Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 3 - Eyes That Can't Be Closed Anymore

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.  As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.  But God kept them from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”  
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus unfolded to them the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
Luke 24:13-34

When we have good news – really good news – we cannot stay home or stay quiet. We run to share it, with joy and energy and excitement. We don’t care if we’ve finished dinner or not. Our news is too good to be bottled up one second longer! We’ve got to share it, especially with people we love, especially with people who need to hear the news.

 The followers of Jesus who experienced this incredible journey with Him on the road to Emmaus and then at dinner could not contain themselves. “Within the same hour,” Scripture says that they booked it back to tell everyone they could find. The hope was real! He was real! Jesus was alive! Nothing was lost!

Once the eyes of our hearts have been opened to a hope like this, they can’t be fully closed anymore. We discover that God cannot be contained – He is the container! Our life is in Him now. Nothing has been lost.

Hope like this is too powerful, too transformative to be tamed or stuffed. If we aren’t filled to bursting with the hope of Jesus, then what are we filled with? What compels the urgency of our lives if it isn’t Him? What am I running for if not to share the good news?

The Real Question: What good news do I have to share about God? Do I let that news energize my life?

Family Talk: What things do we have to be thankful for as a family? How can we let others know about the Good News of Jesus in our lives?

ONE in Prayer: Jesus, You are the best thing that ever happened to me! Why don’t I share that more? Help me to wear the joy of you upon my face every day and live to share Your hope with others. Amen.

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