April 26 Sermon

Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1: 17-25, Luke 24:13-3

Thank You Heavenly Father for this encouraging word, this reminder of the mighty power of our LORD who is the Master of life and death. Thank You for Your word to strengthen our faith, for the record of your love that helps us trust You and lean not on our own feeble understanding or speculation. Grant that we might always turn to You asking for all that we need knowing with complete confidence that You will answer our prayers. We pray in Jesus name, amen.

 

Alleluia! CHRIST is Risen!

 

The road to Emmaus… a road of struggle and sadness, a road of disappointment, a road of fear and uncertainty. It’s a road where there are more questions than there are answers. . . it’s a hard place to be.

 

Spiritually we walk the road to Emmaus everyday...our plans… hopes …dreams …A house, a spouse, and children, and happily ever after. . . and then we find ourselves on the road to Emmaus. Things didnt work out quite as planned. It wasnt as easy as we thought. There is death and disappointment. We find out that faith is hard and that the Church is full of sinners like us! One day our faith seems to be growing and the next we are filled with doubts and fears. And so instead of skipping along thru life, we are shuffling down the road, heavy laden, and wondering what we should believe.

 

You‘ve been on that road or are now, or You will be in the future. Everyone of us are that other disciple, walking to Emmaus with Cleopas.

 

As the disciples were walking that night, they had one thing on their minds: the cross. They saw what happened and the only conclusion was: it’s over. Done. That cross-ruined everything. Now what?

 

When our hopes and dreams never materialize; when we make wrong choices, or we are unwilling pawns in someone elses game, we wonder if God sees, or knows, or cares. We too might come to the conclusion: it’s done.

 

That's the voice of unbelief in our ears and minds. We so quickly forget that God is for us not against us. God can use all things for His glory if we but let Him. But God is not the one to blame nor has He abandoned us.

Every form of evil and suffering comes because we chose to be disobedient people. Born in sin, we live and die in sin, only redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus.

The crucified and risen Jesus comes, victorious and triumphant. But the disciples didn’t even recognize Him. So often we fail to recognize Jesus right in our midst.

 

Jesus was still teaching the disciples about the cross being a part of God’s good and gracious plan—a plan that was from the very beginning. The cross for Jesus was not to shatter hope, but to give hope. It wasn’t the way the two disciples thought it would be, because it was a better way—a way they couldn’t even imagine.

 

So while Jesus walks with them, He reminds them of the plan that God had for his chosen people. He tells them the cross, His death, and resurrection, were planned for good.

 

The two disciples listened. But, so often, like us they didnt quite get it. When were on that road, in the thick of the struggle, and the circumstances seem so over powering, it’s so hard to believe.

 

The voice of unbelief draws us away from what is right and true. The Word of God seems contrary to reality!

 

Satan and unbelief want us to think when life’s tough there is no hope. But Easter teaches us that through death God gives life. Death and resurrection are God’s way to make us stop relying on ourselves and start relying on Him.

 

In Holy Baptism God promised You a new life with Him!

 

He promised that as His child, He would never leave or forsake You.

 

He promised good for You …not just what we think is good, but what He knows is good. Jesus reminds us of how even our struggles can work for good, and so He says, Do not be unbelieving, but believe. For what I did then for them I am doing now for You .

It wasn’t until they were at table when He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them that they realize who He was.

Even if we cannot see Him with our eyes, Jesus comes to us in His Word. He is with us. No matter what You are facing, never forget that Your Heavenly Father is still Your Heavenly Father. Nothing in Your circumstances can change His character. He loves You as much as He did when He sent His Son to die for You. Look up Isaiah 43:2–3. The suffering servant suffers with You. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:18: He will redeem this present suffering for eternal good. He comes to us, and is with us… to give us life.

 

The disciples want Jesus to stay…Stay with us, LORD. And He does. He stays with us through it all because the Word made flesh remains forever. The Word that conquered death in His resurrection. So whenever You find Your self on the Emmaus roads of life, look for Jesus.

 

Scripture says the disciples eyes were opened! They took the same road back to the other disciples, to encourage them. God is giving us opportunities share Jesus with someone in this time of crisis.

Perhaps it is through You that person will come to faith.

Perhaps it is through You that they will receive hope and life.

Perhaps You are the one who will stay with them as Jesus did.

Jesus comes to take those who are on the road of sin and death, and give them life. Two disciples went from gloom and doom, to proclaiming The LORD has risen! We confess that CHRIST is risen! He is alive, and with us, just as He said. Go tell that Jesus CHRIST is no longer dead! Amen

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and will always be. Amen

 
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