The Road to Emmaus
(Luke 24:13-32)

Rev. Jim Bogle, given March 27, 2005
www.powhatanchurch.com

Psalm 119, the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, is a Psalm of praise to the Word of God. In fact, with the possible exception of only two verses, every verse gives praise to some form of the Word of God.

Psalm 119:81

My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

Godís Word gives us HOPE!

Psalm 119:89

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Godís Word is forever fixed in heaven.

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Godís Word guides us in the ways of truth and righteousness.

Psalm 119:114

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Again, Godís Word gives us HOPE! Godís Word, the Holy Scriptures, brings to every man light and life, security and hope!

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Isaiah 55:11

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Godís Word is forever settled in heaven, and every WORD of IT will find an accomplished mark!

My friend, when Godís Word says the future home of all unbelievers is a "lake which burneth with fire and brimstoneĒ (Revelation 21:8) and "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night," (Revelation 14:11), you can mark it down and count on it that God is one day going to deal, in the worst way, with wicked and the unbelieving hearts of this world!

And likewise, Godís Word also makes a wonderful and unimaginable promise to all believers that they "shall one day shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:3).

Godís Word says the unbeliever will live for ever and ever in agony and torment, while the believers will shine like the brightness of the stars for ever and ever.

And so Godís Word is eternal, itís powerful, and itís life-changing.

Turn with me to Luke Chapter 24. Two of Christís disciples, on Sunday morning, having witnessed his crucifixion three days prior, and having heard the report of His resurrection that morning, are hurrying on their way to Emmaus, a city about seven miles from Jerusalem. They are saddened, they are troubled, and they are confused!

Let me begin with verse 12. Peter has been told that the tomb is empty...

Luke 24:12

Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

You will remember that John also went to the tomb with Peter. In fact, John outran Peter to the tomb, and when John looked into the empty tomb the scripture says, ďhe believedĒ

What did he believe? He believed the Words of Christ!

Mark 8:31

Christ told his disciples that He must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

And John took every Word to heart! He wasnít surprised to see the empty tomb! The Bible says, John believed!

But here we see that Peter, even after going in to the tomb and examining its interior, still came away with questions in his heart.

Some of us today, so familiar with Godís Word, still walk in doubt and live lives that mock our testimony as believers. We live as though Christ had never risen from the dead. We live defeated Christian lives...

Peter, who had walked on the water, helped feed five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead and probably thousands of other miracles of Christ, had mixed emotions about whether Christ was alive or not!!

He doubted Godís Word! But he wasnít the only one.

Luke 24:13, 14

13: And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14: And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

This is resurrection day, by the way, and here we read of two other doubting disciples...

To their credit, they had Jesus on their minds and on their hearts, and they were fellowshipping one with another in His name. Even though they were sad and in doubt, their minds were still upon Christ.

And Godís Word says,

Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

And look at what happens...

Luke 24:15, 16

15: And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16: But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

This is a deliberate act on the part of Jesus. He withheld His identity as He walked along with them.

And we will see that thereís a perfectly good reason why He does this. And it all has to do with the glorious Word of God.

Luke 24:17

17: And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

John 10:10

I am come that [you] might have life, and that [you] might have it more abundantly.

But these disciples are saddened, bewildered, and perplexed. And thereís a good reason why they are thus. Their hearts were not opened to truth of the Word of God.

If their hearts had been opened to Christís words, they would be rejoicing. They would be shouting for joy and singing praises to their Creator.

But they are in doubt...like so many Christians today. They know the Scriptures, and they know Jesus Christ, and they know the gospel, but they live in doubt. And because of this, they have lost their HOPE! And HOPELESSNESS always produces sadness and despair.

And Christ asked them, ďWhy are you so sad?Ē

Luke 24:18, 19

18: And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19: And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Note the words ďwas a prophet"óthese disciples donít believe that Christ is alive. And no wonder they're sad; this would be a miserable world to live in without Christ.

They had high hopes of living in a better world,

Of being free from Roman oppression,

And living abundant lives just as Christ had told them they would...

But these were all just shattered dreams now that Christ was dead.

