Focus on God's Word

Jesus: Who Is He?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Charissa Fong


Series Code: FGW

Program Code: FGW000014

00:26 Good evening everyone.
00:27 Our subject tonight is going to be a very wonderful subject:
00:32 "Jesus: Who is He? "
00:34 Can't think of a better question to answer. And so
00:36 before we open the Word of God tonight I invite you to
00:39 bow your heads with me for a brief word of prayer.
00:42 Father in heaven, as we study Your Word tonight
00:45 I pray that You will send Your Holy Spirit
00:47 to speak to our hearts.
00:48 May we find Jesus tonight. May we encounter Him personally.
00:52 We thank you, Lord, for doing this in Jesus' name, Amen.
00:57 Well friends, there is no one quite like Jesus.
01:01 In fact, you can walk down the streets of time -
01:04 anyone can walk down the streets of time -
01:06 and they will be guaranteed to bump into Jesus along the way.
01:11 His birth divides history.
01:14 The noted historian H. G. Wells
01:16 he once made a list of the top 10 greatest men
01:20 who have ever lived. And #1 on that list
01:23 he put Jesus Christ.
01:25 But friends, Jesus doesn't belong on that list.
01:28 He doesn't belong on any list.
01:30 Because you can talk of Peter the great or Charlemagne
01:33 the great or Alexander the great
01:35 but you can't really talk of Jesus the great.
01:38 He is Jesus the one and only.
01:40 There has never been and there never will be
01:43 another one just like Jesus Christ.
01:46 And yet, He never wrote a book.
01:48 He never held an office; He never owned a home.
01:52 He never had a family of His own.
01:54 He never went to university.
01:56 He never traveled outside the 320 kilometer radius
02:00 from the place of His birth and yet...
02:13 Jesus is the most impacting personality of all time.
02:17 But question: who on earth is He to you and I today?
02:22 Oh yes, we know He lived.
02:24 We know He existed, but who is He to us tonight?
02:27 Well friends, two travelers on a dusty road 2,000 years ago
02:32 they pondered this very question.
02:35 And I think it would be really good for us to walk with them
02:38 on their journey to find out what they discovered
02:41 about Jesus. And so to find their story
02:44 we go to the book of Luke chapter 24 verses 13 and 14.
02:48 You can look it up in your Bibles.
02:50 We can follow along on the screen.
02:53 Luke chapter 24 verses 13 and 14.
02:59 And it says:
03:17 Now for these two travelers on the road that day
03:20 Jesus was great but He was very dead.
03:24 You see, they had believed in Jesus.
03:26 They had believed in Him so much so that they had
03:29 placed their faith in Him.
03:31 But things hadn't gone to plan.
03:34 One night Jesus was arrested.
03:36 The next day He was crucified... nailed on a cross between
03:40 two thieves, hanging between heaven and earth.
03:43 His lacerated body, bruised and bleeding from the tortures
03:47 of the night, a crown of thorns pressed into His brow.
03:51 And above Him on that cross a wooden sign that read:
03:59 The next day all over Jerusalem
04:01 the newspaper headlines were all the same:
04:04 Jesus is dead.
04:06 And for these two followers of Jesus it was too much to take.
04:09 They were like sheep without a shepherd.
04:12 They felt like hounds that had been chasing this mechanical
04:15 rabbit and then suddenly the rabbit had disappeared
04:18 and they didn't know what to do with themselves any more.
04:21 There were so many questions they had to work through.
04:24 And so when the Sabbath ended, Sunday morning came,
04:27 they got out of town. They had to leave town.
04:29 It was haunted with the memory of that fateful Friday.
04:33 But friend, sometimes the destination is not nearly as
04:37 important as what happens along the way.
04:39 Because the Bible tells us that while they're walking on this
04:42 road they encountered Jesus.
04:46 Watch what happens in verses 15 and 16. It says:
05:02 This is amazing to me. There they are
05:05 real people walking on a real road
05:08 and a real man comes and joins them and they can't see it.
05:12 Now it could be that they had been crying so much
05:15 they just weren't seeing things properly any more.
05:18 Or perhaps as the Palestinian sun was setting in the distance
05:21 it was shining in their eyes and they couldn't see
05:24 things clearly about them.
05:26 Although I suspect this last reason is perhaps the true one.
05:29 They just weren't expecting to see Jesus.
05:32 Because let me illustrate. I have family in Queensland.
05:35 And every time we go to Queensland we love to go
05:38 to this restaurant called Sizzlers.
05:41 Have you heard of Sizzlers?
05:42 Oh, it's wonderful. All-you-can-eat buffet.
05:46 And I remember one year we went to Sizzlers.
05:49 And we got in. The waitress took us to our table.
