joy 30 day devotional through the gospel of luke

Luke 24:13–28 (NLT) That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”… 25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 

We’re not told why these two disciples (one unnamed and the other Cleopas) were on their way to Emmaus, but Jesus took this occasion after His resurrection to appear to them.

The Resurrection is the source of the greatest joy in the history of the world!  I would argue much greater than the “tidings of great joy” that the angels delivered the night when Jesus was born.  This is greater because “it is finished!” meaning “paid in full!”  And the resurrection shows that Jesus’ sacrificial payment had been accepted by the Father.  Now, through faith, our monumental sin debt was paid, and we could enter the very presence of God in right standing because He is risen!

These two special disciples were so discouraged because their Messiah had been crucified.  They thought He would deliver them from the oppression of Rome.  But God wanted to deliver them from a much greater oppression—the oppression of sin and death!  

What Jesus did for these two disciples, I have attempted to do in this devotional, “Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). It is important to know how to open the Scriptures and show that everything written in the Old Testament was fulfilled in Jesus.  

Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, has written a book Isaiah 53 Explained.  Isaiah 53 says that the Messiah, the Lord’s Suffering Servant, must be pierced, crushed, beaten, and whipped (v. 5).  He must be condemned and led away to execution, and His life would be cut off while He was still young (v. 8).  He must be unjustly executed as a criminal, and then buried in a rich man’s grave (v. 9).  This was the Lord’s plan to “crush Him and cause Him grief” to be made an offering for sin (v. 10).

BUT NOTICE that verse 10 ends with, “He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life!”  Did you get that?  He will die without descendants (v. 8), but He will have many descendants (v. 10). He will die young (v. 8) and yet He will enjoy a long life (v. 10).  The only explanation is the resurrection!  Something the disciples could not get their heads around until Jesus gave them irrefutable proof!  

I believe Jesus might have used this among many other passages as He explained how His death and resurrection was all part of God’s plan and was foretold centuries before by Israel’s prophets.

The joy and awe that these two disciples experienced should be the same thing we experience now when we think about God’s perfect plan of redemption, “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

So What?  What does the resurrection of Jesus do to your heart?  Write a prayer to express this to the Lord.

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