PART 7 – JESUS MEETS US ON THE ROAD (14/4/20)
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Today, you have the option of watching a video version of the devotional:
This week, and last, we are focussing our devotions around the Easter theme. We will focus on two chapters only - Luke 23 & 24.
Please read Luke 24:13-35.
The second group of people we read about in Luke’s account are this pair who are walking on the road to Emmaus. They are walking away from Jerusalem. Its seems that they have lost hope, their words to the concealed Jesus seem to say it all,
'They stood still, their faces downcast…we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel…’ (Luke 24:17, 21)
The circumstances of Jesus’ death have caused them to lose spirit. They are dejected. They are hopeless.
Perhaps this is you at the moment. We certainly all go through seasons when our faith is tested and our emotional life is bleak. It’s easy to trust God in the light, but how about the night? Faith is only true faith if it still trusts without sight.
Jesus meets them on the road
On this road of dejection, Jesus meets them. As they eat with Him, He reveals Himself to them. They respond by saying,
‘They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death our hearts can burn within us - we can experience the presence of the risen Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
There are different intensities of meeting:
Jesus meets us in His word (v.27). What Jesus teaches us in His word no matter how we feel. Sometimes, when we are on our ‘road to Emmaus’, we just have to trust God’s word, pray and worship out of His word. So let’s prioritise meeting Jesus in His word.
The tangible experience of Jesus presence (v.32). These are moments of elation, fresh revelation, Knowing what we already know in an experiential fashion. This experience often arises out doing what I said in the last point.
The manifest presence. A great outpouring of Jesus’ presence on us or the church community (v. 31). This is the ‘Pentecost’ experience. These are moments or seasons of personal or corporate renewal. These seasons are in God’s timing, but doing what I said in stage one, will prepare us for such moments.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – JESUS, STAND AMONG US
What do you love most about Spring-time and why?
Introduction - please read in your group
Everything changes in Spring-time because of the presence of the sun. The blossom and flowers grow profusely. The trees begin to grow their leaves. It's a time of greater light and hope.
This is true, to a greater extent, when Jesus stands among us. Those first followers of Jesus all doubted the resurrection. The women, the disciples and those on the Road to Emmaus, are all grieving and not expecting Jesus to fulfil His promise of rising from death. However, when Jesus stands among them, His presence gives joy, peace and power.
Please read John 20:19-21
Please discuss/share together:
Peace: Jesus makes the promise of peace, twice in John 20. What does this promise mean?
Joy: It says that 'the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord'. What does this promise mean?
Power: Jesus 'breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". This is an enacted promise that would be fulfilled at Pentecost. Please also read Luke 24:49. How does the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit enable us to have peace, joy and thrive in challenging times?
The risen Jesus gave peace, joy and the empowering of the Holy Spirit to those first grieving, limping disciples. Let's pray for one another to experience these things in our lives.
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