This Easter sermon speaks on how Jesus reassured his disciples and brought them from hopelessness to joy.
INTRODUCTION: Is there something troubling you lately? Are you anxious, afraid, doubtful or sad? No matter what you face now, Jesus is just the encourager you need today.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles…. You see just as the sufferings in Christ are ours, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. So when we are troubled, confused, and discouraged God reassures his plan and purposes for us and comforts us.
It is nighttime on the first Easter day. Earlier that day two of Jesus’ disciples with dashed hopes walked on that journey to the little town of Emmaus. Jesus walked the distance with them but they did not recognize him. As they were having supper with this stranger, who is Jesus, suddenly their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus. They realized Jesus was alive.
Jesus left them and these two disciples who had trudged that 11 km from Jerusalem to Emmaus, even though the sun had gone down and the night had descended, they immediately left their home and headed right back to the city of Jerusalem.
By not it is nighttime and they found the 11 disciples gathered together. But now as these two disciples entered that room, they were told that Jesus had risen from the dead. Peter had seen Jesus just before. So the doubt had been replaced with some hope in their hearts. The men from Emmaus joined in and began to tell them how Jesus had been with them.
As all of this was going on, suddenly Jesus appeared in the midst of them. Luke 24:36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
1. Jesus brings peace.
Jesus brings peace to any situation. I do not know if you are sitting here with troubled hearts, broken dreams, confused in life. It may be a family problem or it may be uncertainties in life. Jesus can speak peace to that situation. In another occasion Jesus said, “My peace I leave unto you.”
If you see, Jesus did not knock at the door. I am sure the door was closed because these disciples were still afraid. Jesus just simply appeared in their midst. When they saw Jesus something a fear jumped into their hearts. In that moment of great emotion and surprise, they thought they were seeing a ghost. Luke 24:37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
But Notice what Jesus says here. When Jesus sees that they were terrified and afraid: Luke 24:38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
2. Do not be troubled.
Dear child of God, do not be troubled under any circumstances. In life situations will come where you will feel everything is going away. Maybe it is a break in a good relationship, it may a failure, it may be delayed answers to your prayers, or failed dreams. Dear believer, Jesus is asking you, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Have I not promised you a good future. Believe in me.”
3. God is good.
Listen, the disciples were in unbelief from Friday until this moment. Now when Jesus came to them, they still could not believe but Jesus did not scold them. Jesus understood them, he understood their frailties. They should have believed, but they did not believe and Jesus did not scold them. God is good.
I do not know who your god is today but I know one thing – Jesus Christ is God and he is always good.
Jesus knew they were men and women who loved him. They stayed with him during those 3 years of his ministry. They had suffered some with him. Jesus knew that they loved him. But at this occasion, they had lost faith. Probably they sinned in their doubts. So Jesus looked at them and understanding them perfectly, Jesus’ heart was filled with love.
God is good. Do you see God as a loving encourager on your side who wants to help you or do you see God as a judge, one who makes you feel bad when you go wrong? What is your concept about God?
Today, you may be here with a list of failures, you have done something which you wish you did not do. Do not worry. Jesus is not judgmental on you. He already paid for that wrong. God is good. When you repent and come back He accepts you as you are.
After reassuring his disciples, Jesus is teaching them some final words that altogether that take these disciples from the pit of disappointment to joy, praising, and rejoicing.
4. There is a resurrection.
Jesus coming into the home of the disciples was the proof that he was resurrected from the dead. When the disciples could not believe it, Jesus said: Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. Don’t you see the hands and the legs, can you see the nail prints? It is I. I am in a body, the resurrected body.
The great enemy of man is death. It does not matter who you are, death comes for everyone. Looking at Jesus we need not be troubled because there is a resurrection for believers in Christ.
When Jesus met his disciples on these various occasions on his last days of earthly ministry 2000 years ago, he did so in his resurrected body. This was the same body which had hung on the cross and which had gone to the grave. When Jesus hung on the cross, the body was so badly beaten, so abused that he not recognizable as a man. Now all of that have been changed in his resurrection. Now it is restored. He still bore those marks of shame, the nail print. Now, they are marks of glory. Jesus was in his body, a body of flesh. Jesus said, “Touch me. Feel my flesh and bones at the back of my hand.” Luke 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. Jesus’ body could be touched. The resurrection body is a body of flesh and bones.
Then Jesus did something else because they were still filled with wonder. Luke 24:41-43 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence.
There is a resurrection. The resurrected body has bones and flesh which can be touched and felt. This body also has the capacity of carrying on the things which are normal to us. Jesus could eat.
There is a resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is not just the resurrection of His spirit or influence but a literal physical resurrection. Because of that we will be raised from the dead also.
It maybe that you are listening to this message in a body that has been greatly hurt, perhaps even from birth, perhaps because of some physical deformity which has come upon you and which has caused great grief in your life. Maybe because of age your body is failing. What does this mean for you?
Dear friend you are not always going to be that way. Someday your body, that body in which you are sitting is going to be raised in the Lord Jesus Christ in the resurrection and it will be changed. It will be like the body of Jesus and you will have flesh and bone but you will not have all of these limitations which you experience right now. Perhaps you are taking the help of a stick or a walker. You will walk, run, and jump then because there is a resurrection and it has wonderful implications for all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. Jesus is God.
Then Jesus went on and proved to them that He is God.
Luke 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you (He is asking them, don’t you remember the last six months in particular? I taught about these things that) Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses (That is the first five books of the Bible), the Prophets and the Psalms.”
He proved to the disciples that he is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who died for our sins. Jesus quoted all of the OT prophesies concerning himself beginning with the Book of Genesis all the way to the book of Malachi. I think he quoted Isaiah that he would be wounded and bruised for us. Jesus spoke about his death and resurrection from the OT.
Luke 24:45-46 45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.
6. Be my Witnesses.
Jesus told the disciples to tell others about him. Luke 24:47-48 47 and repentance (turning from sin to Christ) for the forgiveness of sins (through the blood of Jesus that was shed for us) will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.
We are to tell others of him. Let me ask you this morning. Do you know someone personally that does not know Jesus as saviour? So what have you done? We are left with a responsibility. We are to tell others of Jesus.
7. You will be clothed with power.
Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have clothed with power from on high.
Jesus was going and he was going to send the Holy Spirit. Today the Holy Spirit is with us and we have that power.
8. Heaven is a reality.
Luke 24:50-51 50When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Heaven became a reality because resurrected Jesus went back to heaven. It gave a new perspective to the faith of the disciples. It should delight us that this world is not the final, there is heaven prepared for those who believe in Jesus.
2000 years ago Jesus in his resurrected body went back to heaven. That is why you do not see him in person today. He is in heaven. He is interceding for you and your prayers. He is in control. He is touching your heart with his written word to give you direction and guidance in this life. Someday Jesus is coming back for us and we will be with him forever.
9. Mourning turned into Joy.
Luke 24:52-53- 52Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
Suddenly, the disciples were filled with joy. They stayed continually at the temple. Nothing could shake them. They praised God. Even when persecution came in Acts, they could not be shaken, because Jesus himself reassured them in their mourning and brought them joy.
CONCLUSION: Dear brother and sister: Are you full of confusion today? God reassures you today to not be troubled. He can turn your mourning into dancing. Jesus is here and he can give you a new perspective in your life if you just turn to him today. Amen.