility to be living sacrifices in His presence! The Depths of our Gratitude Gratitude for what Christ has done for us on Easter cannot be truly given until we come to understand the depths of human depravity. The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God He came good on His threat that humanity would now taste the sting of death (Genesis 2:17). Ever since the Fall humanity has struggled with not only the decay and physical death of our bodies but also the spiritual deadness of our souls!4 When Satan told us that our eyes would be opened to knowing both good and evil 1 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 612. 2 C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is Risen Indeed,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 19 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 216. 3 Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 845. 4 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 157. 1|Page (Genesis 3:5) he neglected to tell us that our “spiritual taste would become perverted”5 and we would love evil far more than good.6 Above all he neglected to tell us that we would be enslaved by sin (2 Peter 2:19) and incapable by our own efforts of ever satisfying our innate thirst to have a relationship with our Creator (Ephesians 2:8)! It is in our depravity and hopelessness that Christ died for our sins so that that who believe in Him might become born again (2 Corinthians 5:17) and adopted into God’s very own family (John 1:12, 3:16). To this end we come to the Easter communion table with thanksgiving in our hearts for having received the living waters and bread of life! Easter Message to the Unbelievers As I imagine the virtual audience before this Easter communion table, I would be remiss to not address those of you who are not born of the water and the Spirit. There may be many reasons why you have come to this communion table, but it is my hope that you have due to a thirst and hunger present in your soul. 7 Deep inside you yearn to escape your life of sin8 and come to know Jesus but in hearing the “thunder of God’s law” and judgement you simply cannot imagine yourself being accepted into the loving arms of a Savior. 9 I understand your skepticism for I was just like you before I came to know Jesus but the moment I made Jesus the Lord of my life the scales of unbelief that covered my eyes10 fell off and I came to know how foolish I was11 to be thirsty and hungry for God and yet in a sense of unworthiness fear He would never accept me.12 It is the Spirit of God who has placed the C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 157. 6 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 157. 7 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 161. 8 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 159. 9 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 162. 10 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 162. 11 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 161. 12 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 160. 5 2|Page yearning and desire in your heart13 because He wants you to not merely pretend to know Him by attending this communion14 but in faith to believe that Jesus died for your sins so that you might become born again and feel the splendor of His grace!15 If you ask Him into your heart this very moment you WILL continue this communion service not as an attendee but as His very own child! Easter Message to the Believers To those who are already born again I invite you to examine yourselves to make certain your hearts are honoring Jesus at His table. This may seem like a strange request to ask but in examining the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus one finds even believers struggle to honor Jesus with pure hearts. In this story we are told of an intense discussion between two of Jesus’ disciples.16 While they were not one of the eleven,17 they too had dedicated their lives to serve their Master. Heading home from a traumatic weekend18 they were filled with sorrow for in witnessing His superior knowledge and miraculous signs, they had come to believe Jesus to be a great prophet19 and redeemer of Israel.20 As they saw Jesus on the cross and buried in the tomb of 21 Joseph all hope that He had come to liberate Israel from Roman occupation dissipated.22 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 158. 14 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 163. 15 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 157. 16 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 612. 17 Walter L. Liefeld, “Luke,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 1051. 18 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 612. 19 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 613. 20 Craig A. Evans, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew–Luke, ed. Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition. (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2003), 524. 21 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), Lk 24:13. 22 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 613. 13 3|Page Despite Jesus telling them He had to suffer and die23 and despite the women’s testimony and an empty tomb, these disciples grieved the departure of their Master and were left with feelings of little to no hope. Lest we think too little of these disciples and too much of ourselves do we not struggle as well to honor Jesus with pure hearts? If we are to take Apostle Paul’s warning to heart, then we simply must invite the Spirit to identify sin in our hearts. I would like to briefly identify five areas in our lives that we often fall short of His glory at the communion table. Area 1: Skepticism, Ignorance and Doubt. In the story Jesus called the two disciples foolish and slow of heart (verse 25) because their knowledge of God’s word had not materialized in their lives.24 Despite having knowing the prophetic teachings of the OT concerning Christ being rejected, suffering and dying; 25 with worldly wisdom26 upon crucifixion they could only see Jesus as a prophet and common traveller.27 There are times when modern discoveries and philosophies28 make it difficult to internalize29 and believe in His world to the extent that it becomes the roadmap to how we are living our lives (James 1:22-25). May we who seem dimly (1 30 Corinthians 13:12) always be teachable and willing to ask God to replace our doubts and scepticism with faith and divine knowledge. 