Hearts Revived

Spring Communion 2022 - Part 4

March 6, 2022


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] I think it's verse 34 isn't it?

[0:10] And we're reading down to... Is it the whole verse 34? To the end, sorry, to the end. Okay, Luke 24, let us hear the word of God.

[0:25] On the first day of the week at early dawn they went to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared, and they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

[0:36] But when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel, and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead?

[0:58] He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified on the third day rise.

[1:16] And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the Mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

[1:38] But Peter rose and ran to the tomb, stooping and looking in, he saw the linen clothes by themselves, and he went home marveling at what had happened.

[1:51] That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.

[2:02] While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself threw kneel and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him, and he said to them, What is this conversation that you're holding with each other as you walk?

[2:18] And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

[2:34] And he said to them, What things? And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Emanu was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him.

[2:53] But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.

[3:05] Moreover, some woman of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.

[3:21] Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the woman had said, But him they did not see. And he said to them, O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?

[3:43] And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village in which they were going.

[3:56] He acted as if he were going further, but they urged him strongly saying, Stay with us, for it is towards evening and the day is now far spent.

[4:08] So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scripture? And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together saying, The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. Then they told what had happened on the road and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

[4:58] And as they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, Peace to you. But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, Why are you troubled and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still believed for joy and were marvelling, he said to them, Have you anything here to eat?

[5:43] They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.

[6:03] Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures and said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on a third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things and behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

[6:38] Then he led them out as far as Bethany and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them he parted from them and was carried up into heaven and they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple, blessing God. Amen. We pray God's blessing on that portion of his own holy inspired and inerrant word and as we consider this word this evening I'd like us to focus just for a short time on the section that we have in verses 13 to 34. Perhaps if we were to take a text we could think about the words of verse 32. They said to each other, did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road while he opened to us the scripture. Well friends we have journeyed together this weekend. On Friday night we went to the garden of Gethsemane. Last night and today we found ourselves at Golgotha, but as we come to the end of our communion weekend we have one last port of call, an important port of call. A port of call that reminds us that although we have spent much time at Calvary we do not worship a

[8:19] God who is dead, but rather tonight as we come away from our time at Calvary we need to be reminded that as we go out into the world tomorrow we worship a God who is very much alive. And so tonight we're going to see this as we journey just for a short time with these two followers of Jesus along the road to Emmaus. We might ask who were these two followers first of all? Well scripture tells us who at least one of them was went by the name of Cleopas. We kept in the dark as to the identity of the second companion. Some suggested Simon, some suggested perhaps it's the wife of Cleopas. We don't know, we can't be sure. But what we do know is this, that Cleopas and his companion they're on a journey, a journey that sees them leaving Jerusalem and walking seven miles to the village of Emmaus. This would have been a familiar track to them, a track that they would have walked many times in the past. They walked, they talked, they discussed, they dissected, they chatted one with another.

[9:48] But as they did so in a way that perhaps they had done many times before, they were soon to find out that this journey was to be interrupted by something that was, or should I say, someone that to them at least at this time was anything but familiar.

[10:10] So what I'd like us to do just for a short time is to to think about what happens on this journey under three headings. We're going to think about the response of these two to all that has just happened.

[10:24] As they dissect and discuss all that has taken place we're going to think about their response. Secondly we're going to think about the revelation that is given to them as they walk along the way.

[10:38] And then finally the realization of exactly what has just taken place. The response, the revelation and the realization. Let's look at verse 13 together. That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. That very day. What very day? Well of course the very day this, or speaking of, is the very day that we considered this morning.

[11:15] That very day, sorry not the day that we considered this morning, the day that they're speaking of is the day of Christ's resurrection three days later. It's the same day that Mary has gone to the grave of Jesus. The same day that she anointed his body with spices. The same day that she found an empty tomb. It's the same day that these angels appear to Mary and say to her why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but he is risen.

[11:54] The same day that these two are talking with each other about all these things that have happened. They're reflecting. You know what it's like when something has just taken place in your experience that's perhaps fairly significant.

