Encountering the Risen Jesus (Easter 2022)
Jason White

After Jesus’ death, 2 disciples have an encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They don’t know it’s Him at first, but eventually, He opened up the Scriptures and showed them all that was said about the Messiah who was to come and suffer for the forgiveness of their sins. 

Luke 24″25-27… 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.




Sermon Audio Transcript
Good Morning! Thank you so much for joining us on this Resurrection Sunday…If you have your Bibles with you or a device w/a Bible app on it, please turn to Lk 24. We’ll be starting in verse 13 in just a moment.So over the last several weeks leading up to today we have been in a message series called Encounter, where we have been looking at different encounters people had with Jesus in his earthly ministry…Encounters such as a blind man receiving his sight when coming face to face w/Jesus…a demon possessed man having the demons removed & being set free…a leper who lived in isolation and was physically healed and brought back into community w/others. I mean some fascinating encounters that people had with Jesus in his earthly ministry. And if you were here for our Good Friday service, you know that we even saw how a Roman Centurion who was working on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion had a life-changing encounter with him at the moment He died on the cross.And while I believe that each of these encounters are pretty unique and give a lot of evidence that Jesus was much more than just a good man, there are also certainly a lot of other people throughout history who had intriguing encounters w/people when they were alive too…but one thing that separates Jesus for sure over and above them is that Jesus continued to have encounters with people even after he died!...And we are going to look at one of those encounters this morning. I asked you to turn to Luke 24, let’s start in verse 13…13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. Okay so what day is Luke referring to and who is “them”? Luke says “2 of them” when to Emmaus. Well, Luke had just described in the first 12 verses of this chapter the events on the 3rd morning after Jesus’ death. He had told of how some of the women who were followers of Jesus had gone to the tomb He had been buried in and how He wasn’t there…And how 2 angels had appeared to them to tell them that He had risen just as He had told them was going to happen, and Luke tells us that they take off and run to go tell his disciples…But when they get there Luke tells us that they don’t believe them, that their words sounded like nonsense…Which btw, this always gives me more assurance when I am sometimes tempted to doubt…b/c if Luke was making this story up, it’s highly unlikely that he would have made the 1st people to be told of Jesus’ resurrection women b/c in this day/age women’s testimonies weren’t even admissible in court…so he prob. Would have made them men…But here’s the other thing…if the apostles were supposed to go on and be the witnesses and heroes of this new faith, it’s also highly unlikely that he would have made them doubters…but Luke wasn’t making this up, he was just reporting the facts, and the facts were that women were the first to be made aware and to go tell of this good news and his disciples were doubters in the beginning.Anyway, so Luke says on this same day that these women had encountered an empty tomb that 2 of the disciples (not apostles) had left Jerusalem and were on their way to Emmaus…V1414 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. Okay so does anyone else find this a bit strange? I mean this is Jesus and they know Him…I mean they were some of his followers when He was alive, but Jesus keeps them from being able to recognize them in this moment…that’s a bit strangeBut then the other thing is that Jesus pretends not to know about what it is that they are talking about when they are talking about Him and all that had just happened to Him…He’s like, “What things?”John Eldredge actually wrote a book titled, Beautiful Outlaw about Jesus and various characteristics we see about Him throughout Scripture, and he actually makes the case for Jesus being playful hereHe talks about how Jesus created us to laugh and have a sense of humor and how He was born of course fully God but also fully human in every way, and so He had to have a sense of humor…and Eldredge actually brings up several things we see in various passages of Scripture, including this one where he makes the case Jesus is being playful.He says, “Listen, Jesus has just walked away from the grave after dying for the sins of the world…what kind of mood do you think He was in? Do you think He might have been a little cheerful? Just a little excited? Do you think He might have been a little cheerful? Just a little excited? Of course! So what is He doing? He’s being playful with these guys.” And you know, there might be something too that. And this certainly isn’t to take away from the reverence that is due Jesus in being Lord, but He spent 3 years relating with the disciples as friends…surely they laughed…and maybe that even says something to us about the kind of relationship we can have with Him too.But…whatever Jesus is doing here, He asks these guys, “What things (were going on in Jerusalem that you were talking about)?” V19b“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” Okay so this gives us some insight as to who they thought Jesus was and what they thought He had come to do. They, like many others thought that the Messiah who was spoken about in the O.T. was going to come one day to deliver Israel into a new era of freedom. And these guys were hoping that this is who Jesus was. They had hoped that He was going to free Israel from the bondage they were in to the Roman Empire.But those hopes were dashed when they saw Jesus die…and these guys are grieving about this. Things weren’t supposed to go this way. This is not how this was supposed to end up. These guys had given up their lives to follow Him and were filled with hope…and then He just died and was gone…So…Jesus is just sitting there listening patiently, but now He finally buds in.25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Ohhh man, wouldn’t you have liked to have been a part of that Bible study!?!? I mean Jesus took them back to the Old Testament and showed them that all of these things they were so disappointed about were actually part of God’s plan…that they were wrong to expect a Messiah who would redeem Israel in the way they had hoped for…That He wasn’t coming to free them from the political tyranny of Rome but from the tyranny of sin in their lives. That this was the only way that He could truly redeem them and give people eternal life with Him.Man, I wonder what Scriptures Jesus took them too?Maybe Genesis 12 where God had told Abraham that He would bless all people…all nations one day through Him…Or maybe 2 Samuel 7 where God established the Davidic Covenant and how through the lineage of David He would establish