The church is full of people who have been transformed by a relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s what this church thing is all about. Some people limit church to meetings, conflict, or pot-luck lunches. They’d be wrong.
At the core, church is full of broken people united by the Savior, Jesus Christ. He’s transformed many of you. And he’s been transforming people since the very first Easter.
Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35
To begin this discussion we need to start with unmet expectations.
The Scripture clearly states that men were downcast. I believe they were victims of unmet expectations. They had spent the last few years of their life following Jesus Christ. They focalize in v21 that they hoped Jesus would be the one who was going to redeem Israel.
Instead Jesus was handed over by the rulers of the day. He was sentenced to death. He was crucified. They witnessed him on the cross. They witnessed him gasp for his last breath. They witnessed him cry out “It is finished.” They witnessed him pulled from the cross and carried to a tomb.
They didn’t sign up for that. Victims of unmet expectations.
What about you? What unmet expectations have you run into?
Perhaps you are having marital trouble.
Perhaps you are on a second marriage, a third marriage. You’d hoped it would be different.
Perhaps you are having career trouble.
Perhaps you lost a job this year or you simply hate your job. You’d hoped it would be different.
Perhaps you are having family trouble.
Perhaps you have a rebellious child. Maybe you have two rebellious children. You’d hoped it would be different.
Perhaps you are having health issues.
Perhaps you have a loved one with health issues. Serious issues. You’d hoped it would be different.
Perhaps you have been heartbroken, betrayed, or cheated.
Perhaps you have unfilled and unrealized dreams.
Perhaps you are lonely.
Perhaps you are depressed.
Perhaps everything is fine but your simply not happy.
Perhaps you are stuck struggling with the same sin over and over again. You’d hoped it would be different.
Here’s the danger of unmet expectations: Unmet expectations lead to a loss of hope.
Unmet expectations lead to a loss of hope.
You have experienced unmet expectations. We all have. But how do we react to them?
What do you do when hope is lost?
- Do you stay busy to keep it off your mind?
- Do you stop doing things to keep it running through your mind?
- Do vent to people? Perhaps you vent too much.
- Do you hide your feelings and emotions?
- Do you hide your feelings and emotions just to see them explode at another point and time?
- Do you grow angry and bitter?
These disciples walking down the road hoped Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel. But Jesus was crucified and for three days he had been buried in a tomb behind a stone. It left them downcast according to verse 17. Hope was lost. Hope was gone.
Yet, that would be true if hope was placed in anything other than Jesus. A genuine relationship with Jesus provides true hope.
A genuine relationship with Jesus provides true hope.
Jesus looks at these men who have lost hope and responds, “How foolish are you and how slow of heart.” Perhaps, Jesus is voicing those words to some of us.
Here is the good news – Jesus does not leave them without hope.
He takes them on a tour of the Scriptures – starting with Moses and all the prophets – and showed what they said about himself. He broke bread with them. These two disciples had a genuine encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
Through this genuine encounter the veil is lifted and they see it was Jesus with them all along. They ask were are “hearts not burning?” Have you had that encounter with the resurrected Jesus?
I can tell you the first time I had that encounter: I was an 18 year-old boy walking into a Baptist church and witnessing people worship.
I can tell you the last time I had that encounter: Watching God use our team of 8 on the Texas/Mexico border over Spring Break. Witnessing God use our gifts to change lives.
These encounters provide me with hope, much like the two disciples in our passage. They had a genuine encounter with Jesus and were provided hope. This passage begins with these two downcast and it ends with them filled with joy. They shout in verse 34 “It is true!” The Lord has risen!”
“It is true!” The Lord has risen!”
Allow me to get real specific …
The weekend started with the cross of Good Friday. The weekend ends with the empty tomb of Easter.
Jesus gave his life on Friday for the sins of the world. Your sin and my sin. He paid our debt. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning. He provided us abundant life on earth and eternal life in Heaven.
He made the broken … whole.
He made the sick … well.
He made the downcast … joyful.
More accurately: He made the dead …come alive.