An exposition of Luke 24:13-35. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, December 19, 2010.
It was one of the highlights of my early life. It was something I anticipated for an entire year. The JC Penny Christmas Catalogue. The thing I didn’t understand is why did they use up valuable space with clothes? Everybody knew the JC Penny Christmas Catalogue was about toys! With pen in hand I carefully searched each page circling items that must be brought to the attention of mom and dad. Of course there were times when it was tough to decide based on a mere picture, those items required further research. I had to get to Crystal City and check out the toy aisle at OTASCO. Part of the joy of the Christmas season was the joy of anticipation. “Did they get the hint? I circled the thing in red and I even underlined it! I even let them know it was cheaper at OTASCO. But you never know – parents are funny.” There is nothing like the joy of opening that present on Christmas morning and finding they got it right! And there is nothing quite like the emptiness of an unfulfilled expectation.
Their world had been shattered. They knew he was the one. There was no way anyone could have ever told them otherwise. Finally after centuries of anticipation Messiah had come. After three years of miracles and teaching all doubt was removed. But their dream died that Friday afternoon as his lifeless body was removed from the center cross. Their Messiah had been slaughtered and his body placed in a borrowed grave. Oh, there were rumors that he was alive. Some women had come with a fantastic story – but it had been three days, that just couldn’t be. They were on their way home when a mysterious stranger joined them on their journey. Our text this morning is found in Luke chapter 24.
Text: Luke 24:13-35
Luke’s concern is that his friend, Theophilus, gets the straight story on Jesus.
He wants to make sure he has the facts concerning the person and work of Jesus.
His aim is the heart as well as the head.
His purpose is to bring his friend to faith.
Our text deals with events following the resurrection.
But in light of the Christmas season I want us to back off just a bit and get the larger picture.
Biblical truth is related.
Doctrinal truth ties together.
We are not to view the various elements in isolation – we need to see their connection.
We cannot separate the cradle from the cross.
Our Lord’s birth and his death are, of necessity, linked.
He was born to die.
He came on a mission.
He came specifically to accomplish redemption.
He came to atone for our sin.
As we approach our text this morning we find some of his followers absolutely devastated by recent events. They are heartsick over what has happened. As the resurrected Lord approaches them he asks a question, “What are you discussing? What has you so down?” They cannot believe the question. “Are you from out of town?” They might as well have said, “Are you from some other planet?” “Are you the only one who doesn’t know what has happened in Jerusalem over the last few days?” Don’t you know that is a comment Cleopas would like to have back!
Cleopas goes on to explain how they had believed and hope that Jesus was in deed the Messiah but how that the events of the last few days had showed the folly of such hope. Then Jesus proceeded to set the record straight.
I’m convinced that this text serves to remind us that:
Thesis: The promises of Christmas can only be understood in light of the cross and the resurrection.
Christmas and Easter are tied together.
You cannot fully understand one without the other.
It’s one story and one without the other is incomplete.
There are three things I want us to note in connection with this.
- Christmas promised a great deliverance. (Matthew 1:18-21)
- Christmas promised an assured hope. (Luke 2:10-14)
- The cross and the resurrection secure the promises of Christmas.
Jesus accomplished on the cross what was promised at Christmas.
He saved his people from their sins.
He established himself as Savior and Lord!
Our hope rest in his death for our sin and his being raised for our life.
The promises of Christmas can only be understood in light of the cross and the resurrection.
Christmas promised a great deliverance and an assured hope and each was secured by way of the cross.