a Kingdom that would last forever…Or maybe He took them to Psalm 22 and showed them all the things that were said about Jesus’ crucifixion and that would happen in the future and that actually did happen to JesusOr maybe He took them to Isaiah 53 where Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah as the Suffering Servant and said that…“He would be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities and that the punishment that brought us peace was on him and that by his wounds we would be healed.”Or maybe He took them to Jeremiah 31 where God said He would establish a new covenant with His people…Or even Ezekiel 36 where God said that He would put His Spirit in people and give them new hearts as part of this new covenant that He would establish one day…And maybe Jesus taught them that He was the fulfillment of this new covenant…That through His death and resurrection that the sins of all people had been paid for and that all people could be forgiven by His grace through faith and given His Spirit which would unite them to Him forever and provide true eternal life that would start the moment people believed!I mean all of this was part of God’s plan as revealed in Scripture, it’s just that they (like many of us) missed it and thought Jesus was someone else or would be like someone other than he was…but now He is revealing it to them in this moment as they encountered Him on this road to Emmaus, even though they still don’t know it’s him…28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?” I love that response, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he opened up the Scriptures to us?”I mean that is what happens…When Jesus begins to pull back the curtain or remove the fog from our eyes…when you finally begin to see the good news about Him, it makes your heart burn…There’s this intense emotion and excitement b/c we see that Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to die for us…That He is what our hearts have longed for…that He is the Life we have been craving and searching for but never have been able to find no matter what we accomplished or what we sought it in.So to begin to see it and it come together produces a burning in our hearts…it gives us hope that our lives could be different, that we can have assurance of eternal life when we die…I remember for me when I was 10 years old, I had grown up in church and I had heard the stories of Jesus every Sunday but just like these guys on the road to Emmaus, I had missed it…B/C I remember sitting in VBS that summer and one of the adult leaders was teaching about how Scripture shows we are all sinners and that b/c of that sin we are separated from God and that there was no amount of good works that would ever make up for that sin…And I remember my heart burning in that moment in a bad way, like “Uh oh, I have a problem…what can I do?”But then she began to talk about Jesus and that was the whole reason He came, to pay the penalty for my sin so that I could be forgiven and so that I could have eternal life with Him, and that is when my heart began to burn in a good way! Like, “YES! I WANT THAT, WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?”And she said, “well that’s the best news of all, nothing!” It’s a gift that He gives us if we’ll just receive it by faith.And now my heart is burning so much I’m about to burst…and it was in that moment I put my faith and trust in Jesus to be my Savior, and it felt SO good to know my sins were forgive and that when I died I would spend eternal life with Him in heaven…But you know, years later I had another encounter with Jesus where He revealed to me through Scripture that the eternal life I was promised was not just a future life…but that Jesus is that Life…He had said in Scripture in Jn 14 that He was the way, the truth, and the Life; and He had said in Jn 11 I am the resurrection and the life; and He had even said in Jn 10 that He came to give us abundant lifeAnd my heart began to burn with excitement b/c I knew that Jesus lived in my, that He had given me the Holy Spirit just like He promised to give all those who received His grace, and that the HS joined me in a spiritual union with Him…And so if He is the Life and He lives in me, then that meant that I had already had the abundant life that I unfortunately had been looking for through sports and my career and through relationships and a number of other things…And that changed everything for me! And it all was b/c Jesus opened my eyes to see it just as He had opened the eyes of these guys on the road to Emmaus so that they would see who He truly was.This is how gracious Jesus is…Even when we miss it, even when we doubt, even when we search for what we are looking for in other things…He is merciful and gracious and in His timing will reveal Himself to us, and as a result our hearts start to burn with excitement and joy…Well these guys have encountered the risen Jesus & their lives have been changed, so they can’t wait to tell others…which is what they do next…V3333 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. Now what’s crazy is that the disciples really don’t believe them, but we are told next that Jesus in his mercy allows the apostles to encounter Him for themselves now.And they are slow and still don’t believe it, even after Jesus allows them to touch him and he eats something in front of them… but it’s not until Jesus does the same thing with them that He did with the guys on the road to Emmaus that they truly believe…and that is He opened up the Scriptures to them too and opened their eyes to see this was all part of God’s plan that had been foretold about in the Old Testament…And of course these guys as we read about in Luke’s 2nd volume which is called Acts, how they receive the Holy Spirit and with Jesus in their lives, they move from being weak, no-nothing, cowards to strong, courageous men who change the world.See, everything changes when you encounter the risen Jesus…And the great news is that He still encounters people today…And maybe, Jesus worked behind the scenes to bring you here today or to watch online because He wanted you to have an encounter with Him today…And maybe as we’ve been talking about, your heart has been burning today…Maybe He’s been opening up your eyes to see that He is the Life that you have been searching for in so many other things…And that you can have your sins forgiven this morning and have Him come dwell in your life through the Holy Spirit if you will just receive Him by faith…And so if He is stirring in your heart this morning, this is your chance to have your life changed today…And so I want to invite you to stand as we sing this final song today and to come forward so I can pray with you as you take a step of faithIf Jesus is stirring something in you…if you have this nervous pit in your stomach, or if your heart is beginning to race in this moment that is Jesus working in your life, prompting you to receive Him today and the abundant Life He is offering you…Don’t miss this opportunity…you come…right now, you begin to come as we sing…