Easter Sunday 24
“Despair to Joy!”

Luke 24:13-21 “That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem (about a two hour journey). 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 Although they saw him, they didn’t recognize him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 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.”
19 “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. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.”

This is the account of two disappointed, disillusioned disciples of Jesus walking down a lonely road to a little town called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem.

The Bible says the two men were talking about everything that had happened regarding His crucifixion and death.

The original language would better put it that they were “conversing and disputing,” trying to make sense of how their hopes had been so wrong about Him.

They had hoped that it was Jesus who would overthrow Rome and restore the nation of Israel to its rightful place.

Now as they walked the long, lonely road back to their hometown, all their hopes were shattered.

Their “hoped for deliverer” had instead been beaten, mocked, and crucified.

And now He lay dead in a tomb with a huge stone rolled over it.

Finito, terminado, finished!

So in a nutshell, verses 13-24 describe two men with crushed hopes and broken dreams.

Maybe you feel that way today!

—That miracle you were convinced God would do never materialized.

—The marriage you were convinced would be salvaged and restored, wasn’t.

—The healing of a loved one you so strongly believed would take place, didn’t.

And now you’re on your own lonely road to Emmaus, struggling with doubt and disappointment with each difficult step you take.

Now, as these two disillusioned disciples talked and walked along, a Stranger suddenly appeared and began to walk with them.

It was the risen Jesus but they didn’t recognize Him.

Mark’s gospel tells us, “Later, Jesus appeared to two followers while they were walking in the country. But Jesus did not look the same as before he was killed.”—16:12

As they walked, Jesus pretended to be ignorant about the things concerning himself so they would pour out the anxieties of their heart.

And they did just that:

“We were hoping,”
“Jesus WAS a mighty Prophet,” (but He’s dead now)

We’re so confused and crushed!

Jesus responded to their pain by quoting all the prophecies in the OT about him:

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”—vs. 27

—The Bible says that as Jesus talked and opened up the Scriptures to them, the recovery of their faith began.

And it started with realizing that:

I. Their expectations had been misguided

Someone once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

Because HOPE is built on expectations that things are going to change for the better.

It’s more than wishful thinking, it is the BELIEF life won’t always be “this way.”

But when our hopes are shattered, it takes the wind out of our sails and brings us to our knees.

This is why the Bible says, “Disappointed hope makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.”—Prov. 13:12

Hope is the oxygen of the soul and is crucial to life!

The Bible talks about people with no hope, false hope, and the right hope.

NO HOPE: “Remember that in those days you were…lost (spiritually), without God, without hope.”—Eph. 2:12

FALSE HOPE: “When an evil man dies, his hopes all perish, for they are based upon this earthly life.”

And reaching the hopeless with true hope is easier than reaching those with false hope, for those with false hope must first admit they were wrong!

These two disciples had embraced misguided expectations, which led to an unrealistic hope.

—And their misguided hope was keeping them from the right hope!

The truth was that God’s will had not been for Jesus to conquer Rome, but that He would die on the Cross for the sins of the world.

The OT Prophets had clearly and repeatedly predicted the death of Christ for our sins.

Isaiah 53:5-6 “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;”

Psalm 22:16 “My (Messiah’s)…enemies encircle me; they pierce my hands and my feet.”
The OT Prophet’s predictions of the coming Messiah being “pierced for our transgressions” and “pierced in the hands and feet” are stunning because death by crucifixion didn’t even exist at that time!

Like these two men, maybe you’ve put hope in something that has failed you!

You put hope in a false god.
Or placed unrealistic hope in a person.
Or in your own skills and abilities.
Or you hoped in the government to make life better.
Or in a job or career that hasn’t delivered what you expected.

All these things can and will fail you!

—But when you place your hope in Christ Jesus the Bible says,

Ro. 5:5 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
So the road back from despair for these two men began with coming to terms with misplaced hope.

Their next step back to restoration came by:

II. Listening to God’s word

Again we read, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”—vs. 27

And listen to the effect it had on them:

Luke 24:32 “They said to each other, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’”

The “fire” they describe was the fire of zeal and restored hope!

And it came by LISTENING to God’s word!

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from listening to this Good News—the Good News about Christ.”

The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus has died for our sins, and after 3 days He AROSE from the dead!

Now, what they did next sealed the deal and changed the direction of their lives forever.

Do you want the direction of your life changed forever?

Here’s what they did, and you can do the same thing today!

III. They invited Him into their house

Luke 24:28-29 “As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.”

Why did Jesus pretend that he was going farther?

Because He wants to be invited in!
It says “…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.’”

It was when they let Him in that the blinders fell off their eyes and they realized He was the risen Jesus!

Luke 24:30-31 “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.”

The impact of Him being risen from the dead changed everything!

“They rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem.”—vs. 33

It was now night outside and they’d already traveled 7 miles that day, but no matter!

Despair had taken them out of Jerusalem, now rekindled hope brought them back!

They had to tell somebody He was risen!

24:33 “…they found the eleven (disciples) and told them, ‘the Lord is risen indeed!’”


—They let go of false hope
—They listened to and received His word
—They invited Him in

And millions upon millions more have done the same thing ever since then!

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