We had a lovely sermon a little while ago on the Emmaus two walking away from Jerusalem after Jesus death; perhaps they were going back home . (The sermon is presently on the home page of our church web site, see http://bbcq.org/, but later you will find it in the sermon list. It is called Spiritual Heartburn, Luke 24:13-35)
It has brought about a thorough reflection on sadness ...
Here were two who had interacted personally with Jesus - turning their backs on Jerusalem, having given up on the promises that Jesus had given them. They were discussing the things that had happened when Jesus came to walk with them but they were kept from recognising Him. Jesus asked them what they were talking about. We are told that they looked sad. They told Jesus of their hope that Jesus would be their redeemer, but of how Jesus had been killed at the hands of their own chief priests and rulers.(Their hearts must have been aching with grief and disappointment). Further they told of the women who had been to Jesus' tomb and had see the body gone and of how the angels had told of Jesus resurrection. Some others who were with these two went to the tomb and found the same but did not see Jesus.
What was Jesus reaction to the two? Luke 24: 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
How often are we sad because we cannot see God's sovereign plan?
And how often do we not trust due to our lack of understanding?
How often are we sad due to giving up on our hope in our Lord Jesus?
What was Jesus solution for them?
God in His grace allowed them to understand who He was, for after He disappeared in the mysterious manner that he was able to with His special resurrection body, they realised that He was Jesus by the way He had broken the bread. Their eyes were opened. After Jesus left them, again they discuss what had happened... Luke 24:31 “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Do we, when we are sad, walk with Jesus or go our own way?
Do we talk with God in prayer and receive/read His words as these two did as they walked with Jesus?
Interestingly, Jesus went even further in helping them ... for that very night, after Jesus had left them, they rushed all the way back to Jerusalem to share their exciting discovery with others. They may have said something like, "Jesus is alive, indeed, we have seen Him ourselves..." Jesus in His grace appeared to them again while they were with the others and talking about these things. This time there was doubt as to whether Jesus was really alive or just a ghost, and Jesus offered for them to see his hands and feet, with crucifixion nail holes; then Jesus offered for them to touch Him and know His realness, the solidness of flesh and bones! Then He asked them for something to eat and they give Him fish - further proof that He was alive, for He ate in front of them! Finally, He once more went to the scriptures and explained things to them. He also explained repentance and forgiveness. And promised them power from on high (the coming of the Holy Spirit).
What immense grace poured out onto these Emmaus two, truly it is only the Lord Jesus who can take away our sadness! Are we prepared to patiently wait on Him, trusting Him as sovereign? Do we go to His word and talk with Him? It is the best thing that one can ever do when you are sad. Pray that the Lord in His grace will make your heart 'burn' as you walk with Him, as you talk with Him and as you listen to Him!