“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” – Luke 24:27
There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Lord of the Rings and those who don’t. I’m in the camp that DOES like the trilogy. And there’s a marvelous piece of dialogue near the end of the third book, “The Return of the King,” that didn’t make it into the movie.
After accompanying Frodo on a terrifying, exhausting quest to destroy the ring of power, Frodo’s best friend, Samwise Gamgee, collapses and is unconscious for a period of time. When he awakens, he sees the wizard Gandalf and blurts out, “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself.” And then Sam asks a question that reveals one of the most profound truths in the entire trilogy: “Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
Sam’s question is so profound. True deliverance and salvation aren’t just a matter of our wishful, happy dreams coming true. At a deeper level, deliverance and salvation are about our real-life nightmares becoming … untrue.
Last week we celebrated
Easter, and on that first Easter the followers of Jesus Christ saw a genuine
nightmare become untrue. Let’s take a
look at one of Jesus’ less-talked-about appearances following His resurrection:
His appearance to two men on the road to Emmaus. We know almost nothing about
these men, except that they were followers of Jesus. And we read in Luke 24:13
that they were walking from
Why is so much time spent on Jesus’ appearance to these two unknown Christians? Just two verses in Matthew are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the women at the tomb. Just seven verses in John are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the 10 disciples in the upper room on the evening of the first Easter. But strangely, a whopping 23 verses are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the two men on the road to Emmaus. Why?
Well, Scripture doesn’t give us a definite answer. But I believe there are several life lessons we can draw from this passage that help us get closer to an answer.
Life Lesson #1: Jesus doesn’t just give celebrities the time of day. He’s a living Savior for nobodies as well. I’m no Apostle Peter. I’m no Apostle John, Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. And I am SO grateful that Jesus Christ is every bit as much my savior and yours as He is theirs. Jesus wasn’t just born for the great saints. He was also born for you, died for you, and conquered death on Easter morning … for YOU. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Life Lesson #2: Jesus gravitates to those who are both humble and teachable. At one point in their conversation with Jesus, the two men on the road expressed doubt about the resurrection. Jesus said, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (v. 25). In case you were wondering, that was NOT a compliment. But these two Christian men didn’t respond the way most people would, by lashing out or getting offended. If they had, they would have missed out on the single greatest experience of their lives. As Jesus explained to them how prophecy had been fulfilled, they remained humble and teachable. And as a result, their lives were forever changed.
Life Lesson #3: Jesus is looking for dedicated followers who will go and tell others the Good News. During his three-year ministry, Jesus’ normal practice was to tell people he healed not to blab about it to anyone. Jesus never said, “Tell all your friends about me! Come on out and see me again! I’ll be here till Tuesday!” But after His resurrection, Jesus urged His followers to tell everyone about Him. On that first Easter, His two main messages were, “Come and see!” and “Go and tell!” I believe Jesus chose to spend several precious hours on Easter Sunday with these two men from Emmaus because they were ready and willing to come and see Jesus for themselves AND go and tell others about Him. They didn’t wait. They got up from the dinner table and headed right out the door to walk seven miles uphill and tell the others that Jesus is risen, just as He said.
These two men knew the Good News was worth sharing right away. Because Jesus Christ conquered sin on Good Friday and conquered death on Easter Sunday, your real-life nightmares can become untrue. Your physical pain can become untrue. Your heartache can become untrue. Your addictions and your hopelessness can become untrue. Best of all, your sin, the eternal punishment for your sin and your broken relationship with your God can ALL become untrue.
Through Jesus Christ, everything sad for Christians will come untrue. At the end of time, Jesus Christ “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Jesus has made a way to make everything new. Now, you can’t keep that good news to yourself. Tell a family member. Tell a friend. Tell a coworker. Tell EVERYONE! And bring them with you to church next Sunday to find out more.
Dane Davis is the
pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us at our great NEW worship location in
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