God is no where, or God is now here
A retelling of Luke 24 with lessons for today
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. However, they found the stone had been rolled away. The tomb was empty. As they were wondering about this, greatly perplexed, two men suddenly stood by them in shining garments. Frightened, they bowed their faces to the earth. The angel said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen! Remember what He told you while He was still with you in Galilee: the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again!” Then they remembered His words.
If you could summarize the Old Testament with just one word, it would be: remember! Don’t forget what the Lord your God has done.
When they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to the others. Their words, however, seemed like nonsense to the disciples and they did not believe them.
How much is kept from us due to our unbelief.
But Peter arose and ran to the tomb. Stooping down, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed, marveling to himself about what had happened.
Peter had just done the unthinkable a day or so earlier: he had denied the Lord. I’m sure his heart was broken and that he, more than any of them, was hoping that Jesus was alive!
Now two of them were traveling the same day to a village called Emmaus. They were talking together about everything that had happened. As they were doing so, Jesus Himself came to them and walked with them. He asked them what they were discussing and if they were sad. One of them asked if He was the only “stranger” in Jerusalem who did not know the things that had happened. He asked them, “What things?”
Perhaps you can fill in the blank with “things” that have happened, causing you to be bewildered or saddened: maybe it is that which is happening as a result of the outcome of the recent election. Maybe it is talk of voter fraud. It could be any number of things!
Then they told Him about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a mighty prophet before God and man, in both word and deed. They continued, “The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we had hoped that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”
Remember, Jesus did tell them these things were going to happen. I guess they forgot! What were we hoping in? A man? A political party? All the things that we hope in (apart from Christ) will eventually let us down. We have to truly put our hope in God, or we will be sorely disappointed.
“In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive.”
Now you would think that would make them excited!
But then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
Are we slow of heart today? Are we not hearing what God is trying to tell us? It is believed that is how the Titanic sank: not by hitting an iceberg but rather by missing the warning of the iceberg. They were so distracted and filled with other trivial messages that they missed the most important one of all, that they were entering iceberg territory! Does that sound familiar?
Then Jesus gave them a Bible study, explaining what was written of Him throughout the entire Old Testament! Wow, that would be great to hear! As night drew near and it appeared as though Jesus was continuing His journey, they urged Him to stay with them. When He was at the table with them, He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him, and He vanished from their sight.
Oh, how I love this! Sitting down with Jesus and having communion will always open our eyes! As a sidenote, I love the progression: He took the bread, blessed the bread, broke the bread, and then passed around the bread. Brokenness is a good thing, but He only breaks us after He blesses us. Unbroken things are of no use. Beautiful flowers and delicious pieces of fruit were seeds that had been broken but then came forth, alive.
Then they asked each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road and when He opened the Scriptures to us?”
I love that! If your heart is cold or if the fire is going out, sit with Jesus! Let Him talk to you and teach you. Walk with Jesus and your small fire will begin to burn brightly. An unattended fire will soon become a pile of ashes. Fire always arrests people’s attention and burns away the dross. Fire is also a healing agent as well as a purifier. What an encouraging and applicable lesson for us! Let us place our hope in Jesus alone! Everything in this world will disappoint and let us down. Never forget that Jesus told us beforehand what was going to happen, so we need not be shocked, discouraged, or taken off guard. Finally, if your heart is cold, walk with Jesus. He will surely stoke the fire.
So, how do you see it? God is nowhere or God is now here!
We would see Jesus,