Easter Sunday evening (4/20) Will Spokes preached on the above passage in his sermon "Rising Doubts."
Will explains that what we read here in this section of Luke's Gospel are the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Two disciples are on their way to Emmaus, a city about 7 miles from Jerusalem. They are discouraged and despairing because Jesus had been crucified. A man comes up beside them and asks, "What's wrong?" This question mystifies them because everyone in Jerusalem knew about what had happened. Jesus "plays dumb" and asks them to tell him what has happened. As he journeys with them, they invite him in for dinner, and Jesus explains to them the Scriptures. He breaks the bread and blesses it and gives it to them, an alusion to the Last Supper. All of a sudden they really see him. Once they realize who he is, Jesus vanishes. They immediately go back to Jerusalem and look for the other disciples to tell them that Jesus is alive. He is risen! As they're talking about these things, Jesus shows up again (v 36).
Luke describes the disciples as startled and troubled. It's crucial for us to see Luke's description of their response to the resurrected Jesus. The closest friends of Jesus could not believe the miracle of the resurrection. Even though he told them this would happen and he was standing right in front of them, they struggled to believe that it was true. How does Jesus respond to his disciples? How does Jesus respond to people who find believing in the supernatural difficult? Jesus:
- Proves the reality of the resurrection.
- Explains the meaning of the resurrection.
- Demonstrates the power of of the resurrection and the transformation of his disciples.
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