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Easter Is Over -- Now What?

Notes & Transcripts

Easter Is Over -- Now What?

Luke 24:13-35 (Initial reading: vs. 13-21)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 3, 2013

*We had a tremendous Easter Sunday. The Worship Service blessed our hearts, and the fellowship breakfast was out of this world. But what now? -- Where do we go from here?

*Charles Kettering once said, "My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." (1)

*So what about the future? -- Easter is over, but Jesus is still risen! -- Now what?

1. First: Always assume that the Lord is nearby.

*Last Sunday we focused on what the Lord does when He comes close to us. Tonight, the focus is on when He comes, and the truth that we should always assume that the Lord is nearby. Two of Jesus' followers found this out in a miraculous way on the first Easter Sunday.

*Listen again to how it happened in vs. 13-17:

13. Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.

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

15. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

16. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17. And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?''

*At first those two disciples didn't have a clue, but Jesus was with them on that day.

-And by His Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is with us, even when we don’t realize it.

-And like that first Easter, Jesus is with us when we are sad.

-He is with us when the rug has suddenly been pulled out from under us.

*We need to realize this truth, and many of us already have. Many of us could give testimonies of how the Lord showed up in a special way when we were going through the hard times.

*King Duncan gave this testimony from a lady who is a strong leader in her church. She said: "My husband and I had it all, all the good things that our society values: Good jobs, a nice home, vacations in the Bahamas.

*I now realize, though, how shallow and inadequate our faith was. I can remember when I picked out a church for us because it had beautiful chandeliers. Then it happened. Both of us lost our jobs. For over a year we struggled. It was during this time that we both came to know the goodness of God." (2)

*When the rug was pulled out from under them, that couple found out that the Lord was with them. And He will be with us too!

*I am glad that Jesus somehow supernaturally blocked the disciples’ vision on the road that day. It teaches us an important lesson: They couldn’t see Jesus, but He was there. And even though we can't see Jesus, He is here! And He will be here with us 24/7 as we go forward in life.

*Jesus Christ is still risen! -- So always assume that the Lord is with you.

2. And let the Lord fortify your faith.

*Jesus was building up their faith on the road that day. And that’s what He wants to do in our lives. How does the Lord Jesus fortify our faith?

[1] One of the most important things He does is probe our hearts.

*That’s what Jesus did starting in vs. 17:

17. And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?''

18. Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?''

19. And He said to them, "What things?'' And they said to Him, "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

20. and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

21. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. . ."

*"We were hoping." -- Mark Schaeufele asks us to "imagine that you are one of these two disciples.

-You have left everything you knew to follow Jesus.

-You have been alienated from family and friends.

-You have given your finances, talent, and time to follow Jesus.

-You truly believed in your heart that Jesus was the one.

*He was going to change everything.

-He was going to bring freedom.

-He was going to bring prosperity.

-Most importantly, he was going to bring salvation.

*However, you stood there and watched as Jesus, your master, your teacher, was tried, humiliated, beaten and horribly crucified. The one you had trusted in was gone. The one that you had put your faith in was gone.

*As they made their way to Emmaus they were sad, gripped by a spirit of despair over the Lord’s crucifixion. Their hope that Jesus was the promised Messiah had been devastated, dashed against the rocks of death." (3)

*What would Jesus find if He probed your heart tonight? -- Matthew Rogers says: "Maybe some of your hopes have been shattered. Maybe some of your deepest dreams have turned into nightmares."

*He mentioned marriages that have fallen apart, and said: "You had hoped when you said 'til death do us part.'"

-He mentioned our adult children who have turned away from the Lord. "We had hoped."

*Then Matthew Rogers said: "Maybe you showed up for work on an ordinary day. But your boss met you at the door, told you to clean out your desk, and you went home without a job. 'We had hoped this might be the job that led to financial security.'" (4)

*There are many ways this world tries to crush our hope. What’s going on in your heart tonight?

-Jesus Christ wants to fortify our faith, so let Jesus probe your heart.

[2] And let Him prod you to grow.

*This is what the Lord did after these two disciples were so slow to believe the good news of His resurrection. Please listen again starting in vs. 21:

21. "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

22. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.

23. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

24. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.''

25. Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!"

*Angels had already told the women at the tomb that Jesus was alive. But just like we are so many times, these disciples were slow to believe. And in the KJV, Jesus said to them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."

*"Fools." -- Not what they wanted to hear, but what they needed to hear. Those disciples might have wanted a pat on the back or a shoulder to cry on. But what they got was a swat on the bottom, because that’s what they needed. Our Heavenly Father knows how to discipline His children, and He will.

*Nobody likes to be called a fool. But sometimes we are fools. And I am glad we have a God who cares enough to call us down on it!

-Jesus Christ wants to fortify our faith, so let Jesus prod you to grow.

[3] And let Him persuade you of His love.

*That’s what the Lord did for the disciples in vs. 25&26:

25. Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

26. Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?''

*Jesus wanted them and us to understand: There could be no salvation for us without His suffering. There could be no eternal life for us without His death on the cross. So Jesus said, "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?''

