Can you imagine seeing Jesus face to face? Jesus main mission was to show us how much God loves us and destroy the power the enemy has over each of us.
More about that later. I love what the character Cleopas said that I’ll never tire of telling people the story
It is fun to imagine what these guys lives might have been like. To put it in perspective let me give you a little background.
Most New Testament scholars believe Cleopas was Jesus Uncle (Joseph’s brother) he was married to the “other Mary” who had been to the cross and went to the tomb. They were also the parents of one of the 12 disciples James the less. He and the “other disciple whomever that was, some believe it was not a man but actually Mary, his wife but whoever it was they were both close enough to Jesus that Jesus felt it important and that they could be trusted with Him appearing to them.
Let’s look at the story the way the Bible shares it…
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” 19 “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. 22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.” 25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down at the table to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! 32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” Jesus Appears to the Disciples 35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.
Everything in the Bible has significance. Nothing is there just as filler.
We see in this story that Jesus appeared to people who loved Him, they were broken, down-hearted but he took the time to meet them in their brokenness and share with them the truth that would lift them up.
Many people see God as a vengeful God, angry all the time. Does He get angry? Yes! But not the way you may think!
– at sin that destroys us and keeps us away from Him
– at the enemy who lies to us and deceives us about who God really is!
– at our decisions that hurt others or ourselves.
We are told in the Bible that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and that word shows us the way God loves us. It means God comes to us in our brokenness, confusion, loss, and/or pain and feels it with us then, understanding our situation takes us by the hand and shows us the way out…That is the God of John 3:16 the one who loves us so much.
You see it is sin that keeps us from God…God is perfect and can’t have imperfection in His presence but our goodness, our hard work can’t make us perfect.
Do you feel perfect today?
That is why Jesus came, no Old Testament animal sacrifice could make a person perfect no work could do the same only Jesus, God in the flesh, taking our sin, our rebellion on the cross and then our acceptance of that sacrifice obliterates that sin and makes us perfect not by what we do but because of His great love for us.
Jesus was proving that to these disciples.
He lovingly reached out to them in a way they could understand. Showing them in the Bible that they had studied all of their lives what would have to happen.
At the end of the teaching notes, either on the website or the app, I have listed a number of prophecies Jesus fulfilled and two of the arguments people raise against them.*
In verse 30 there is an inference that we can not miss. Luke 24:30
30 As they sat down at the table to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them.
The phrase “at the table” in the near east this is not simply written there because it was a convenient place to eat but the phrase relates to the idea of the table in a Jewish home was a sacred place, considered a “mini-temple” in every home.
Someone in this culture would gladly invite you out for a cup of coffee but… To invite you to eat “at the table” was an invitation to friendship.
This is why there was such an offense raised when Jesus said to the hardened sinner Zacchaeus that he would go eat with Him. He was telling the culture, I believe this man to be a friend and we saw the results.
Once the Lord has taken the time to heal our brokenness He is more than willing, if we are willing, to be our friend. He will gladly sit down with us.
To be honest most people have a hard time knowing Jesus as a friend until our hurts, wounds, anger, fear, frustration or whatever are really healed by Him.
The battles in our culture, the mindset of this world, are mostly toward the negative, the hopeless, and futility.
Jesus broke all of that on the cross and then he did something prophetically here and perhaps this is why this story is recorded.
Verse 31 Luke 24:31
Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
Their eyes were suddenly opened what were they suddenly opened to?
The reality that:
– Jesus was alive
– Jesus was exactly who He said He is
– It meant the promise of heaven, defeating the enemy, victory in our lives was all true
– All that He said was true! God really loves people, knows them, and believes in them, and that hopelessness is broken
Let’s quickly look at the scripture that put us all in bondage
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Adam and Eve had their eyes opened to their sin, bondage, death, and hell, utter hopelessness
But now Jesus has opened our eyes to freedom from sin, bondage, death, and hell
Today, I hope you sense that freedom or at least you sense you can have that freedom.
There is absolutely no reason for you to live in bondage
…whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
Jesus did not live, die on the cross and rise again to start a religion he did it so you and I could have our eyes open to having a real loving relationship with the one who loves us the most.
However, even some who have a relationship with Jesus, have still chosen to live in bondage…some because of the way they were raised, choices you have made, or sin that you battle but you don’t have to stay there today.
If you don’t have a relationship with Him you can get totally free today if you want.
In a moment, if you want I am going to pray a prayer of freedom and if you will agree with me, I believe Jesus will open your eyes too.
