#91 "Have You Seen Jesus?"
April 10, 2007
"When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight." (Luke 24: 30-31)
On the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples were on their way to Emmaus. They were discussing all of the events of the last couple of days. To say that they were confused and disheartened would be an understatement. The elation and anticipation they had experienced recently had quickly turned to feelings of hopelessness. The One that they hoped would be the Redeemer and Messiah of Israel was dead. He had been beaten, mocked, scourged and crucified. Buried in a borrowed tomb. And now....they heard that the body was gone! What's up with this?
The Bible says that Jesus himself comes along and walks with them, but He kept them from recognizing Him. He asks them what they're talking about and they look at Him, wondering if He's been living under a rock for the past couple of days. Surely EVERYONE knew about what had happened!
So they tell Jesus the story. That's what is seems like to me, anyway. A story. They knew all about Jesus. He was "a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people." They knew about His sentencing and death. They knew the body was gone. But now, it was over...at least they thought it was. Maybe because Jesus was just a story to them. They knew about Him, but they had never really grasped Who He was and what He was really all about. Yes, they had followed Him. Yes, they heard Him teach. Yes, they saw the signs and wonders that He performed. But they never really SAW HIM.
Many today, like our Emmaus traveling friends, know the story of Jesus. They know all about Him and what happened to Him. People even believe in Him. They believe the story. They believe His life, His death and even His resurrection from the dead. They believe enough to stay out of hell when they die. But have they really seen Him? What about you? Have you really seen Jesus?
Jesus decides to explain to them all that was said about Him in the Scriptures concerning Himself. When it looked like Jesus would keep going down the road, they "urged Him strongly" to stay with them. There is step number one in truly seeing Jesus. Don't let Him keep on going down the road. Urge Him to stay with you! Once you find Him, don't let Him go! Keep Him close. Sit at the table with Him and let Him break the Bread of His Word for you. Take it and eat. Seek Him until you really find Him. Don't be contented with just knowing about Him. He tells you to seek Him and you will find Him. Seek with diligence. Seek with all of your heart. Seek Him like you're seeking silver or gold. The Savior, the one that sees your heart, will let you find Him. My beloved friend, if you've never sought Him wholeheartedly and allowed Him to let you find Him in your seeking, you don't know what you're missing. Even if you don't fully understand what seeking and finding Him means...just ask Him ... He'll show you.
After He disappeared from their sight, the disciples said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Now, that's what I'm talking about!!! This is where it all moved from their heads to their hearts. The transition point. Hearts burning!! Step two and three in really seeing Jesus. Talking with Him and studying His Word. Prayer and reading the Bible. Not just knowing the story, but having a relationship with the One that the story is about. Jesus... moving from your head to the very depths of your heart. A heart yearning for more of Him. A heart that burns when He speaks just to you. Again, if you've never experienced this and you don't know how...ask Him...He'll show you. Ask from a genuine, honest, seeking heart. He wants to be in relationship with you. He wants you to know Him in your heart, not just in your head. He will answer your plea! Don't be contented with escaping hell when you die...find abundant life here...in the land of the living! (Psalm 27: 13)
Stay close to Jesus. Pray. Read your Bible. Seek Him. Then you will be able to sing with me these words from a song by the Christian group Avalon:
"He's everything to me.
More than a story.
More than words on a page of history.
He's the air that I breathe.
The water I thirst for.
He's the ground beneath my feet.
He's everything to me."
From a burning heart,
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