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04 May 2014

Sermon: Easter 3A (Gospel)

Third Sunday of Easter
4 May AD 2014

Title: You Know Him (MP3 Audio)

Caravaggio's Emmaus Road Disciples Summary: Like the disciples on the Emmaus road, we spend many of our days walking in sorrow. The death of family and friends, our own mortality, and — for those burdened by the Law — the testimony of our own consciences conspire to strip away our joy.

The ultimate answer to our sad condition is the same One that confronted these men, first on the road and then at their table: Jesus is risen from the dead and because He lives, we live also. He who walked alone through “the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4)” now journeys with us as we tread that same dark path.

He went ahead and now He comes back for us. He comes as He promised: In the Word of Scripture (both Old and New Testaments), in Baptism, Absolution, Communion, and the teaching and preaching of the Gospel. You know Him “in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:35)” You know Him through the testimony of “Moses and all the Prophets (v. 27)” and through the Evangelists and Epistle writers you know Him “who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:25).”

Just as Mary Magdalene knew Him when He called her by name after His resurrection, so we know Him who called us by name in our baptisms and we trust that as He raised Lazarus from the tomb by name (John 11:43), so He will also call us forth on the Last Day. And as early Christians knew Him by the forgiveness pronounced in His name by the disciples (cf. John 20:23; Matthew 16:19), we know Him through the forgiveness pronounced by His pastors to us.

Text: That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?”

Jesus on the Emmaus Road And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

And he said to them, “What things?”

And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.

“Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:13-35

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of You Know Him.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 116:1-14; Acts 2:14a, 36-41; 1 Peter 1:17-25

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