Jesus is alive! He died and rose from the dead the third day. Many people witnessed his death and resurrection. I come to You today as another of Jesus, for I have seen and heard the Lord at three different times. The first encounter was when I gave my life to Jesus and I heard Him say, “your sins are forgiven”. The second encounter was when I saw Jesus’s face for a few minutes in the middle of the freeway, while driving to Utah on a mission trip. The third encounter was when I was in bed and could not go to sleep, so I cried out to Jesus and prayed nonstop. This is when I heard Him say my name, “Paul” and immediately my body relaxed and I could finally sleep. I was also able to converse with the Lord and see Jesus in the abundance of His light. He is alive and working inside of us today! I am just one of the many witnesses of His resurrection. The reason why I am so passionate about my witness for Jesus is not just because of my divine experiences, but because Jesus abides with me each day and my heart burns within me. My heart is set on fire and I can do all things through Him. In this message, we will also look at two other people who were also blessed to talk with Jesus and even have the Lord break bread with them. What is so interesting is how they also felt when Jesus was with them.
■ The following, is the account of Cleopas and another disciple, while on the road to the village Emmaus. While reading these verses, remember what Jesus said and also did with them. Also, write down how they felt when they were with Him and what happened to their eyes. Please read the verses below:
Luke 24:13-32 (KJV)
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Three days after Jesus’s death, there were two men walking to the village Emmaus. This is when Jesus appeared to them. He could see that they were saddened by His death. And although the Lord was with Him, they did not recognize Him till the end of His visit. Unfortunately, they were blinded to who Jesus really was. All they could think about was how Jesus died on the cross and what the people did to Him. As believers, this rocked them to the core. However, they were slightly comforted to hear that angels appeared unto the women, that first went to Jesus’s tomb, and told them that Jesus was alive. Although they didn’t truly believe this yet. They also mentioned all these things to Jesus, not knowing it was Him. Jesus then said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” He said this because their belief in Him was not whole yet. They only thought Jesus was a prophet and forgot that He taught about Himself rising from the dead. He then, from the “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” In doing this, Jesus showed them in the Old Testament the many verses that teach of and prophesy of Him. How amazing would that be? It was then that these two men came to the village Emmaus and asked Jesus to abide with them. I can just imagine how they must have been feeling, when they asked Him this question.
While at the village, Jesus could have just left these two men. After all, they still did not recognize Him, even after all he said and taught them. However, Jesus never gives up on anyone, although they may not see Him at first. And because the Lord wants to show Himself to anyone that has faith, He did so to these men. So the story continues… It was getting late and they still hadn’t eaten yet. So they asked Jesus something very interesting. They said, “abide with us”. In saying this, they were doing exactly what Jesus asks of us all. As He said in John 15, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” In asking this question to Jesus, this is when they finally were able to see Him, as He really is. So Jesus accepted their offer and came into the house and ate with them. And while he was in their midst, He did something very familiar. He took bread, blessed it and broke it, the same way he did this with his disciples, before His death. This meant a lot to these men and their eyes were opened to see and know Jesus was there. Although, He then left them, make note of how they felt. They said, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” The feelings we get when Jesus is present is amazing. I witness to you all that Jesus is alive and that He wants to abide with you also. Give Him your life and you shall also see Him for who He really is.
■ The following is Jesus’s account in John 15, where He teaches the importance of abiding with Him. Please read the following verses and think about what Jesus means, when He asks us to abide in Him:
John 15:1-7 (KJV)
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, reading Your words brings me so much strength. I am so blessed to read the Bible and understand it through the Spirit. It is because You abide in me, that everything is made clear and I know the way. Thank You for coming into my life and helping me see the truth of all things. You have lifted the veil off my face and I can see You for who You really are. You are my God and I love You. It is awesome to fall down and worship You, my King. Truly, my heart burns within me and my heart is set on fire for You, Lord. I can do all things, for You give me strength. You are alive and working inside of me. It is a true blessing to have You come into my life and for me to be Your witness. I did not deserve the love and mercy that You have demonstrated towards me. Just like the two men that You talked with, on the road to Emmaus, I also was blinded to Your great love for me for many years, until I finally decided to have You abide with me. This is when became real and everything changed. You became more than just a man but my personal Savior and Lord God of all. Thank You for making Your presence known to me. I simply called out Your name and You answered my prayers. Now, your words are a lump unto my feet. Truly, Lord, Your love is never ending and never fails us. I have failed You so many times, but You have never given up on me. Thank You continuing to forgive me and to lift me up. It is truly a blessing to know that I am loved by You. I love You so much Lord. Thank You Jesus. Amen.