[12:17] When it's taking place you perhaps don't have time to reflect and digest what's happening and often is when you come away from the situation and you look back that you start to talk about it.

[12:31] You start to pull out various details and discuss them with others and contemplate what they meant not only for the people involved but for you yourself. That's what we see. These these two are reflecting not only on what happened that day but also on the wider events of recent times because these are followers of Christ. These are two who although weren't in the inner circle of the 12 they were nonetheless disciples in their own right. Remember that the 12 were apostles. Every follower of Christ is a disciple. If you're a follower of Christ tonight you are a disciple. And so like Mary and Martha and many others they would have spent time with Jesus. They would have believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the one who was going to save them. No doubt they would have been in amongst the crowd that accompanied him as he performed so many signs and miracles. He did that from place to place from town to town and undoubtedly they would have been at least in one of the places that Jesus had been. Perhaps they were even in the house when the paralyzed man was was lowered through the roof by his friends in order to be healed. Perhaps they were amongst the thousands who were fed by Jesus by five barley loaves and two fish.

[14:08] But one thing sure as followers of Jesus they would have followed Jesus. It sounds simple but it's something we can miss as followers of Jesus they would have followed Jesus. Whatever Jesus was they too would have been but not now. Not now because now they couldn't be with him. In fact as far as they're concerned it was over. That wonderful time of of experiencing the physical earthly ministry of this Jesus of Nazareth it had come to a dramatic end.

[14:53] So in the minds of these two the facts spoke for themselves. Jesus had been captured, he had been beaten and scourged and mocked and spat upon, he'd been nailed to the cross, he'd been left to die the most horrific death we thought about that this morning.

[15:10] And so this ministry of hope, this ministry of promise that a shudder of better things just like that appeared to have dissolved right before their very eyes. So you can just imagine friends can you not?

[15:28] You can imagine them questioning. You can imagine them asking what has just happened? What just took place? What did we just witness? And as I thought about what they just witnessed you can just imagine them reflecting upon the last three years of their lives. Who was this man Jesus?

[15:54] This man who claimed to be king over Israel, savior of Israel yet this man who is now dead? Who was he?

[16:08] Before we're to harsh on these two and the vote to a mess let's just draw ourselves into this scenario.

[16:19] Because even you and I with a full revelation of scripture friends it's true as it not that that sometimes we can be so perplexed at the providence of God in our lives. And we can even ask the question who is this Jesus? Who is he? What's just happened as we reflect upon what's gone by in our lives? What's just happened?

[16:46] Why has this happened? And oftentimes even as we're perplexed at the providence the reality is that the comfort and the reassurance we need is right there beside us all along without us even realizing it.

[17:11] That's the way it is with these two verse 15 while they're talking and discussing together Jesus himself through Nia and went with them but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Jesus is always with his people. He's always near to his people but friends at times our eyes are kept from recognizing him. We can't see him. We can't always appreciate or even believe that he is right there beside us.

[17:55] We see something similar do we know with Mary at the tomb when Jesus appeared to it at the doorway. He asks why are you even I think I preached this perhaps when I was in placement here that encounter with Christ. Why are you weeping? But she doesn't recognize him. She thinks he's the gardener and I remember we thought about why this was. Why could she not recognize him? Why could she and the two on the road to Amaze simply fail to realize that Jesus was right there with them?

[18:33] The short answer to that is we don't know. Scripture doesn't tell us but what we do know is this.

[18:43] We do know that in both of these appearances where Jesus was not recognized he's in his resurrected body and so it stands to reason that in his resurrected body Jesus looks different. He's no longer the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We needn't think that as Jesus went through this world in his humanity that somehow he didn't bear in his countenance the burden of that which was before him. You know what it's like friends when somebody has something very stressful ahead of them you can almost always see it in their face.

[19:30] You can see that they're burdened their way down. There's something attention within them that that shows you that that not all is well so it would have been with Jesus in his humanity.

