The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 03/31

Posted on | March 31, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 03/31

Scripture reading: Luke 24:13–35

Making Easter Personal

Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (I Corinthians 15:8)

 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead has two levels of significance. On one level there is the historical, factual reality. Jesus is not the Easter Bunny and the resurrection is not a myth. It all happened in time and space regardless of whether you like it or not. But on a second level, there is the personal meaning of Easter. Most facts of history have little or no personal impact on our lives. But Jesus’ resurrection means that we can have a personal relationship with the living God here and now. The old Gospel song says it well: “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart” (Alfred H. Ackley).

Luke 24:13–35 tells a beautiful story about the risen Jesus that helps us under- stand the difference it makes when we begin to make Easter personal. Cleopas and a friend (his wife?) are walking along the Emmaus Road headed home. Weary and discouraged, they are trying to absorb the reality of Jesus’ tragic death. Their faith had been shattered by the cross. We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel, they moaned (v. 21). Jesus himself joins them as they travel, but they do not recognize him. The conversation is rich and their hearts come alive as this stranger helps them understand the Scriptures and how the cross was no accident, but rather at the very heart of the mission of God. Late in the afternoon they finally realize that this fellow traveler is Jesus himself! Filled with joy they run the seven miles back to Jerusalem to announce to the other disciples that Jesus is alive!

The resurrection is not just a fact of history. It is a life-changing experience of a living reality. This story helps us realize what it takes to make Easter personal. You too can experience the personal dimension of Easter when:

,. Your eyes are opened. Resurrections are not everyday occurrences! To be skeptical that Jesus rose from the dead is, well, something we all struggle with. These words seemed to them an idle tale and they did not believe them (Luke 24:11). During the early part of their journey, their eyes were kept from recognizing him (v. 16). Easter became personal only when their eyes were opened and they recognized him (v. 31). This was the work of the Holy Spirit. No one experiences the living reality of the living Jesus without the eye-opening enablement of the Spirit of God.

,. Your heart is burning. At first these travelers were depressed, confused, and without hope. The fire had gone out. But after spending a few hours in the presence of the living Lord, they said to one another, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road and while he opened to us the Scriptures (v. 32). When the living Jesus and the living Word enter our lives, our hearts can’t help but ignite with passion!

,. Your feet are running. As soon as these two disciples experienced the personal impact of Easter, they knew that they had to share this news with others. This message was just too good to keep to themselves. And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem . . . and they told what had happened on the road and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread (vv. 33–35).

What about you? Is Easter only a fact of history or is it a living reality?

 

Without Christ there is no hope.—Charles Spurgeon

 

point to ponder Are your eyes open today to the reality of the living Christ walking with you?

prayer focus Someone who has lost hope.

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