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When Your Heart Burns
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When Your Heart Burns

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A message of hope when in need.

A message of hope when in need.

Published in: Spiritual

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  • 1. When your heart burns! “Now behold, two of them were travelling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened” Luke 24:13-14.
  • 2. Do you like to go for a walk? Well this was a walk to remember for the two on the road to Emmaus, but they had forgotten Jesus’ promise of His resurrection, and even on the 3rd day since His crucifixion, with reports that the tomb was empty, they still held no hope, it would be too good to be true that Jesus was alive again. This story shows how quick we are to give up hope. Let us put ourselves in their shoes as they set out on the seven-mile walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It was a:
  • 3. A HEART-BREAKING EXPERIENCE. Have you ever noticed that some of the saddest words in our language begin with the letter D? For example, discouragement, disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, despair and DEATH. All of these are summed up in the words of these two men to the stranger who joined them on the Emmaus road. They had left the discouraged and confused band of disciples with the events of the first Good Friday fresh in their minds.
  • 4. The Lord Jesus they had worshipped, loved and followed had been horribly put to death, a cruel death of the most shameful kind, on a Roman CROSS. Only a week before on Palm Sunday, the disciples’ hopes had risen to excitement, when the eager crowds had hailed their Lord and Master as the longed for deliverer. Now He lay dead in a sealed tomb! Their hopes were dashed; their dreams were over!
  • 5. The band of disciples of Jesus’ was leaderless and falling apart, with two of them already on their way home. Their entire world had come apart. The two despondent disciples summed up the situation very neatly saying, “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”
  • 6. Human hope is an easily broken, and when it dies it is difficult to restore. Hopelessness is a disease of the human spirit and it is desperately hard to cure. When you see someone you love and care for overtaken by illness, which goes on, and on, despair sets in. It almost becomes impossible to hope for recovery, to be even afraid to hope because of not being able to cope with another letdown.
  • 7. The two had a wall of hopelessness around them. As the travellers made their weary way to Emmaus a stranger came alongside them. It was going to turn into one of the most wonderful walks in history! We know, of course, that it was the Risen Jesus, but somehow they did not recognize Him. They were not allowed to recognize Jesus for a purpose. I believe it was so that they might be in the same position as we are some 2,000 years later.
  • 8. The stranger saw they were downtrodden and asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” And so they poured out their sad story to someone who seemed so willing to listen. The way that Jesus dealt with the situation is a lesson to all that are in a position to help those who have lost hope. They need companionship. They need a listening ear! It is then that the heart-breaking experience changes to a:
  • 9. A HEART-SEARCHING EXPERIENCE. Their expressed surprise at even being asked what was worrying them “Are you the only one living in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” They told the stranger that this Jesus “was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people” verse 19.
  • 10. “He was” - notice the use of the past tense, their experience of Jesus was in the past, and they thought they were alone. The CROSS had taken Him from them, and their minds had not made sense of the changed situation, or adjusted to it. The Cross was just a great negative to them. We have all heard exciting testimonies of what Jesus has done in the past, but what about the present? The question must be: is Jesus “a present reality” to you and me? Do we always recognize Him beside us? Life has many distractions, routine, hard work and tiredness, or ill health, which can grind us down.
  • 11. When life loses its meaning and leaves us washed out, this story gives us hope. Jesus is still there. He is the unseen “stranger,” walking with us, listening to us and, if we are willing to hear His voice, He will reveal Himself to us. As the two disciples spoke of the Cross Jesus gave them a heart-warming experience.
  • 12. How did he do it? Luke tells us, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Jesus must have given the Emmaus travellers the greatest Old Testament sermon in history, to a congregation of two! He told them of the types, shadows and symbols of the Old Testament revealed in the person of Christ. Revelation opening up before them!
  • 13. Jesus would surely have taken the now speechless disciples through the Suffering Servant of passages in Isaiah. Here was proof that Jesus had fulfilled that had been prophesied over the centuries; of His passion and triumph of life over death, proved that He was indeed the Messiah. But there was more to it than that. Christ was not there beside them simply to help them to find solutions; He was in the problem itself. Jesus told His two listeners, “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things.” In other words, did He die in vain? Was there no purpose to His life?
  • 14. A HEART-BURNING EXPERIENCE. Their two-hour journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus must have seemed like five minutes, being so wrapped up in this fascinating conversation with the Lord they had not yet recognized. Luke informs us that as they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if He was going further. You see, Jesus is a gentleman; He will not force Himself if He is not really wanted. He awaited their invitation to come in.
  • 15. God gave to the world the greatest and the most perilous gift in the world, the gift of free will; and we can use it to invite Christ into our hearts or allow Him to pass on and knock on someone else’s door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” Revelation 3:20.
  • 16. This door, there is no outer knob or handle to it. I expect there is a handle, it is on the inside! This is very much the situation in the Emmaus story. It was a test to see if the disciples had more appetite for the things of God. They did. We are told that they urged Jesus strongly, ‘Stay with us ...’ that is the sort of invitation that Jesus cannot resist!
  • 17. A basic meal was quickly got ready. The bread is on the table and the moment for Jesus’ disclosure has come. How does He do it? “He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” It was the action of the breaking of bread. They saw His hands; they were different from when He had broken bread at the Feeding of the Five Thousand, and at the Last Supper. They were the nail-pierced hands of Jesus. In an instant they knew Him. And in an instant, He is gone...vanished out of their sight!
  • 18. But He is with us still by His Holy Spirit; He is with us as we fellowship with Him in worship and, in obedience to His command, as we remember Him in the “breaking of bread” service. I can imagine the two standing in amazement; perhaps embracing in great joy, asking each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
  • 19. God deeply longs for each one of us to walk with Him in close fellowship so He can fulfil His plans for our lives.

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