[19:44] He knew what was ahead. He knew that he was going to the cross and not only did he know that he was going to the cross but he was as a sinless son of God he was surrounded by sin.

[19:59] Of course that would have weighed upon him but now he's conquered death. He's conquered the grave. He's no longer walking with the weight of the sins of his people on his shoulders.

[20:18] So yes this is the same physical Jesus but there's something different preventing them from instantly recognizing him.

[20:31] So it will be with you and I. It's a wonderful thought of the body that you're in just now. It's the body that's going to be yours for all eternity. The resurrected body.

[20:49] The same but different. Different in that it will in no way be marred by sin. Different in that it will not and will not be able to succumb to the frailty of the flesh.

[21:12] An eternal resurrected body. That's what we see here the glorified body of God. Not that his body was ever open to sin but nonetheless there was something in his countenance that was different. And so as they walk as they talk we see that this too on the road to mass they're sad. They're downcast. They're deflated. You can just imagine if that was your eye. You had been pinning all of your hopes on this one man and now he's gone. The one whom you loved so much is no longer there. And so it's as if they're wondering aimlessly unsure which path they're taking where they're heading. And it's at this very point at the very point of their need that we see that Jesus speaks to them.

[22:10] Verse 17 and he said to them what is this conversation that you're holding with each other as you walk and they stood still looking sad.

[22:23] In other words Jesus says what reason do you have to be sad? It's a valid question. Given the circumstances it was a relevant question.

[22:36] Remember when we were thinking about the light from the darkness? The reality is friends that as these two journeyed to a mass they had no reason to be sad at all. In fact they should have been full of the joy of the Lord as their strength.

[22:54] As they realized that he had fulfilled that mission that was his. That Jesus had died. That the tomb was empty. That he had risen again. Yet they failed to see this.

[23:16] They couldn't understand that the larger story that the larger narrative of redemption. Verse 18 then one of them named Cleopas answered him are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened here in these days? Where have you been for the last week? How can you not know what we're talking about? Didn't you see Jesus on that cross? Have you no understanding of the implication of all these things that have happened?

[23:53] They're so taken up with it. And Jesus answers what things. Of course he knew exactly what they're talking about but he wanted their perspective.

[24:05] He wanted to gauge their understanding or at least for them to to verbalize the way that they themselves saw this whole scenario.

[24:17] And they said to him concerning Jesus of Nazareth a man who is a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. And how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death. And crucified him straight away.

[24:39] Straight away right there in their response we see that their speech reveals their problem. The fact of what they say are true.

[24:57] Jesus of Nazareth a man who's a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. Apart from one fact who was a prophet.

[25:16] Jesus is still one who is mighty in deed and in word before God. Notice the past tense. Notice how at this point they see Jesus as one who has gone.

[25:37] But he's there. He's there as the one who is far from dead. The one who is alive. The one who is risen but still they cannot see it.

[25:49] And as they continue in their dialogue with Jesus their speech only goes to show their ignorance. Verse 21. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. We trusted in this man. We left everything for this man. He said he would be a king and our savior that he would rule over us and now he's dead.

[26:17] Of course there lies the problem. Like so many others with them. Even the disciples. These two had completely misunderstood Christ's redemptive promise. They thought they thought that this was going to be yet another Exodus scenario when when God's people would be physically led out of danger and provided for that he would take his place on a physical throne on earth and physically redeem and rule over Israel in the same way that David of old had.

[26:58] But that hadn't happened. So now they are totally confused and confounded.

[27:10] They've heard the rumor of Mary's experience at the tomb in verse 23. And even although they've heard the testimony of those who who actually interacted with the angels that said that Jesus was alive they still aren't sure.

[27:32] But again before we're too harsh on these two in the road to a mess as they look back and as they're so confused by what's just happened in many ways friends we too can be just as confused.

[27:48] Not as we look back perhaps but as we look forward. As we think about that day when he comes again we might have so many misconceptions about this second coming. We might even in a harp of hearts not believe it to be true.