05:52 We sat down and then we said: "OK, let's go get our food. "
05:55 And as I stood up to go and get my food in this restaurant,
05:59 I looked at the buffet and there was this girl
06:03 at the buffet and she was wearing exactly the same
06:06 striped top as myself.
06:08 And that was very upsetting to me
06:10 because that meant I couldn't go to the buffet
06:12 without being... you know, people might play snap with me.
06:16 And so I spent the rest of our time in that restaurant
06:19 that night trying to time my trips to the buffet
06:22 so that they didn't coincide with hers.
06:24 And I was so caught up in that and, you know, the conversation
06:28 that we were having, that it wasn't until the end of our
06:31 lunch there that day that we realized that the people behind
06:35 us - directly behind us at the table behind us -
06:39 were good friends we hadn't seen for years.
06:41 And they were there all along... we just never saw them.
06:43 Why? Because we weren't looking for them.
06:46 We weren't expecting to see them.
06:48 And I think that was probably one of the good reasons
06:50 why these disciples didn't see Jesus that day.
06:53 They weren't expecting to see Him.
06:55 And I believe that that's the reason why a lot of people
06:58 don't find Jesus today. They're not looking for Him.
07:00 They don't expect to see Him.
07:02 But He is closer than we think.
07:04 Notice what happens next on the road:
07:15 Have you ever met someone who was just the most amazing
07:18 person you've ever met, and you've never met anyone
07:21 like this before?
07:22 Well friends, that's what Jesus was to these disciples.
07:26 He had brought so much hope to them. In fact,
07:28 all of Israel... they had been so hopeful because Jesus
07:32 had turned up on the scene.
07:34 But friends, when someone as amazing as Jesus
07:36 comes up and then disappears
07:39 then people who had so much hope
07:42 now had so much sorrow.
07:44 And Jesus... Jesus had warned them. He said: "Look,
07:47 I will be given into the hands of evil men and they will...
07:50 they will crucify Me. "
07:51 But they didn't want to hear that.
07:53 No, they had had selective hearing when it came to
07:55 listening to Jesus. It's a bit like some of us kids
07:59 you know when we're growing up. Our parents say:
08:01 "If you do this then you can do what you want. "
08:03 You know, "Put the rubbish out and then you can go and play
08:05 in the yard. " My parents told me that.
08:08 And I would listen to them and I'd only hear the last part.
08:11 I'd go out and do what I want.
08:13 Then my parents would come home and say: "Why aren't the bins
08:15 out the front? " And I said: "Well you said I could play
08:17 in the yard... " which is true.
08:19 But it's selective hearing.
08:21 You see, these disciples, what they had wanted to hear
08:24 was that Jesus was going to come and He was going to be
08:26 victorious over the Romans.
08:28 He was going to come and deliver them from Roman rule and
08:31 reign as their king and every- thing was going to be great.
08:34 And His suffering and death... it just didn't fit
08:37 into that picture they had of Jesus.
08:39 In effect, they had created their own Jesus.
08:43 So how do we find the real Jesus?
08:46 Let's see what Jesus Himself has to say:
09:12 Question: how did Jesus prove Himself?
09:16 How did He prove that He was exactly who He claimed to be?
09:21 Did He perform a miracle?
09:23 Did He suddenly disappear and then reappear and say:
09:25 "See, take that... that's evidence. "
09:27 Did He take a stone and make it levitate?
09:30 No. There were no claps of thunder, no magical apparitions.
09:33 According to the Bible, Jesus proved Himself
09:37 by going back to the age-old Word of Scripture.
09:40 He proved Himself from the Word of God
09:43 to be its central protagonist, to be its central theme
09:47 and character. Jesus wasn't merely preaching a gospel...
09:51 He was that gospel.
09:54 And so the Bible tells us beginning in the very alpha
09:57 of Bible history He begins to make Himself known
10:01 to these two disciples.
10:03 And it has been said that should everybody dust off their Bibles
10:07 and read them, we should see the greatest dust storm
10:09 the world has ever seen.
10:11 And it's sort of true because you think about it:
10:13 when we ask people "what do you believe? " they don't really
10:16 know what they believe.
10:18 Like this man... he asked his Christian friend,
10:21 he said: "So what do you believe? "
10:22 He said: "I believe what my church believes. "
10:24 He said: "Well what does your church believe? "
10:26 Said: "The church believes what I believe. "
10:28 He was getting frustrated now and he said:
10:31 "Well what do you and your church believe? "
10:33 "Ah, we believe about the same thing. "
10:35 We don't really know what we believe.
10:37 And for that reason the Bible says:
10:54 And friends, Jesus wanted these disciples to believe in Him.
10:58 Not to follow Him because they loved the action
11:00 or the atmosphere that permeated His life.
