VIDEO Divinely Blinded: Lessons from the Road to Emmaus

When reviewing the Emmaus account in Luke 24, many people seem to have the same nagging question. Why didn’t those two downcast disciples of Jesus (Yeshua) recognize Him immediately when He happened upon them? I imagine we could agree that immediate recognition surely would have saved them, at the very least, a two-hour trek all the way to Emmaus. After all, an early moment of recognition would probably have prompted the zealous proclamation, “Forget Emmaus, let’s head to the upper-room now!”

Perhaps some folks, reading the account for the first time, might surmise that it would have been more compassionate for Jesus to reveal His identity at the onset, especially because they were in such despair. Surely recognizing Him immediately would have moved them to a place of rejoicing. This is particularly true since it is exactly what happened when they finally did recognize Jesus; back to Jerusalem they sprinted to announce their experiences with the other disciples.

Indeed, Luke 24:16 states that, their eyes were prevented [or quite literally were being preventedfrom recognizing Him. However, the question is, Why? Speculating as to why God does something supernatural always puts us on dangerous territory. I believe God pays close attention to how folks who purport to know something, share that something. However, at the same time, in our pursuit for truth, I also believe it’s healthy to share our thoughts on particular matters as long as we are careful to note that our theories remain in the realm of pure speculation. Therefore, allow me to speculate on the matter of the disciple’s particular type of Divine blindness.

No doubt, Cleopas and his traveling partner struggled to reconcile the events they witnessed with the identity of the One they loved and thought they had lost forever. They genuinely desired answers; some sort of context to explain their own personal, why? They had a picture in their minds. They knew what they saw, what they experienced, and this they tried to reconcile with their own presumptions regarding the coming Messiah. They exchanged meaningful, impassioned words, but until the Word Himself walked with them, their exchange only amounted to more confusion and despair. Especially, it seems, when they had to explain those painful events to that Unannounced Eavesdropper. There seems to be a bit of irony in their desperate search for truth, as Truth Himself walked beside them.

For me, there is something precious in the picture of Christ walking with us in our darkest hour, which I cannot overlook. So often, as fleshly humans, we desire an answer when His desire is that we have the answer—Himself. He knows what is required for us to reach that place of joy and peace in Him. What an example we have in the road to Emmaus account: where two or more are gathered, there He is in their midst.

When reasoning amongst ourselves concerning spiritual matters we don’t understand, there is always a high risk for heresy. Yet, the Word explains it all. Beginning with Moses, to the Prophets and the Psalms, we find Him: the Alpha the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. If you seek Him throughout His Word, the Lord God, will be found by you. What the natural eye cannot see, the Spirit will surely reveal. Here is what they could not see; that the Messiah must suffer and die before He could enter into His glory.

Though sorrow is for a night, there is joy in the morning, and those two downcast disciples needed to see and live that truth. Through their pain, they could not see that Jesus’suffering would translate into their eternal joy. I believe the Lord, in His grace and mercy, prevented them from recognizing Him so they would have the opportunity to see with real clarity. They needed to understand by way of His recounting of the Scriptures concerning Himself. Truly, had He immediately revealed Himself to them, it would have been obvious that He was risen indeed. However, it was imperative that they first see with their hearts and minds before recognizing Him with their natural eyes. Since our Lord’s desire is for us to share Him with others through His Word and not His physical body, that is what they needed to see first. They needed to see Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, foretold throughout the Scriptures.

In John 20:29 Jesus said to Thomas, another chap who needed a bit of clarity, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” It is the weaning of the child dependent upon the mother always being in clear, physical view. When the child learns to trust their mothers’ promised return, they feel free to play peacefully in another room. They know she is there even though they cannot see her. They trust she will respond when needed. They are content and lack nothing. They freely and joyfully go about their busy play. They trust without sight.

Perhaps those men needed to trust the Word, from Moses to the Prophets and the Psalms, before relying upon His physical presence for evidence to His identity, purpose, and glory. For soon, that was exactly what they would need to teach others to do, to trust Him by His Word not the manifesting of His body.

We, like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, have sorrows, confusion, disillusionments, and despair. It is our lot as fallen individuals, living among other fallen individuals. Yet, 1 Peter 1:6-9 is a great passage to realize the depth and truth of Jesus’ words in John 20:29:  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Some people need to “see” by way of proof and evidence. I thank God for divinely preventing those two downcast men from immediately seeing or recognizing Him, as it brought about a cementing of their faith and a radical transformation from sorrow to joy inexpressible and full of glory.  And it is just that kind of transformation that turned the world upside down.

Judy Salisbury is an author, speaker, and founder of Logos Presentations. She is a certified lay counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors, and serves on the board of directors for the International Society of Women in Apologetics (ISWA)as a trainer and an advisor. Her new book, The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter (Lederer/Messianic Jewish Publishers), fills in the blanks of the Luke 24 story. For more information, visit: www.logospresentations.com.

