Devotional thoughts based on the chronology of the Passion Week
The Burning Heart
SUNDAY, SPRING A.D. 30 – “Resurrection Sunday”
Praise God! Jesus is Risen from the dead! The empty cross and the empty tomb are God’s receipts, declaring to all mankind that our sin debt has been paid in full. [Warren Wiersbe].
Of all the resurrection accounts in Scripture (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:1-8), none is more illustrative than Luke’s account of the two disciples on their way back home to Emmaus. Their hopes and expectations were dashed when they saw their beloved Rabbi die on the cross on Friday.
However, their hope was renewed on the first day of the week when they met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. As they continued their journey together with the unrecognized “Stranger” [The risen Jesus], their hearts burned with holy desire as they listened to Jesus open the Scriptures and explain to them how Christ [The Messiah] had to suffer and enter into His glory (Luke 24:25-26).
There are times when fear, sorrow, and doubt may overwhelm our faith in God. Mark, the earliest of the gospel writers, stated when Mary Magdalene [she was the first person to whom the resurrected Jesus revealed Himself] told Jesus’ disciples that Jesus was alive and had seen Him, they did not believe her (Mark 16:13). Luke added, when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and other women told the disciples that Jesus was alive, “…their words seemed to them like idle tales [nonsense] and they [the disciples] did not believe” (Luke 24:10-11).
Therefore, when our faith in God is overwhelmed by fear, sorrow, and doubt, hope fades away. Moreover, when our faith in God is bound by sight, passion for God is weakened. Nevertheless, remember, there is resurrection hope for the troubled heart (Luke 24:13-49).
Like the disciples, is fear [fear of losing your job, fear of not having enough, fear of failing health, fear of dying, etc.] overwhelming your faith? Is your hope fading away? Has your passion for God become a cooled ember? Are you relying on your own strength and resources to curb your increasing unhappiness? If so, turn to Jesus as did the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Their hope was rekindled, and their faith was made stronger for these two reasons: First, the Resurrected Jesus opened their eyes to see Him. And second, the Resurrected Jesus opened the Scriptures to their hearts.
God’s people will never know the depth of intimacy with Jesus apart from knowing and understanding the Scriptures. May the Spirit of Jesus fan the flames of passionate love and service for God when we read, hear, and understand the Scriptures.
Our Heavenly Father, whatever circumstances we encounter today or tomorrow, we know that Jesus walks with each of us who have been born-again by the Spirit of God. May the eyes of our hearts be focused on You, as we read and believe Your Word. With the help of the Holy Spirit, may we carry this glorious message of hope of the Resurrected Jesus Christ to others who are living without hope in this broken, sin-cursed world.
May you all experience the greatest Resurrection Sunday, ever.