And if Christ be dead, we are all most miserable.

1 Corinthians 15:19-20

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

The resurrection of Christ has given me new hope and new life, not just in the world to come, but in this present life as well!

And they go on with their sad taleÖ

Luke 24:20, 21

20: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21: But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Isnít it interesting that they call Jesus a prophet mighty in deed and word? Yet they fail to believe this mighty prophet's words: that he must be put to death but arise on the third day.

And they go on with their reportÖ

Luke 24:22Ė24

22: Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23: And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24: And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

How can we believe if we have not seen Him? This is the burden upon the heart of these disciples.

And Jesus called them ďfools.Ē And any man that is slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, may one day find himself left behind, before he can gather the courage to believe.

Luke 24:25

25: Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Jesus is standing right there in front of them! He could simply raise his hands and show them the nail marks and surely they would believe what they saw; but instead, Jesus calls their attention to the Holy Scriptures!

These disciples were walking in despair because they didnít trust the Words of Christ! And Christ opened their minds to the Scriptures.

Important point:He has not yet opened their eyes to be able to see HIM!

Christ calls them back to the Scriptures...

Luke 24:26, 27

26: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

They had about seven miles to walk, and Christ (still the stranger to them) taught them the Scriptures all the way, from Genesis through to Chronicles. And after seven miles' worth of in-depth Bible teaching, they wanted more....

Luke 24:28, 29

28: And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29: But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

My friend, this is the only way that Christ is ever going to come to you or me: only by invitation. He would have gone on, but they constrained him: ďAbide with us...Ē Does Christ abide with you?

John 15:5

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If Christ truly abides with you...first of all you should be living a life of HOPE. And that life of HOPE ought to be expressed in GLADNESS. And HOPE in Christ, producing GLADNESS in your heart, ought to be bearing fruit for the KINGDOM of GOD!

Have you any evidence of his abiding power in your life this morning?

Is there HOPE in your heart?

Is there gladness upon your face?

There ought to be!

ďIt is toward evening...and the day is far spent,Ē they said. If you havenít invited Christ to abide with you, time is running out! He is here this morning. Even standing next to you! And he is telling you to believe this written Word, which says...

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

If you ever want to see Jesus Christ one day, you need to ask him to come and abide in your heart today!Not tomorrow; tomorrow you may wake up too late. The Church of Jesus Christ may be gone.

Or, on the other hand, tomorrow may never come for you. Today may be the last day of your life!

You need to make a decision for Christ this morning.

And when you do, you can be sure that one day youíll see the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 24:30, 31

30: And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31: And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

No man comes to any church just by chance. Some people come to church thinking itís to do a friend a favor; or to satisfy a preacher, or a wife, or a husband. But every time a man or a woman sits under the teaching of the Word of God, somebody has been praying for that personís soul, and the Holy Spirit is drawing that person to a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ! And the LORD is saying to that person, ďIím not giving up on you.Ē And when you respond to Christ, heíll open your spiritual eyes to understand the gospel of His wonderful grace, and to see Him as your resurrected Savior and LORD!

What was the major hangup about the report of Jesus being alive? Nobody had seen him. They didnít believe because they hadnít seen Him.

Jesus didnít show Himself to these disciples until after they invited him to abide with them. Mind you, they were moved by His words, by His expounding upon the Scriptures. They believed first because the Scriptures said so. And when Christ was satisfied that they were now men of FAITH, he opened their eyes that they might recognize Him...and after that, he vanished out of their sight. Why? Because Christ's Words were now in their hearts, and it was not necessary for Him to be physically in their presence.

Luke 24:32

32: And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

They had read the Scriptures many times before, but without understanding until Christ revealed them to them. God has wonderful promises in His Word for all that believe upon Him!

John 14:2, 3

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 11:25, 26

Jesus said...I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

And this is the question for every soul today. Do you believe the promises of the Scriptures or are you just going to reserve judgment until the day that Christ comes again. It will be too late for you then!

Christ calls you to repentance today. (Matthew 3:2; 2 Corinthians 6:2)

And God calls you to receive Him as your LORD and Savior today! (Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 45:22)