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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Third Sunday After Easter

Option #1: "The Emmaus Post-Easter Heart Syndrome"
Luke 24:13-35
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. Sad hearts--v17, "faces downcast": mournful, depressed--Jesus wasn’t in the picture; they didn’t recognize him; as far as they were concerned, he was still dead.

II. Slow hearts--vv19-24: a missing body, but no faith! No recall of Jesus’ promises; failure to believe the women’s testimony. From Mk 16:12-13 we learn that the disciples didn’t believe the two men on the road to Emmaus either. Heart surgery was needed by the Great Physician! (cf Lk 24:36ff)

III. The cure--Word therapy--text, vv25-27; cf John 16:22a

A. Hearts that listen; hearts that learn; hearts that understand who Jesus is and what he has done for us, as the prophets promised

B. One side-effect of therapy may be heartburn!--v32, also Jer 23:29

IV. Signs of recovery--more of Jesus!: v29--stay with us!

A. Jesus is recognized as he walks and talks with us

B. Jesus broke bread as he did when feeding the 5,000--Lk 9:16c

C. Jesus still breaks bread with us in the Lord’s Supper--Mt 26:26

D. Jesus still cures broken and downcast hearts with his words of life--Jer 15:16

E. Sharing the cure with others similarly afflicted--vv33-35; Rev 5:9-10

Richard Lenski writes about their "heart problems": "The real trouble is in the heart, of which the intelligence is only one faculty. In the Scriptures, the heart is the seat of the personality, of the ego, and thus of the thinking, feeling, and especially also the willing. 'Slow, sluggish' means unresponsive to the prophetic words that ought to awaken faith. This is the resistance to the gracious power of the divine words." (Interpretation of Luke, p1188)

New Commentary on the Whole Bible: Jesus treats their slow hearts: He took bread, and blessed...and their eyes were opened--the stranger must have startled the disciples by taking the place of the master at their own table, and on proceeding to that act which reproduced the whole scene of the Last Supper, he stood before their astonished gaze as their risen Lord! They wished to gaze on him, perhaps embrace him, but at that moment he was gone! This was testimony enough to the resurrection. 32-34: They now relate to each other how their hearts were burning within them by his exposition of the Scriptures. They could not rest. They had to return and share this event with those in Jerusalem. 35: The two from Emmaus now relate what had happened to them, and while thus sharing news of their Lord’s appearances, he himself stood in their midst. What encouragement to doubting and true-hearted disciples!

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Children’s Message on Lk 24:13ff

Object: a picture of the human heart

Sooner or later in school you will learn more about your heart. If you make a fist, you see the size of your heart. Because it pumps blood all over your body, you can’t live without your heart working properly.

Two men were walking home on the first Easter day and they had heart trouble, but not this kind of heart trouble. The Bible uses the word "heart" to speak of our how we are inside, how close we are to God, how we think about life. Again, these two men had "heart trouble." It was Sunday morning, the third day since Jesus was crucified and, as far as they were concerned, Jesus was still "dead and buried."

Just then a man they didn’t recognize came up to walk and talk with them. It was the most wonderful conversation two men ever had with a stranger. They didn’t know it yet, but Jesus was fixing their "heart trouble." He did it by using God’s Word. He did it by showing them that He had to die for our sins and that he had to rise from death.

It was getting late and Jesus made it seem as if he had miles to go before he would sleep. But they invited him in. Only when he said the blessing before the meal and broke the bread did they recognize him for who he truly was. That’s when their "heart trouble" was cured.

A person who has heart trouble can take only so much exercise. As soon as they recognized him, they got up and went back to Jerusalem, a distance of six miles. How very different was the walk to Emmaus, with sad hearts, from the walk back to Jerusalem, with joyful hearts. They told everyone that Jesus was alive. They told them how he had fixed their "heart trouble."

He still repairs sad, hurting hearts today. The medicine is the same: His Word, his walking and talking with us, his promise of eternal life. That’s why we still call him "the Great Physician," the greatest healer of broken hearts ever.

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Option #2: "Divine 'Discrimination' and Godly 'Greed'"
1 Peter 1:17-21
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: Judging, "Yes!" Judgmentalism, "No!" Discriminating, "Yes!" Discrimination, "No!" Reverence, "Yes!" Fear, "No!"
The Problem: We judge/live with/by earthly, not heavenly, standards.
The Promise: God judges Christ guilty of/for our sin(s), redeeming us by His own blood and from a life of empty tradition/traditionalism and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for a "strange" life of fear, faith, glory and hope in Him.
1. Jamie was feeling said because his pet hamster had died. His teacher was sympathetic: "I bet your other hamster will miss his friend," she remarked. "My other hamster will be okay," said Jamie. "We put a picture of my old hamster in the cage with him." Thank God that He did not just send a picture of Himself into our world[!] (Milk and Cookies for the Soul)
2. The annual event always drew a crowd. The priest would solemnly ascend the temple steps, cradling in his arms a lamb. As the people waited outside, he would pass through the great curtain and enter the Holy of Holies. He would kill the lamb upon the altar and pray that the blood would appease God. The sins would be rolled back. And the people would sigh with relief.
A great curtain hung as a reminder of the distance between God and man. It was like a deep chasm that no one could breach Man on his island...quarantined because of sin.
God could have left it like that. He could have left the people isolated. He could have washed his hands of the whole mess. He could have turned back, tossed in the towel, and started over on another planet. He could have, you know.
But he didn't.
God himself breached the chasm. In the darkness of an eclipsed sun, he and a Lamb stood in the Holy of Holies. He laid the Lamb on the altar. Not the lamb of a priest or a Jew or a shepherd, but the Lamb of God. The angels hushed as the blood of the Sufficient Sacrifice began to fall on the golden altar. Where had dripped the blood of lambs now dripped the blood of life.
"Behold the Lamb of God."
And then it happened. God turned and looked one last time at the curtain.
"No more." And it was torn...from top to bottom. Ripped in two.
"No more!"
No more lambs!"
"No more curtain!"
"No more sacrifices!"
"No more separation!"
And the sun came out. 

(From On the Anvil by Max Lucado)

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:35 PM