It’s hot news. It’s the talk of the town. Everybody’s buzzing about it. Wow! Jesus was dead and his body was gone!
The Gospel According to Luke
On the Road to Emmaus
So, this “stranger” comes up to you and your friend and asks you what all the excitement about? You wonder, “Where’s this person been? Under a rock? How can he not know what happened?”
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”Luke 24:13-34
The two were more concerned about the spectacular nature of the event than what it truly meant. The “stranger” then starts giving them an Old Testament lesson. They invited him to dinner and then they recognized that it was Jesus. Their eyes were opened.
They ran back to Jerusalem and told the other disciples that it was true — Jesus was really alive.
Then Jesus appeared before the whole group.
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.
Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”Luke 24:35-49
A ghost? Again, initially, they didn’t believe.
They touched Him and with “joy and amazement” they ate with Him and He reminded them that “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead” and then He promised them that a “gift” will come from God.
Then, in front of them, He rose to Heaven. (I’ll cover the ascension in a future post.)
And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.1 Corinthians 15:14
Did your heart burn as you read or heard this? That’s the Holy Spirit trying to reach you.
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”Romans 10:9
It’s that simple.
So, what’s stopping you?
Do you think you are unworthy? That doesn’t matter. God loves you anyway and that’s why Jesus died for you — to wipe away ALL your sins — no matter how bad they are. Wiped clean. Purified. Redeemed.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”John 14:3-4
That’s where He is right now. In Heaven preparing your room in God’s wonderful house where there will be no more pain or sorrow. Where we will have perfect bodies and we’ll live in constant joy — no more tears, problems or heartaches. Doesn’t that sound nice?
And, guess what!? It’s not Purgatory! Purgatory doesn’t exist!
If Purgatory exists, then Jesus suffered through torture and sacrificed His life for nothing!
Jesus is coming back and it really seems like it will be soon. Don’t you want to have that one-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven?
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!