23 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), Lk 24:13. 24 Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 848. 25 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 616. 26 C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is Risen Indeed,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 19 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 211. 27 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 362. 28 C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is Risen Indeed,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 19 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 214. 29 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 615. 30 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 368. 4|Page Area 2: Personal Blindness from Sin. Ever come to the communion table and feel like you are out of fellowship with Christ?31 Often we are content to see Jesus as our priests that cleanses us from sin32 but not so comfortable to see Him as our judge who disciplines us.33 When any of our words, thoughts and deeds are only “fit to make idiots laugh and angels weep,” 34 such sin needs to be identified and repented. Even though our proud hearts might rebel when “our conscious is too roughly assailed,”35 may our prayer this morning be “search me O God and know my heart, test me and with the sin You find within me, forgive, empower and teach me to never return to the vomit of my old self that once enslaved me!” While sinlessness is not a requirement of coming to His table, for if that were true none of us could be here, grace is not to be used as a crutch to sin but as the means to stop sinning! Area 3: Lack of Spiritual Growth. Each time we come before the communion table our spiritual maturity should have increased! While the Lord rejoiced when “our little faith” in Him saved us, He does not wish we remain babies but mature by understanding and applying “stronger and deeper truths of His kingdom.”36 Those whose old self has been baptized unto His death have been freed from slavery to sin (Romans 6:1-4)37 so that in our new self we might be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and do the will of He who purchased us at a price (1 Corinthians C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 365. 32 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 364. 33 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 364. 34 C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is Risen Indeed,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 19 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 213. 35 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 367. 36 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 364. 37 C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is Risen Indeed,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 19 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 210. 31 5|Page 6:19-20). Since our spiritual growth is not the product of our effort alone but the manifestation of grace, may our prayer be, “fill me O God with your Spirit, show me Your will and give me the strength and courage to become more like You.” Area 4: Lack of Fellowship with the Body of Christ. While during this Coronavirus it is not possible to meet in person, we are sill expected to have fellowship and to build one another up in the faith. We sometimes feel distant from God because we are not fulfilling our commitment to love one another. We are to help others when their faith is weak,38 pray for one another so that they might be healed (James 5:16)39 and use our spiritual gifts to build up the very church of which Christ is the cornerstone (Ephesians 4:12; 1 Peter 2:6-8). Thankfully there is plenty of technology today such as the telephone or web meetings that can keep us in contact with each other. Since we sometimes have the tendency to “shut ourselves up within ourselves”40 may our prayer be, “the love and comfort I have received from You my God may it always be extended to others!” Reason 5: Faith but no Action. Each time we come to the communion table we should examine our lives to make sure our faith has been put into action. May we be just as comfortable in proclaiming the Good News as we are in being living sacrifices of Jesus!41 May our love never grow cold42 nor our desire to “walk with” God by serving Him in His kingdom.43 Since faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26) may we leave “the dunghills” of our carnality44 and its fleeting treasures and become mighty both in word and deed! Since complacency can be the enemy of right living, may our prayer be, “Lord may both my words and deeds point to the glory of God the Father in heaven!” C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 365. 39 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 365. 40 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 366. 41 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 371. 42 C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 371. 43 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 168. 44 C. H. Spurgeon, “Eyes Opened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 168. 38 6|Page Communion of Grace – Open our Eyes At the end of the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it says that despite Christ calling them foolish and slow to believe He invited them to break bread with Him (verse 30). We come before this Easter table not as those whose words or deeds have justified our presence but as those whose faith trembles45 and has been weakened by our sin. Truthfully many if not all the areas mentioned in today’s sermon we must claim as our own failures and sin. Even though in many ways we are starving and thirsty at His table we are assured that when we cry out “Abba Father help me” the Spirit leaps for joy for the Son not only purchased our seat at His table but also forgives and gives us strength to walk and dare I say run in His kingdom! Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus may Christ open our eyes so that we might grasp the best that we can “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18)! Praise be to God that over 2,000 years ago Jesus rose from the dead this Easter morning to offer us living waters and the bread of life! C. H. Spurgeon, “Jesus near but Unrecognised,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 20 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 369. 45 7|Page
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