We have heard the story of Christ, His death and resurrection. We probably know it better than most stories in the Bible. And it may be safe to say many who are not Christians know the story also. It is such a familiar story, yet one that is hard to comprehend. Things to ponder as we walk along the road. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A few weeks back I had the opportunity to hit the road with Rev. Dan, who has been by my side since I came to RWJM. The dynamic duo, Don and Dan, traveling down the familiar road to Martinsville. As we traveled, we reminisced; how many miles, how many roads, and how many races we have been to together. We looked back and remembered the old days, where we started and how the journey has gone. With a smile and a laugh, do you remember the time….?
Memories and stories have an interesting component, our memory. Sometimes things weren’t the way we remember. What separates truth from fiction? What do we believe and what do we discount as fable? Sometimes things are not what they seem; the story seems too farfetched to believe. How can we understand something we have never seen, let alone believe it?
How many of us have seen someone raised from the dead? How hard would it be for us to believe it? Think of the Disciples; Christ gave them an example with Lazarus, as John records for us in his Gospel, yet they still found it hard to believe.
The evidence is overwhelming; Christ appeared to over five hundred people after his resurrection over forty days. Many times the crowds included those who were against him and didn’t want to acknowledge His resurrection. If we listened for just 15 minutes to each person Christ appeared to after his resurrection it would take over five days. Five days of eyewitness testimony, 120 hours!
The fact remains, the tomb is empty; He’s not there. Why do we look for the living in the place of the dead?
Such an interesting question the Angels posed to the women that came to the tomb. Why do we look for life in things that will only lead to death?
Many times in our lives we focus on attaining something. We are taught to set goals and we focus on attaining those goals. But I wonder, how much life do we sacrifice on our way to getting someplace? How much do we miss because our focus is on the wrong things?
Luke 24:13-16; On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 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.
That same day (resurrection day), Jesus was walking along with two of His disciples, yet they did not recognize Him. They were so focused on the disappointment of watching Him die they failed to understand that He would rise again and have victory over death.
I don’t think it is because they hadn’t seen it before; they were there when Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb after four days. I think it was just human nature, when we are disappointed we go into this shell of self-pity, what are we going to do now?
Luke 24 17-19; He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 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?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
The lesson for us as we walk along the road is to adjust our focus. Too many times we are focused on the destination and we lose sight of the people we encounter along the way. We can get so caught up in our own little world that we forget about the world around us.
Jesus refocused their attention along the road, hoping they would realize the truth he had spoken to them just a few short days before. Yes, it may have seemed like a story too good to be true, but the fact remained there was Jesus, walking alongside them, and they didn’t notice.
Some of us need to see to believe. Some of us do not believe anything we cannot reach out and touch. But sometimes the proof is right there for us and we still have trouble believing it. Let me share with you the presence of God in your life is life changing. You may not see it, or even realize it is there, but let me assure you He is walking right alongside. If you need proof, ask someone who has received forgiveness from God through Jesus Christ.
As we walk down the road of life we need someone by our side. Jesus is willing to walk alongside and guide us along the right path. But He won’t do it without our asking. He is waiting for us to seek Him out and ask Him to reveal the truth to us. There is no doubt that this story is true.
Christ revealed Himself to us in His resurrected form. He wanted to make sure we knew He had victory over death. He spoke with us, ate with us, let us inspect his wounds. He made sure there were no questions, He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!