11:03 He wanted them to follow Him
11:08 because they were absolutely convinced from scripture
11:12 that Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy scattered
11:15 all over the Old Testament.
11:18 And to help you understand that, please allow me to illustrate.
11:22 You see now on your screen a picture of my family
11:25 with my great aunt and my great uncle.
11:28 They live in Perth, and for the first time in my life
11:31 I got to meet them last year in June.
11:34 Was it June or July? June or July.
11:36 And they are lovely people. My great auntie there, she is
11:39 a great cook. And she gave us some lovely biscuits.
11:43 And when I first met my great uncle,
11:45 you know, we greeted one another and he looked at me kind of
11:48 puzzled for a moment.
11:50 And then he said: "Wait; hang on a minute.
11:52 Can you just stand back and turn side on again? "
11:55 Now it was kind of a strange way to be greeted by your
11:58 great uncle. You've never really met him before.
12:00 But I obliged. I was very obliging and
12:03 I stepped back and I turned side on and he looked at me.
12:06 He studied me, and then he snapped his fingers
12:08 and said: "Ah, that's it! You remind me of Michael Jordan. "
12:13 That was very touching; my life changed that day.
12:17 But the reason why he thought that was because the day before
12:20 he had been watching the funeral of Michael Jackson.
12:23 I said Michael Jordan.
12:24 He said: "You remind me of Michael Jackson. "
12:26 He'd been watching the funeral of Michael Jackson the day
12:29 before and obviously when he saw me in that coat
12:32 he just thought of two things: Michael Jackson...
12:34 coat and Michael Jackson.
12:36 And in the same way, my great uncle took one look at me
12:39 in that black coat and said: "Michael Jackson"
12:42 so it is that God had placed prophecies all over the
12:45 Old Testament so that when they were fulfilled
12:48 in the life of the Messiah people would look at the signs
12:51 and they'd look at Jesus and they'd say: "Ah,
12:53 that's who you remind me of. You must be the Messiah. "
12:56 And friend, did you know that:
13:08 And that is just absolutely amazing.
13:10 And so as Jesus begins to talk to these disciples
13:14 and to try and revive their faith
13:16 He starts going through what these prophecies were
13:19 and how they were fulfilled in His life.
13:21 And I'm pretty sure He went straight back to the book of
13:24 Isaiah. He reminded them of His birth.
13:27 How the Bible had foretold that the birth of the Messiah
13:30 would be a miraculous one.
13:32 Isaiah 7 verse 14:
13:44 Friend, Isaiah wrote this prophecy: do you know how long?
13:48 He wrote it around 600 years before Jesus ever appeared
13:52 on the scene. And of course, that had been fulfilled
13:55 in Jesus' life. Matthew chapter 1 verse 18:
14:09 And then I'm pretty sure Jesus reminded those disciples
14:12 of the birthplace of the Messiah.
14:14 Do you remember that the Bible told us that the prophets
14:17 told us He would be born in Bethlehem?
14:33 And then of course you and I know the story
14:36 so well how Jesus was born in a stable and placed in a manger
14:41 there in Bethlehem.
14:46 The fulfillment was there. The New Testament confirms
14:49 the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.
14:51 According to the Bible, Jesus is more than a good man.
14:55 More than an ethical teacher; more than a moral philosopher.
14:59 He was the divine Son of God.
15:02 I'm pretty sure this is how Jesus' sermon
15:06 started off on the road to Emmaus.
15:09 But this was all revision for Cleopas and his friend.
15:12 They knew all of this stuff.
15:14 That's why they had believed in Jesus in the first place.
15:17 What they didn't understand was why He had to suffer and die.
15:21 And so, friends, they continued on. And Jesus had to tell them
15:25 something else. Louis Pasteur, he was the father
15:28 of immunology. And he was working on a vaccine
15:31 in the 17th century for rabies when an epidemic broke out.
15:36 And one little boy... he contracted rabies.
15:39 His name was Joseph Meister. He contracted rabies
15:43 after being bitten by an infected dog.
15:45 And his mother came to Louis and she said: Look, you've
15:49 got to try your vaccine on my son or he'll die. "
15:52 Louis said: "I haven't tried it yet; it's not fully developed
15:55 yet; it hasn't been properly tested. "
15:57 She said: "Please try. "
15:59 And so finally he gave in and he administered the vaccine.
16:03 To tell a... make a long story short,
16:06 the boy survived. He recovered.
16:08 And when he did, the epidemic was doomed.
16:11 History tells us that near the end of Louis' life
16:14 he wrote his own epitaph.
16:16 And as he formulated the statement that would adorn
16:20 his tomb, he resisted the temptation to chronicle
16:23 all of his achievements and successes.
16:26 Instead he wrote this one solitary line:
16:29 Joseph Meister lived.