[28:13] That's perhaps one of our greatest problems. That we live our lives in time as if there is no eternity.

[28:24] But thank God there is an eternity. There's much of it we don't understand. But it's there.

[28:35] And you know Jesus once again he listens. He listens to their bewilderment their confusion. He allows them to show their their ignorance. And then what he does is he intervenes which brings us to our second point Revelation verse 25.

[28:54] And he said to them oh foolish ones and slow heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?

[29:10] And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. He's saying to them yes yes you obviously believe in some of what the prophets have spoken but still but still your understanding of who I am is severely lacking. You're more than happy to believe in the glory of the Messiah as the disciples were but not in the suffering servant suffering that was necessary suffering that the writings of the prophets pointed to time and time again.

[29:57] You know with that rebuke oh foolish ones and slow heart with that rebuke Jesus could have left them to their own devices stewing as it were in their own ignorance.

[30:14] But that's not Jesus because what we see here is that in his love and in his mercy what Jesus does is he seeks to put this right put right this wrong. Verse 27 and beginning with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them in the scriptures the things concerning himself.

[30:44] There's nothing more beautiful than the accommodation of the Lord for weak sinners like you and me. Time and time again we see it he knows our frailty such pity as a father hath unto his children dear he knows that we have limitations in our understanding and instead of condemning his people for such limitations what do we see we see him coming alongside and teaching putting the wrong right. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets going through all the scriptures just imagine what a sermon that would have been imagine listening to Jesus himself opening up the pages of the Old Testament and pointing these to himself time and time again following that golden redemptive thread as it is woven through each and every page. What did he say we don't know?

[31:55] But as he spoke of the things concerning himself perhaps he referred to Isaiah 53 he was wounded for our inscrutions he was bruised for our inequities the chastisement of our peace was upon him by his stripes we are healed that's me that's what's just happened you knew this it's here pointing out to these men the necessity of his sufferings of his death of his resurrection as king perhaps he pointed out to them the many types of himself in the Old Testament the many who foreshadowed the coming messiah Noah Abraham Jacob and David we don't know we can't but speculate but what we do know is this that as Jesus began to point these men to himself in the pages of the scripture they soon realized exactly who they were dealing with which brings us briefly to our final point realization verse 28 so they drew near to the village to which they were going he acted as if he were going further but they urged him strongly saying stay with us for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent so he went in to stay with them there's something about this stranger that that makes Cleopas and his companion longing for this stranger to stay with them they don't want him to go they still don't know who he is at this point but they're enjoying his company they're soaking in the very fact that he's expounding to them the whole redemptive story they don't want this meeting to end and you know that's that's often what happens when God begins working in our hearts perhaps we don't realize or we've yet to acknowledge openly that God is working in our hearts but when he is working in our hearts friends what we notice is that we begin to enjoy the company of God's people we enjoy hearing his word being preached more in fact we long to hear it preached that's not the desire of the natural man so much so that we can't wait until the next opportunity that it will be preached and because of that I would urge you friend if you would call yourself a seeker avail yourself of every opportunity to be under the word that's where God will meet with you that's what he promises to meet with you by his spirit maybe that's you I hope it is I hope it is and soon these two disciples they would see they would realize exactly why they didn't want their fellowship with this man to end verse 30 and when he was at table with them he took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to them and their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he vanished from their sight their eyes were opened and they recognized him up until this point they they heard all that they that he had to say as they walked with them they they loved being in his presence hearing his word but still they didn't recognize him for who he was he was there but they didn't recognize him but then he reveals himself again we don't know what brought about this recognition perhaps it was as Jesus some commentators would say that as Jesus broke the bread in their presence that they could see the mark on his wrists the marks of the suffering servant does Christ have the marks of the suffering servant in his glorified body well we see in revelation reference to the lamb who appeared to be slain marks that are there as a reminder of what he's done but he reveals himself he reveals himself to these two whether it's by this or just by the holy spirit bringing them to that place of realization where they can say I see I understand how could I not have seen this before and as they reflect in verse 32 they say did not our hearts burn within us how could we not have seen that this was Jesus this was something different our hearts burned within us while he talked with us while he opened up the scriptures to us there'd been a while since their hearts have burned within them their hearts have grown cold they'd failed to believe what the prophets had told them they'd failed to to meditate upon the reality of the resurrected Christ another lesson for us all tonight these were sincere believers so sincere but so sincerely wrong they were busying themselves with the wrong things they failed to reflect upon the reality of the resurrection and for all of us tonight we need to be on our guard against this it's all too easy for us to study the the final the finer points of theology and that's good there's nothing wrong with that but yet if we are studying the final the finer points of theology if we're spending our times looking into things that really are unclear that God hasn't revealed to us by his spirit and how often can that happen we've seen it in gatherings a whole evening spent going round in circles if we do that friends yet we fail to meditate upon the glorious eternal implications of the risen Savior our hearts grow cold that's what happens our hearts grow cold do our hearts burn within us does the message of the gospel doesn't make its way from our head to our heart does what we hear excite us does it fill us with that sense of purpose and direction as we realize a fresh every day that we are worshiping the resurrected living God because tonight friends we are all on a journey let's never lose sight of this not to amaze but to eternity and as we walk along that road we need the risen Savior to come alongside us we need to come alongside him to to reveal to us the realities of who he is and what he's done it's good for us to consider all that he's done in terms of his miracles and his healings but friends more than anything we simply must see Jesus not as some mere historical character or concept it's so easy to talk about