If you are starting your relationship with Jesus walking in His freedom today please after we pray do one of two things or both if you want.
Stop at the desk in the lobby and someone will gladly give you a copy of How to grow as a “Christ follower” and/or feel free to e-mail me and we will connect you up in a way that you can grow
Please bow your heads While every head is bowed whether you are a Christian or not if your heart s crying out today for freedom from fear, from a negative world view, from your own brokenness and want a renewed sense of hope just all around the room raise your hand as a sign of agreement with me now let’s pray
Some of the scriptures Jesus fulfilled (This is what I promised earlier)
*What follows is a brief summary of some of the major prophecies relating to His final few days in Jerusalem.
1) He will enter Jerusalem riding a donkey (the colt of an ass) (Zechariah 9:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 21:5; Luke 19:32-37.
2) He will be hated for no reason (Psalm 69:4). Fulfillment: John 15:25.
3) He will be betrayed (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
4) More specifically, He will be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10; 26:47-48.
5) The price of his betrayal will be thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
6) The betrayal money will be cast onto the floor (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:5.
7) More specifically, it will be cast onto the floor of the Temple (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
8) The betrayal money will be used to buy a potter’s field (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:6-10.
9) He will not open his mouth to defend himself (Isaiah 53:7). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12.
10) He will be beaten and spat upon (Isaiah 50:6). Fulfillment: Matthew 26:67; 27:26-30.
11) He will be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Fulfillment: Jesus was crucified as a criminal in between two thieves (Mat 27:38).
12) He will be pierced (Zechariah 12:10). Fulfillment: John 19:34
13) His hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16; cf. Zechariah 12:10; Galatians 3:13). Crucifixion foretold. Psalm 22 graphically prophecies the Messiah’s manner of death. At the time the psalm was written (and long after), the penalty for blasphemy was stoning. Therefore, this prediction of the crucifixion is particularly astonishing.
14) The Jewish Passover sacrifice and Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death coincide exactly. The dates on which Jesus was taken by the Roman authorities, and then slain, also coincided precisely with the Jewish Passover. Jesus became the Passover Lamb, “without blemish.” Just as the angel of death passed by those Israelites who put blood on their doorposts – so Jesus’ sacrificial death also results in freedom from death and hell for those who accept His blood.
15) His bones will not be broken (Psalm 34:20; Exodus 12 states that the Passover Lamb’s bones are not to be broken.). Fulfillment: John 19:33.
16) They will divide his clothing and cast lots for them (Psalm 22:18). Fulfillment: John 19:23-24.
17) He will be given vinegar and gall to drink (Psalm 69:21). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:34, 48.
18) He will say: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46.
19) He will be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9). Fulfillment: Matthew 27.
20) He will not decay (Psalm 16:10). Fulfillment: Acts 2:31
21) He will be resurrected from the dead (Psalm 16:10). Fulfillment: Acts 2:31, etc.
22) He will ascend into heaven (Psalm 68:18). Fulfillment: Acts 1:9.
These are a small selection of some of the prophecies relating to the death of Christ.
What is the likelihood that these prophecies would be fulfilled in one person unless He were the Messiah?
Objection! Such Fulfilled Prophecies are Coincidental.
It is frequently argued that it is mere coincidence that these Old Testament scriptures seem to bear a resemblance to the life and death of Christ. After all, it would be possible to find scriptures that seem to relate to the life of anyone.
This, of course, is true. It is perfectly possible that it is coincidental. Possible…..but very unlikely.
If you tried hard you may be able to find a handful of prophecies that relate to Barak Obama or Donald Trump. But you certainly could not find in excess of 60 that clearly match certain incidents in his life.
The probability of so many prophecies getting fulfilled in one person by chance is hundreds of thousands to one. Professor Stoner, author of “Science Speaks” says that by using probability theory in relation to just 8 of the prophecies related to Jesus “we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017. That is 1 in 100 000 000 000 000 000.”
Objection! Jesus Himself tried to fulfill the prophecies.
This would seem to be plausible. For example, Jesus’ last words on the cross were of His choosing. He clearly decided what to say so that it would fulfill the prophecies of Psalm 22.
True enough. But a great many prophecies were completely beyond His control.
For example, Jesus had no say over how much silver was paid to Judas for his betrayal. What about the manner of His death? The reaction of the people? The mocking and the spitting? The casting die for his clothing? The non-tearing of His main robe?
More than 50% of the prophecies fulfilled in Christ were completely outside His power to influence one way or another.