Posts Tagged ‘risen from the dead’

Roads of Awakening

I love the story of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Lk 24:13-35). I could read it again and again, because it’s the story of two people who are introduced to the reality of confusion and pain. They had come so close to seeing what the whole world longs for – “real hope”… only to find their expectations shattered and their hearts yearning for a place to hide. Yet the same roads that call us to believe in God’s Promise… will challenge our courage and awaken real faith.

Roads like the Emmaus Road are where Jesus meets our human frailty with resurrection power and surprises us by the joy it releases.

From Broken Hearts to Burning Hearts:

At the start of the story they are two men defeated and discouraged. They thought they had something precious, but it was gone as quickly as it started. All they experienced with Jesus changed how they perceived their world. Now, taken away by the brutal forces of religion and government, their friend was branded a blasphemer and an enemy of the state. They could feel their hopes displayed upon that cross and placed into that tomb.

Yet, by the end of this story we find these same men joyfully testifying of the “stranger” they had shared their troubles with along the way. The guest at their table was Jesus Himself… raised from the dead and alive forevermore! They recognized Him in the breaking of the bread. As the crumbs fell to the table, they could hardly believe their eyes… He was risen from the dead, actively sharing with them and causing their hearts to burn with delight.

Roads Like Emmaus:

These roads are not unfamiliar journeys for the average believer. I would guess, we all have traveled the path away from pain, away from shattered dreams, away from our destiny. We have done this for many reasons, but perhaps the most compelling is defeat. When we feel defeated, emotions surprise us, confuse us and even lead us in the opposite direction to where we could find Truth emerging.

When defeated…  emotions surprise, confuse and even lead in the opposite direction to where Truth emerges!

The Good News:

Roads like Emmaus are diversions not disaster… because Jesus is Alive!!! He comes alongside of these two men, much like He comes alongside of us, to reveal Himself as the Victor over all that can defeat us. When we feel these realities we might find ourselves going the wrong direction, but God is not blind to our limited perception. He meets us in the hour of deepest despair and calls us back to “Jerusalem”!

What’s The Key? – The Breaking of Bread!

He was known to them in the breaking of bread (Lk 24:35). There, in a moment of surprise, a moment at a common table… comes a powerful realization. This “stranger” is the Savior! They saw it in the blessing. They saw it as He sat at the table with them and remembered how they had received from Him. It awakened their heart… this breaking of the bread. They saw it in the giving, in the sharing together and in the moment of abiding grace… their eyes were opened.

So they arose that very hour, like a person does when they come to their senses… and they returned to Jerusalem – The City of Peace. Roads like Emmaus are round trip journeys back into faith. They test the nature of our hope and reveal the power of resurrected love. They are roads of awakening!

“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:31-32)

Capturing A Heart

I am Your Chosen Child

Jesus is the Master… “At Capturing A Heart”

It was what a friend of mine calls “a life intervention”, between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet it becomes the life changing event where Saul becames Paul and a destiny is transformed. It was somewhere along the Damascus Road that a light from Heaven peered directly into a very dark place… Saul’s heart.

A Stubborn Heart:

His was no ordinary heart, it was thirsting for blood and zealous for a law without mercy. The determination and hatred seemed to overflow in his quest for letters of approval from the governing leaders of Jerusalem. It made him a persecuter of the Church and pursuer of Christians. “Still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, this ruthless man seemed convinced that the followers of “The Way” needed “to be bound and brought to Jerusalem”.

Divine Encounter:

What could have been an end, becomes a transformation. A light from Heaven, the voice of Jesus and three days without physical sight made all that seemed so desperate, pale in its urgency. Saul was now waiting for a visitor in a place he had never been, from someone he had never met, with a message he would never have imagined.

What could this mean?

While at the house of a man named Judas, on Straight Street, Saul was left to consider the vision of the Risen Lord Jesus for three long days. Would this end in death? Would it be quick or was God’s Son so angry that He would torture the persecuter? Saul would have no sight, just an echo in his heart of an encounter that struck him to the ground. ”Could it really be true that this Jesus had risen from the dead?” This would re-focus anyone’s life, but what could Jesus mean by “you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

Receiving Sight!

Ananias enters the house; and laying his hands on Saul he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Jesus was saying, “I have chosen you as My vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, Kings and the Children of Israel” (Acts 9:14), but more than that, He was capturing the heart by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he would never be the same again! Scales fell away and a new determination was birthed within his heart. Saul would be wrecked forever, because his heart had been captured by Love, Himself… not the emotion, the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus captured the heart of the persecuter; Saul, by filling him with the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt for anyone to become completely captured, they must be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. I have heard it said that in order to remove a passion from a heart, like fear or hate; it must be conquered by a greater passion, like chosenness and love. My only comment is that when the Holy Spirit fills a person, He captures the seat of all passion.

“I count all things loss…that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s words, an expression of the captured  heart. He holds forth a compelling satisfaction in knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and a desire to see the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This formerly driven persecuter was now focused on preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (Rom 10:1-4). His greatest desire and prayer to God for all of them was that they might be saved. His longing was that they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the capturing of their own hearts.

Roads To Emmaus

I love the story of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Lk 24:13-35). I could read it again and again, because it’s the story of two people who are introduced to resurrection power and surprised by the joy it releases.

From Broken Hearts to Burning Hearts:

At the start of the story they are two men defeated and discouraged. They thought they had something precious, but it was gone as quickly as it started. All they experienced with Jesus changed how they perceived their world. Now taken away by the brutal forces of religion and government, their friend was branded a blasphemer and an enemy of the state. They could feel their hopes displayed upon that cross and placed into that tomb.

Yet, by the end of this story we find these same men joyfully testifying of the “stranger” they had shared their troubles with along the way. The guest at their table was Jesus Himself! They recognised Him in the breaking of the bread. As the crumbs fell to the table, they could hardly believe their eyes… He was risen from the dead, actively sharing with them and causing their hearts to burn with delight.

Roads Like Emmaus: 

These roads are not unfamiliar journeys for the average believer. I would guess, we all have traveled the path away from pain, away from shattered dreams, away from our destiny. We have done this for many reasons, but perhaps the most compelling is defeat. When we get defeated, emotions surprise us, confuse us and even lead us the opposite direction to where we could find truth emerging.

The Good News:

Roads like Emmaus are diversions not destiny… because Jesus is Alive!!! He comes alongside of these two men, much like He comes alongside of us, to reveal Himself as the Victor over all that can defeat us. When we feel these realities, we might find ourselves going the wrong direction, but God is not blind to our limited perception. He meets us in the hour of deepest despair and calls us back to “Jerusalem”.

What’s The Key? – The Breaking of Bread!

He was known to them in the breaking of bread (Lk 24:35). There, in a moment of surprise, a moment at a common table… comes a powerful realization. This “stranger” is the Savior! They saw it in the blessing. They saw it in the breaking of the bread. They saw it in the giving, the sharing together and in the moment of abiding grace.

So they arose that very hour, like a person does when they come to their senses… and they returned to Jerusalem - The City of Peace. Roads like Emmaus are round trip journeys back into faith. They test the nature of our hope and reveal the power of resurrected love.

“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:31-32)

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