Luke 24:13-35

Jesus
Christ came walking out of the tomb alive! What had been one way traffic –
no return – has now been reversed. A breach has been effected into the
hitherto unyielding wall of human mortality, and the living Christ again insinuates
Himself into the lives and affairs of His own!

When
the secret police broke into a small group meeting of Chris-tians, they asked
how many were present. The leader, a little old man with great love for Christ,
answered “15 present.” A count revealed only 14 persons. The officer
in charge was angry and said: “I thought you said 15!”

“I
did say 15,” the old man responded: “Our Savior said, “I will
be with you always even to the consummation of the age!” The world doesn’t
account for this and can’t understand it. But Jesus lives, and how the
living Christ makes a difference in the lives of His own is made powerfully
clear in our passage.

I.
We Can Learn From the Living Christ (13-27)

The
two disciples (possibly a married couple) are wending their weary way home after
a rumor-rife day of confusion. They were downhearted. Their faith was in the
past-tense.

Then
“Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them!” The Lord Jesus
shares a Bible conference with them as He opened the whole Old Testament to
them. He showed them in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. What might have
been some of the leading passages He opened? Little wonder their hearts burned
within them as He taught them. For Jesus the Scriptures were supreme.

After
the resurrection, many things became clear (John 2:22). “In times like
these we need the Bible.”

II.
We Can Fellowship With the Living Christ (28-31)

The
living Christ longs to make Himself known to His own. Christian fellowship is
first vertical, then horizontal (cf 1 John 1:3). We are called to fellowship
with Christ (I Cor. 1:9).

As
they shared in the emblems of His dying and rising, “their eyes were opened
and they recognized Him” (24:31). Did they see the nail-prints in His hands?

As
the evening shadows enveloped them, they were in vital and personal contact
with Him who is “the light of life.”

“Abide
with me, fast falls the even-tide . . .”

III.
We Must Witness for the Living Christ (32-35)

As
they reflected on their experience of the reality of the living Christ, they
felt mastered by the compulsion to speak to others of what had happened to them.

They
felt ready to burst as did the Prophet Jeremiah ( 20:9), and like the Apostles
(Acts 4:20 and 1 Cor. 9:16).

Archimedes
jumped out of the bathtub proclaiming, “Eureka! I have found it!”
He could not be suppressed.

Even
though it was night, they hurried back to Jerusalem and shared with the followers
of Jesus: He is alive!

To
R.W. Dale – the Birmingham preacher in his study before a memorable Easter
– what had been orthodox affirmation and traditional discourse became vivid
and real: Jesus is really alive and He is here, now.

This
personal authentication must be what the Apostle Paul prayed for when he prayed:
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection!” (Phil. 3:10)

This
is why we worship on the first day of the week in a continuous celebration of
the resurrection of our Lord! He is always lifting us out of hopelessness into
“a New and living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

When
the armies of Napoleon swept over Europe, one of his generals made a surprise
attack on the little town of Feldkirk on the Austrian border. As the French
army maneuvered, the citizens gathered to decide whether or not they would resist.
As they debated their course, their much-loved pastor rose to speak: “This
is Easter Sunday,” he began, “and we have been wondering if we have
the strength to resist. But this is Easter day, the day of our Lord’s resurrection.
Let us ring the bells and have our services as usual, and commit the matter
to God. We know only our own weakness and not the power of God.

The
meeting was in agreement and soon the church bells pealed out a joyous melody
announcing the Savior’s victory over death. The enemy heard the sudden
peal of joyful bells and concluded that the Austrian army had arrived, and so
broke camp and departed. The danger was removed.

So
ought we, caught in the clutches of a formidable foe and facing bewildering
issues in our culture. Let us sound the Easter bells! Let us ring out the Easter
message of triumph and glory and put the hosts of darkness to flight! (Prairie
Overcomer
).

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About The Author

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David L. Larsen (B.A., Stanford University; M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary; D.D., Trinity College) is Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He pastored churches for thirty-two years and has taught at Trinity since 1981. He is the author of several books, including The Company of the Preachers, The Company of the Creative, The Anatomy of Preaching, and Biblical Spirituality.

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