A Short Walk Down a Long Road

Christ Covenant Church
Rev. Marq Toombs
21 April 2019
Easter Sunday 

[ sketch notes ]

Epiphany at Easter

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Sermon: Luke 24:13-32

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 

And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. [Jesus] acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

  1. Blind Eyes

While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

Cleopas and Mary (the wife of Clopas) – John 19:25

The Law of God commands us to and shall talk of the things of God when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut 6)

Kept = krateo means taken, held, restrained [from knowing or perceiving Jesus]

Unless the Lord opens the eyes of our hearts, we will remain in blindness.

Jesus became their guide through the scriptures; the Spirit of Christ guides us through them as well.

God leads us

 

  1. Biblical Truth

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Genesis to Maps story // SIBI = a scarlet thread woven through the Bible points to Jesus

Genesis 3:15 – the Seed that will crush the serpent

Exodus 12 – Passover lamb

Leviticus 16 – atoning sacrifice

Psalms 16, 22, 110, 118 – death, burial, life

Isaiah 53 – suffering servant of the Lord

Tim Keller observations on redemptive-historical biblical theology:

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

The Bible’s really not about you – it’s about him.

  1. Broken Bread

[Jesus] acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

One commentator (Robert Karris) says: “In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is either going to a meal, reclining at a meal, or coming from a meal.”

Jesus ate and drank with all kinds of people — outsiders and insiders, sinners and followers. He ate and drank so often that some critics even called him a glutton and a drunkard.

But his eating and drinking had a missional and liturgical purpose.

The missional purpose is seen

  • In Luke 5 where Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi.
  • In Luke 7 where Jesus is anointed at the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal.
  • In Luke 9 where Jesus feeds the five thousand.
  • In Luke 10 where Jesus eats in the home of Martha and Mary.
  • In Luke 11 where Jesus condemns the Pharisees and teachers of the law at a meal.
  • In Luke 14 where Jesus is at a meal when he urges people to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends.
  • In Luke 19 where Jesus invites himself to dinner with Zacchaeus.

The liturgical purpose is seen:

  • In Luke 22 where Jesus establishes and institutes the Lord’s Supper.
  • In Luke 24 where the risen Christ reveals himself at a meal with the two disciples in Emmaus

A careful reading of Luke reveals that Jesus treated all meals as if they were “sacramental” — as if they were little signs of grace that pointed to the big sign of the grace in the eucharist. Why?

Ordinary tables were extensions of the extraordinary table of the Lord.

They help bridge the gap between the lost world and the Lord’s table.

They are signposts that help people find the Savior.

They are stepping stones to the eucharist.

Tables are places where some of the most important things happen. Tables are where you eat and drink and share life. Tables are where you read mail, sign contracts, and plead with loved ones. Tables are where you drink coffee and play games. Tables are places where you sit and wait and think.

But we’re gathered here today to eat and drink at the Lord’s Table. This is the Table where Christ established and instituted his Supper as the New Covenant Meal.

  1. Burning Hearts

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Calvin – “Their recognition of Christ led the disciples to a lively perception of the secret and hidden grace of the Spirit, which he had formerly bestowed upon them. For God sometimes works in his people in such a manner, that for a time they are not aware of the power of the Spirit, or, at least, that they do not perceive it distinctly, but only feel it by a secret movement.” He goes on to say it’s like they swallowed without tasting.

John Wesley – struggled with faith and assurance of faith. “Lord, help my unbelief!” Early one morning he came across these words in Scripture, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should partakers of the divine nature.” Later on that same day, he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Martin Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to Romans. And Wesley said: About 8:45 p.m. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

This story paints a beautiful picture of what the Christian faith and life are all about.

It’s a movement from outward evidence to inward experience.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead in space-time history. That’s outward evidence.

And so must he also rise from the dead in your heart and life. That’s inward experience.

“For if you believe in your heart that God raised him the dead, you shall be saved.”

Conclusion

NT Wright, Luke for Everyone:

“The slow, sad dismay at the failure of human hopes; the turning to someone who might or might not help; the discovery that in scripture, all unexpected, there lay keys which might unlock the central mysteries and enable us to find the truth; the sudden realization of Jesus himself, present with us, warming our hearts with his truth, showing us himself as bread is broken. This describes the experience of innumerable Christians, and indeed goes quite a long way to explaining what it is about the Christian faith that grasps us and holds us in the face of so much that is wrong with the world, with the church, and with ourselves.”

Easter is a truly catholic season.