Our Easter message starts with a sad story.He will be there in our greatest disappointments.
He will walk with us through our deepest sorrows.
It is about the journey of two disciples in the late afternoon of that first Easter Sunday.
To them it is "Black Sunday."
Two of Jesus' followers are walking down the road from Jerusalem, to the town of Emmaus,
seven miles northwest of the city.
They are in a deep discussion!
But itıs not happy talk.
It is not up lifting or positive.
Really bad things have taken place in Jerusalem.
A stranger approaches them.
They do not recognize.
He has overheard them as they walk along.
He asks, "What are you talking about?"
"Haven't you heard?
Our leader, Jesus, the one on whom placed all our hopes, has been crucified.
It could have been so great!
He would have kicked out the Romans, cleaned up the Temple leadership, really turned things around!
But now...." (And the words trail off in silence).
"To be sure," begins the other,
"Some of the women reported they had been to the tomb this morning.
They said that Jesus is not dead.
We went to the tomb; it was empty, but, well... you know how those things go...."
And then, the conversation just peters out, with deep and profound sighs.
It seems nothing can shake the sadness from them.
So the three walk along, and this stranger talks with them.
In fact, He discusses God's Word with them.
Well, these two men are touched!
As dusk begins to fall and they are near their destination.
This stranger appears to move on... toward a different route.
Can't you imagine the whispered conversation between Cleopas and his friend:
"We can't let him go on."
And so the invitation comes: "Stay with us, for it is toward the evening and the day
is now far spent."
So, He does!
This stranger stays.
And at the evening meal, he takes the bread, blesses it, and breaks it.
He gives it to them.
Then, the unexpected happens!
There is this mysterious moment of divine revelation.
After Jesus disappears, they begin to remember the time on the road: "Did not our hearts
burn within us while he talked with us on the road
and explained the scriptures to us?"
In the midst of a journey, these two men are taken by surprise while traveling on the road.
This is just like Jesus!
Jesus is always ready to meet us at the turns of our life.
God is with us as we travel through life.
God with always be with us in the daily grind.
John Byron caught this idea when he wrote:
"My spirit longs for thee
Within my troubled breast,
Though I unworthy be
Of so divine a guest.
Of so divine a guest
Unworthy though I be,
Yet has my heart no rest
Unless it comes from thee.
The Scripture says, "Jesus acted as if he were going farther."
If they had not insisted, would Jesus have stayed?
If the two had not "held him back" saying, "Stay with us; the day is almost over
and it is getting dark," would He have stayed?
The text suggests that when we walk a dark road, Christ will look for our willingness
to invite Him to join us.
Jesus would like to walk with us in our ordinary, everyday experiences.
He would love to talk with us.
While you're driving to work, or pushing a cart in the market, or picking up a child from day care,
or in the middle of a report, or on the way to a meeting, or during a phone conversation,
or in an argument with a loved one or an argument with an enemy -- Jesus would love
to converse with you.
These two disciples could just as well be you and me.
- who walked the Emmaus road, deeply desires to help us.
- He would like to help us listen.
- He would like to help us see about ourselves.
- He desires for us to know the truth about our worth and possibilities.
- He wants to teach us more about His Word.
- He wants to be with us as we journey through life.
Their need is our need.
of us are worried about life's struggles.
All of us are concerned about life's uncertainties.
All of us are confronted with the difficulties and dangers of life.
All of us worry about making wrong turns in the road.
All of us are consumed with our past failures, and the stresses and strains of the present.
The fears of the future often disturb our peace of mind.
We need to belong.
We need someone to care for us.
That is the point of the crossroad.
It is at the crossroad that Jesus joins us on our journey.
Are at the crossroad?
You need Jesus to walk with you and to talk with you and to tell you that you are His own.
This is the Good News of Easter.
The Emmaus road is the road of renewal.
Come, walk with Christ and He will lift you to a higher plain of living.
Come, walk with Christ and He will take you all the way to heaven!
Here is the good news!
It is the greatest news you will ever hear!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen!
Sermon By Dr. Harold L. White