Happy Resurrection Day!

Go to the Cross

Scripture Reading: Mark 15:16-39

Go to the Tomb

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-3, 12-20, 55-57

Go to the King

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-11

Encountering Jesus on the Road

Childhood is full of innocence and ambition and wonder as a gift from God. As we grow older, we face more difficult temptations. When we fail or life fails us, we become discouraged. Our world is hopelessly looking for hope. Can this void ever be satisfied? It can, only in Christ. The relentless search for hope ends with our personal relationship with the resurrected Jesus.

R.C. Sproul said, “When we say we believe in the resurrection of Jesus, we are not proclaiming the eternal significance of an idea. Nor are we saying that Jesus lives on in somebody's memory or that his reappearances were simply visionary experiences. The confession of the Church of Christ for 2000 years has been and must continue to be an unequivocal conviction of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Anything less is at complete variance with the testimony of the New Testament Scriptures. Every reality of the resurrection can and will, as often as our hearts are discouraged, grace us with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Ten Bible passages tell us of Jesus’ bodily appearances to over 500 people in the span of 40 days. This conversation in Luke 24:13-49 takes place during 7 miles of walking on Resurrection Sunday. Jesus asks 3 questions to incredibly discouraged saints in this passage. While the questions might seem rhetorical or normal, they are asked with purpose to encourage His disheartened followers.

“What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?”

Even devout followers of Jesus can be overwhelmed by circumstances of life and death. Our Savior’s heart is to initiate love and encouragement through His own resurrected life. These men were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry, familiar with His teaching and the Jewish Scriptures. They knew much but still became downtrodden. What a beautiful thing that Jesus sought them out and asked this question to let them share their hearts.

“What things?”

Jesus continued to pursue ministering personally to these 2 discouraged followers. The question was an intentional demonstration of love with a sense of humor. He was not teasing but allowed them to mourn through rehearsing the events of the past few days, asking questions and expressing frustrations. This is what faith does. The struggle before us will never be greater than the Christ within us.

“Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to come into His glory?”

These men were of Jewish heritage and openly admitted they were hoping that Jesus was the Messiah who would redeem Israel. Jesus gives a gentle reminder, not a heavy rebuke. He lets them express their thoughts and gently points them to the sufficiency of Scripture to bring them back to spiritual confidence.

Religious people in our day fall short of understanding that the singular sufficient and most significant act of Christ is the whole Gospel, including his birth, his life, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension. Our greatest need is not to sacrifice for him, but to accept his sacrifice for us and to give him our hearts. He desires to be our forgiveness rest, peace, refuge in times of trouble, and advocate before the holy God.

Having gotten their attention, Jesus began His sermon. There is no one and no thing that can hold you down forever when you have Christ and His Word. We are all a work in progress. “God doesn’t call the qualified but qualifies the called.” We live because He lives and we live by the truth that has been preserved for us.

Application Points

  • It’s okay if you are discouraged. Jesus doesn’t want you to live this alone. He’s interested in conversing with you; it’s okay to tell Him what’s on your heart. Let him move you forward until He and His Word are the answer to your discouragement. Ultimately, human discouragement is removed from our lives by the Word of God. Only because of His sacrifice can you understand it. Relief comes when we stop looking around and look to our resurrected Lord instead.

A Hymn to Encourage: "I Run to Christ"

I run to Christ when chased by fear
And find a refuge sure.
“Believe in me,” His voice I hear;
His words and wounds secure.

I run to Christ when torn by grief
And find abundant peace.
“I too had tears,” He gently speaks;
Thus joy and sorrow meet.

I run to Christ when worn by life
And find my soul refreshed.
“Come unto Me,” He calls through strife;
Fatigue gives way to rest.

I run to Christ when vexed by hell
And find a mighty arm.
“The Devil flees,” the Scriptures tell;
He roars, but cannot harm.

I run to Christ when stalked by sin
And find a sure escape.
“Deliver me,” I cry to Him;
Temptation yields to grace.

I run to Christ when plagued by shame
And find my one defense.
“I bore God’s wrath,” He pleads my case—
My Advocate and Friend.

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