Easter Sunday - The Resurrection of Hope - Luke 24:13-35
The week before Jesus died on the cross Jews from all over arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Sunday before the cross, Jesus had been welcomed into Jerusalem by crowds of people who heralded Him as the King and the hope of Israel (Palm Sunday).
Now, a week later everyone is leaving Jerusalem, returning home having witnessed the unthinkable. Jesus had been beaten, crucified and buried. Followers of Jesus, who had begun the week full of hope, are now leaving town thinking that both Jesus and their hope of deliverance are dead.
Luke 24:13-35 reveals the disappointment that so many felt at the death of Christ, but we also learn of the true hope that exists because He lives.
The Savior Has Died - The Loss of Hope (24:13-24)
- The story –After a week in Jerusalem for Passover, two disciples are headed home to Emmaus, a seven-mile trip. As they walk, recounting the events of the week, they are joined by the risen Lord – but by God’s design they are kept from recognizing Him.
- The loss of hope –As Cleopas recounts to Jesus the events of week it is clear how deeply the death of Jesus has impacted him and the other followers of Jesus. They had believed Him to be the hope of Israel, but now He has died, proving to them that their hope was in vain.
- Messiah doesn’t suffer– While there were rumors of resurrection, the Jews were still disillusioned by all that had happened. They expected a King and a deliverer, and they had no concept of a suffering Messiah. The death of Jesus was proof to them that He wasn’t Messiah after all.
- A dead savior is no savior at all - We know that Jesus is alive, but we should recognize where we would be if in fact Jesus had not risen. Without the resurrection there is no salvation (1 Cor.15:14-19).
The Savior They Missed - The Testimony of Jesus (24:25-27)
- Jesus speaks – After hearing Cleopas and his loss of hope Jesus speaks and points out their blindness. They had seen Jesus but missed the Savior. They had seen His suffering but missed the significance. They were looking for Messiah, but missed the full picture of who He would be and what He would accomplish.
- A new view of the Old Testament (vv. 25, 27) – As the journey continues Jesus begins to show the two travelers how all that has happened was written in the Scriptures. The entire Bible points to Jesus and the Old Testament reveals a Messiah who would suffer.
- A new view of the Messiah – The necessity of suffering (vs. 26)– For Cleopas, the death of Jesus led to a loss of hope. But Jesus wants them to see and recognize that the suffering of Jesus was not the end of hope, but it was in fact the very basis of all hope. It’s because Jesus suffered and died that hope is possible (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22-24).
- Application - The importance of seeing Jesus rightly – Still today there are many who misunderstand Jesus. They see Him as a teacher or a moral leader and miss that He came as a Savior. They don’t recognize their need and they don’t understand how Jesus meets their need.
The Savior is Risen - Their Eyes are Opened (24:28-32)
- The story - After arriving at Emmaus the travelers insist that Jesus stay with them. At dinner, they see Jesus for who He really is.
- Their physical eyes are opened - They see the resurrected Christ (vv. 30-31) – While God had thus far kept them from recognizing Jesus, as they shared a meal He opened their eyes. They now saw Jesus and recognized the blessed truth – He had risen from the dead.
- They eyes of their hearts are opened - The see the Savior rightly (32) – After Jesus is revealed they recognize the work that had been happening in their hearts. As He taught them the Scriptures the eyes of their hearts were opened to see the true Savior and their need for Him.
The Savior Proclaimed - The Message must be Shared (24:33-35)
- The story – After seeing Jesus with their eyes and their hearts, they knew they could not keep this message to themselves. They immediately retraced their steps and headed back to Jerusalem.
- Application - The necessity of sharing the risen Savior – Just as these two followers of Jesus couldn’t keep the news of His resurrection to themselves, we should have the same sense of urgency. We should be eager to share the hope of Jesus with the world.
Summary – The Resurrection of Hope – For the two men in this story the death of Jesus seemed to be the death of hope, but through an encounter with Jesus they learn that His death was actually the way through which hope is made available. Because of Jesus death and His resurrection from the dead we can be forgiven and have the hope of eternal life.