EASTER, Who Are You Looking For, Week 3 1/2

THE STORY OF EASTER, Week 3 1/2

Happy After Easter, Communion, Cross and Resurrection.

COMMUNION, CROSS, RESURRECTION

SPECIAL READING – Bill Cloninger (Walk to Emmaus)

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 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 But God kept them from recognizing 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.

22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared…. Luke 24:13-31

Thank you Bill!

Christians around the world have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks pondering the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. During Easter week, we read the familiar stories of the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion… and then with the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the story ends. Right?  No, it is not over.  A great deal of the things that we believe and love about Christ happen after the Resurrection!  During His final 40 days on Earth.

COMMUNION, CROSS & RESURRECTION & Next

It’s not over, there is more to the story.  While the Gospels of Matthew and Mark end shortly after the Resurrection, Luke and John provide extra detail about what Jesus did during the time between his resurrection and his ascent into heaven. Also Luke’s 2nd book, the book of Acts, adds some details to what happens next.  If your Easter, reading stopped at the Resurrection, you’re missing out on several life changing stories.

Jesus’ Appearances After the Resurrection

We’ve discussed in this series the story of the Upper Room and Doubting Thomas, and we discussed Peter’s reinstatement and a whole bunch of fish.  But let’s not miss the rest of the story…

WALK TO Emmaus, GREAT COMMISSION & THE ASCENSION

I. THE WALK TO EMMAUS

The Gospel of Luke describes an encounter with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. With tantalizing but confused rumors of the empty tomb still spreading, Jesus appears in disguise to a pair of his followers.

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 

  • God Hid  His Son from these Two Followers on the Road.  Jesus asked several great questions: “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces they ask Jesus,
  • Jesus, knew their conversation, I think He wants to hear it from them!
  • He knows all of our thoughts, so He isn’t asking these questions for Himself. (“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.” Psalm 139:1-2)

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. 

  • After visiting with them, and teaching them for some time, Jesus reveals himself in a beautifully-described scene:

“Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them: “As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!”

THEN THEY SAID TO EACH OTHER…

32“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” Luke 24:13-34

2. THE GREAT COMMISSION

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

  • This passage has long been the basis of the Christian emphasis on sharing the Gospel with the world through evangelism and missions

What’s the task? Go and Make disciples.

Question: What’s a Disciple?

“A disciple is someone who does the five things we were put on Earth to do: know and love God, grow to spiritual maturity, serve God with your ministry, share the Good News, and worship God with all your heart.”

Rick Warren, “To Make Disciples we Need to Live as Disciples”

Know, Grow, Serve, Share, Worship

  • Know and Love God – Spend time with Him, Read, Pray.  We were created to be with the Lord.
  • Grow to Spiritual Maturity – Engage/Connect in Church and SMALL Groups, Men, Women, College, groups
  • Serve God with your Ministry – Serve in the Church and in the World.  How can you use your God given abilities to serve at Impact and in our neighborhood and in your world.
  • Share the Good News – Take Every opportunity to Share Jesus.  We all know People who need to know Jesus.  Remember, no Jesus, no Heaven.
  • Worship God with all your Heart – Worship Weekly and Sundays

Please note: To Make Disciples we Need to Live   as Disciples

3. THE ASCENSION

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. Acts 1:6-14

  • It is plain from Scripture that Jesus’ ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ’s return “in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11

The Ascension Reveals 6 Things About Christ’s Work:

  1. End of Jesus’ Ministry on Earth. God the Father sent His Son into the world at Bethlehem, and now the Son was returning to the Father.
  2. The Success of His Work on Earth. All that He had come to do, He had accomplished. “It is finished!” – Jesus (Jhn 19:30
  3. The Return of His Glory. Jesus’ glory had been veiled during His time on earth. (One brief exception at the Transfiguration, Matt 17:1-9)
  4. His Plan for Our Place, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (Jhn 14:2)
  5. Beginning of His New Work as High Priest (Heb 4:14-16) and Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb 9:15).
  6. Preparing His Return. When Jesus comes to set up the Kingdom, He will return just as He left, “Someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11 (see also Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7…very powerful verses!!!).

Currently, the Lord Jesus is…

  • At Right Hand of the Father, position of honor and authority (Eph 1:20

“Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven.” Heb 8:1

  • Christ is the Head of the Church (Col 1:18),
  • The Giver of Spiritual Gifts (Eph 4:7-8)

“Ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.” Eph 4:9-10