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/divinely-blinded-lessons-from-the-road-to-emmaus.html


Road To Emmaus

 


 

VIDEO “3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters”, Online Easter Service

 

Join us online here this Easter Sunday, April 12, for a wonderful time of worship with our Choir & Orchestra and a powerful message from Dr. Robert Jeffress:

 

“3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters”

Services begin at 10:20am ET/9:20am CT and Noon ET/11am CT

Watch worship service here

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/firstbaptistdallas/videos

 

https://www.firstdallas.org/liveworship


 

 

Two Possible Resurrections

John 5:19-29

Death is certain for everyone (except believers who are alive when Christ returns). The end of our earthly life may seem far away or, for some, right around the corner, but it’s always lurking, and we never know when it will come. This may seem like a morbid thought, but the truth is, death doesn’t end our existence. Contrary to the false belief that life ceases when we die, Jesus said there will be a resurrection of all people—some to judgment and others to eternal life.

Here’s the important question: Which resurrection will you experience? Since everyone is sinful, we all deserve to face the resurrection to judgment. However, Jesus promised that those who believe in Him have eternal life and will not be judged for sin (John 5:24). On the cross, Christ bore our judgment for us and rose again to give us new life. But those who reject the sacrifice He made on their behalf will be judged for their own sins.

Although physical death is still a reality for believers and our bodies will be laid in the grave, our spirits will never die. When Christ returns, our souls will be reunited with glorious resurrection bodies, to live forever with Him.

Stained with the Blood So Divine

“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, …one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith there came out blood and water.” (John 19:33-34)

As with many of the great hymns, the verses of “The Old Rugged Cross” tell a story when considered in sequence. The first verse states the general doctrine of the cross; the second speaks of the necessity of the incarnation to accomplish the cross’ purpose; the third, quoted below, gives details of the crucifixion and what it accomplished, and the last verse rehearses the results, both now and in the future.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For t’was on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.

That old rugged cross was stained with blood, as is obvious from our text. But this blood was special, for “ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold….But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

The divine Lamb of God suffered and died on the cross, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14), “that he might sanctify the people with his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12).

But the old rugged cross was not the only thing stained that day, for “the blood of Jesus Christ…cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The saints in heaven are portrayed as having “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross. JDM

Ah, Oh!

Then said, I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

—Jeremiah 1:6

 

To be articulate at certain times we are compelled to fall back upon “Oh!” or “O!”—a primitive exclamatory sound that is hardly a word at all and that scarcely admits of a definition….

In theology there is no “Oh!” and this is a significant if not an ominous thing. Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend, it can find words to express itself When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!” There is the difference between theological knowledge and spiritual experience, the difference between knowing God by hearsay and knowing Him by acquaintance. And the difference is not verbal merely; it is real and serious and vital.

We Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts…. When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves. When the calm listing of requests and the courteous giving of proper thanks take the place of the burdened prayer that finds utterance difficult we should beware the next step, for our direction is surely down whether we know it or not.   BAM085-087

Lord, don’t ever let me lose the “Oh!” Amen.

 

Admire Him!

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

—Psalm 37:4

 

Admiration…is appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight.

“In our astonished reverence we confess Thine uncreated loveliness,” said the hymn writer. “In our astonished reverence.”

The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight. WMJ022-023

 

O Lord, You’re beautiful,

Your face is all I seek,

And when Your eyes are on this child,

Your grace abounds to me.

 

© Copyright 1980 Birdwing Music/Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

 

“Peace Be With You”

John 20:21

To describe life as bleak and gloomy would have been an understatement. For the followers of Jesus the future seemed completely hopeless. Their Master had been put to death.

Then the Bible states: “On the evening of the first day of the week Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you'” (John 20:19). What the disciples needed more than anything was reassurance and peace of mind and heart.

To that greeting Jesus added a significant gesture: He showed them His hands and side, the hands that had been wounded by the nails at His crucifixion, the side that had been pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. The gesture was a sign of identification, but it also carries another message. It speaks about the basis, the foundation upon which the peace of Jesus is built, the peace which He offers to His followers. It speaks of the price at which that peace was bought.

We are promised the peace of Jesus, founded on His perfect work, His life, death and resurrection. What a foundation! Nothing can shake it!

When a Christian lives daily in the atmosphere of constant trust and obedience, he will experience the blessing of our Lord’s peace. The Apostle Paul wrote:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Col. 3:15). The word translated “rule” could also be rendered “to be a referee.” So when a Christian is in difficulty or a dilemma, it is his privilege to call on the peace of Christ to be the referee of his troubled heart.

“Peace be with you,” was the greeting Jesus gave His fearful disciples. In fact, He uttered those words twice. When He repeated the greeting, He added a commission: “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

The peace He offered His followers was not given for their selfish enjoyment. A great task awaited them. They were to be His witnesses to the world. Most of them would be martyred for His sake. In order to be strong and faithful they needed a stabilizing force in their lives. They needed His own peace, the peace that filled His own heart, in life’s varied testings.

The peace of Christ, won through a fierce battle, is promised to His followers for the battle against evil, the battle for the kingdom of God. Let us open our hearts and lives and receive the gift of His peace, and then fearlessly go forth with the good news: Jesus lives and saves!

Jarl Wahlström, The War Cry