[40:58] Jesus but not talk to Jesus it's so easy to have religion but not relationship it's so easy for us to neglect the cross to neglect the tomb to neglect the realities of who we are in Christ and friends when we do you and me with you our hearts grow so so cold so that we find ourselves going through the motions we find ourselves unable to say the joy of the Lord is my strength the joy of the Lord we're to be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory this is what is commanded of us in his word not a contrived joy not a made-up joy but a joy that flows naturally from a meditation upon who we are in our

[42:07] Savior the altogether lovely one is that not a cause for us to be filled with joy tonight he's alive he's alive and as we part one with another after a blessed weekend together he's alive remember that remember that as you face the trials of tomorrow he's alive and because he's alive we come to him as if he's alive we come to him with a spirit and a sense of expectation we were talking about that in the man's this afternoon how so often we can pray to God but yet what's lacking in our prayer is perhaps not the preciseness of our prayer the directness of our prayer but the faith in our prayer that we don't actually believe that God will ever answer us and when he does we're surprised he's alive he's alive treat him as such treat him as such dear friend as you go into tomorrow he's by your side speak to him listen to him at every given opportunity know that he is with you and when you realize this afresh only need to realize it afresh the church needs to realize the basics afresh individually we need to realize the basics afresh and when we do we can truly say to say do our hearts not burn within us as he talks to us on the way he wants to talk to you he wants you to talk to him as you go out into next week do so dear friend and me with you and you will find that truly he is alive let us pray what i wonder it is this evening oh lord that we are not worshiping an idol dumb that we do not come before a god who cannot hear or see or speak but rather out god is the god the god of heaven and earth the creator and sustainer of all things the god who is alive and so as we part one from another dear lord what we long for is this that you within your love and in your mercy reveal to us this fact afresh day by day as you deal with us in our providence as you speak to us in our word as you manage our relationships in this world that we would truly see that we are doing all in the context of the fact that you are alive and not only this but because of the fact that you live if we are yours tonight we also live that we too will enjoy that life not only here in this world but throughout the endless ages of eternity and if there are any here tonight who are yet to know what that life and light is like oh lord we pray we plead that your holy spirit would speak to them and grant unto them that sure knowledge that they too are alive in jesus go with us now we pray part us with your blessing forgive us for all our many sins and all we ask we ask in your name