*We love the 23rd Psalm that begins:

1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

*We love the 23rd Psalm, but wise preacher John Phillips once said, "You cannot get to Psalm 23 without going through Psalm 22, where the opening verse says: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" (5)

*Those words are echoes from the cross recorded by God one thousand years before the cross, echoes reminding us that God's Son Jesus Christ cared enough about us to go through the ultimate suffering for us. Jesus Christ cared enough about us to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.

-Jesus wants to fortify our faith, so let Him persuade you of His love.

[4] And let Him prove His truth to you.

*In vs. 27: "Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." Jesus "expounded." That means He "thoroughly explained." Jesus unfolded the meaning of Old Testament prophecies about Himself."

*Jesus could have started in Genesis 3:15 after Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. There God promised that the Seed of the woman would crush Satan’s head. He surely would have explained how the Passover lamb and all of the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to His death on the cross. He could have taken them to vs. 16 in Psalm 22, where the New Living Translation says: "My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet."

*Jesus also could have taken them to Isaiah 53:5, which says that the servant of the Lord "was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."

*Then He could have shared a great prophecy of the resurrection. For example, in Psalm 16:10 God the Son speaks to God the Father and says: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (6)

*There are hundreds of Old Testament Scriptures Jesus could have shared with them along that 7-mile walk. He was using God’s Word to fan the flames of their faith. Now the Lord wants to do the same thing for us!

*Jesus Christ wants to fortify our faith, so let Him probe your heart, prod you to grow, persuade you of His love, and prove His truth to you.

-Jesus Christ is still risen! -- So let the Lord fortify your faith.

3. And seek to stay close to the Lord.

*This is what Cleopas and the other disciple wisely tried to do in vs. 28-32:

28. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.

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 stay with them.

30. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

31. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32. And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?''

*The closer we get to Jesus, the more our hearts will burn for Him. So seek to get ever closer to the Lord.

*In Jeremiah 29:11-13, the Lord said:

11. . . I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

12. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

*In Matthew 6:33, Jesus commanded us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

-And James 4:8 promises us: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

*Jesus Christ is still risen! -- So seek to stay close to the Lord.

4. And tell how God has touched your life.

*Be eager to share the good news. In vs. 32-35, these disciples were eager to tell how Jesus had touched their lives:

32. And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?''

33. So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

34. saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!''

35. And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

*Doug Henry points out that these disciples "returned at once. They didn’t mess around. They didn’t pack for the trip. They didn’t take a shower first. They didn’t make sure they weren’t conflicting with other plans they had made. They went at once." (7)

*They were eager to tell how God had touched their lives, because hope was restored. Their dream had come true. Jesus was alive!

*Matthew Rogers gave this insight: "They got on that same road. The road that had been marked by defeat and shattered hopes. But now the road was different. It was full of possibilities. Hope was alive!

-Same road, -- different destination.

-Same road, -- different conversation." (4)

*They simply had to tell how God had touched their lives. And the Lord wants to give us that passion to tell how He has touched our lives. People need to know!

*Our Katie used to work at a boutique down in Baton Rouge. One day they got in a brightly colored coat. And as they were taking it out of the box, Katie said: "This could have been Joseph’s coat." The other clerk was confused and said: "What?" Katie tried to explain, "You know, in the Bible: Joseph’s coat of many colors."

*That other girl didn’t have a clue what Katie was talking about. And people all around us are clueless about God's Word. They need to hear the good news in this Book.

*Like the little 5-year-old boy Chuck Swindoll told about. He was brand new in the Preschool Sunday school, and it was the new Sunday School year. So the teacher was wisely trying to find out how much spiritual training her new students had.

*This one boy knew absolutely nothing about the story of Jesus. The teacher began by telling him how Jesus died on the cross, but he didn’t even know what a cross was. When he asked her about it, she picked up some sticks and fastened them together to make a little cross. Then she told him that Jesus had been nailed to a big cross and had died.

*The little boy dropped his eyes and quietly said, "Oh, that's too bad." But then the teacher quickly told him that Jesus rose again and came back to life! When he heard that, the little boy's face lit up and, and he said: "Totally awesome!" (8)

*It is totally awesome! And if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you know the greatest news the world can ever hear. And God wants us to tell it.


*Yes, Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He is risen! We celebrated it last Sunday. Now what?

-Always assume that Jesus is with us.

-Let Him fortify your faith.

-Seek to get closer and closer to the Lord.

-Be eager to tell how Jesus Christ has touched your life.

*And if you have never trusted in Jesus, call on the Lord to save you.

-You can do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Charles Kettering quote -

(2) sermon "Jesus and the Lake Wobegon Effect" by King Duncan - Luke 4:14-30

(3) SermonCentral sermon "A Walk to Remember" by Mark Schaeufele - Luke 24:13-35

(4) SermonCentral sermon "On the Road Again" by Matthew Rogers - Luke 24:13-35

(5) Original source unknown

(6) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "A Close Encounter with Christ" by -Marc Axelrod - Luke 24:13-35

(7) SermonCentral sermon "A Burning Heart" by Doug Henry - Luke 24:13-35)

(8) James W. Moore sermon "Some Things Are Too Good Not to Be True" - Dimensions, 1994, p. 78 - Source: Easter Illustrations #1 - 03272005

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