16:33 Because you see, the success of one's life is not really
16:36 in all of the accolades and achievements
16:39 and awards and degrees that we have
16:41 but rather in the lives that are changed as a result
16:44 of that one person's life.
16:46 And friends, if we take that as the rule for judging
16:49 the greatness of a person, then Jesus... He surpasses everyone
16:54 by far. You see, you and I
16:56 we are all suffering from a terminal disease
17:00 and it's called sin.
17:02 According to the Bible, the Bible says:
17:09 And when Adam and Eve sinned back there in the Garden of Eden
17:12 God didn't turn His back on planet earth and say:
17:15 "Oh dear, they've stuffed up. Look, We'll just go and
17:17 make another planet and start all over again. "
17:19 No, God had a plan to save the human race
17:23 and that plan involved Jesus Christ.
17:26 Sending Him down on this earth to be born as a baby.
17:29 To live and to grow into a man who would die to take our place
17:33 on a cross. And about 2,000 years ago
17:36 we know the story. How wise men from the east, they followed
17:39 a star in the sky. And when they did
17:41 they came upon Jesus there in Bethlehem.
17:54 That's in Luke chapter 2 verse 7.
17:57 No room for Jesus.
17:59 The King, the God of the universe steps down and becomes
18:02 a little helpless baby, and there's no room for Him
18:04 in any inn in town.
18:06 It was all booked out.
18:08 But friends, Jesus did it because:
18:23 Isn't that incredible? God becoming a "bondservant... "
18:30 Jesus came. He lived on this earth.
18:33 He lived a pure life; there was no sin in His life.
18:38 And friends, as we look at Him we say: "What went wrong? "
18:42 "Why did people crucify Him? "
18:43 "He was just the most wonderful person that ever lived. "
18:46 And as we look at His life we see that He had to die.
18:50 In fact, the Old Testament prophesies that Jesus would die.
18:53 And it sheds so many... Let me rephrase that.
18:57 It had so much to say on it.
18:59 So let's take a look at the prophecies that were fulfilled
19:02 in His death. The Old Testament predicted
19:05 the manner of His betrayal.
19:07 It said: "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted
19:12 who ate my bread has lifted up his heel
19:14 against me. " And of course, we see the fulfillment of that
19:17 in Judas when Jesus said to Peter, He said: "It is he
19:21 whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. "
19:25 Peter had said: "Well who will betray You? "
19:27 And that's what Jesus said.
19:28 Then Jesus also... He fulfilled prophecy in His life
19:32 when He was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
19:36 "So they weighed out for my wages, " the Old Testament said,
19:39 "thirty pieces of silver. "
19:41 And then, of course, was Jesus sold for 29?
19:44 28? 31?
19:47 No! Fascinatingly He was sold for 30 pieces of silver.
19:52 And you can see it right there in Matthew chapter 26.
19:56 Then the Bible told us that He would be beaten.
20:01 Says: "And they gave My back to those who struck Me
20:04 and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard.
20:07 I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. "
20:11 And of course we know from the gospels that Jesus suffered
20:15 an awful death. He was humiliated and beaten.
20:18 "Then they spat on His face... " in Matthew 26:67.
20:22 "They spat on His face and beat Him
20:24 and others struck Him with the palms of their hands. "
20:28 The Bible tells us that they would pierce His hands and His
20:31 feet. It says: "And they pierced My hands and My feet. "
20:34 And of course Jesus was crucified and you can see
20:37 the reference there in John chapter 20 verse 25
20:40 where Thomas said: "I will not believe unless
20:43 I see His hands and His feet. "
20:46 Again: "He was numbered with the transgressors"
20:49 the Bible said in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 12
20:53 this would be the case and we see the fulfillment
20:56 in Mark chapter 15 verses 27 and 28.
20:59 And you're thinking: "Charissa, you're going very fast. "
21:02 I know. But as you leave tonight you will receive a handout
21:06 with a summary of all of these texts so you can go home
21:08 and look at them yourself. The Bible says that they would
21:11 cast lots for His garments. In Psalm chapter 22 and verse 18
21:17 it says: "They divide My garments among them
21:20 and for My clothing they cast lots. "
21:22 And this was written 1,000 years before Jesus even died.
21:25 And the fulfillment we see there in John 19 verses 23 and 24.
21:31 And listen to this: even the last words that Jesus said
21:36 on the cross - His last dying words -
21:38 they were foretold in prophecy. Psalm 22 verse 1:
21:43 "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? "
21:47 And then the fulfillment is there in Matthew chapter 27
21:50 and verse 46. And friends, needless to say, we can conclude
21:55 with Jean Jacques Rosseau:
22:04 Another quote here:
22:31 And you say: "Charissa, come on, that's easy. "
22:35 But let's think about this.
22:37 Supposing I said to you that 700 years from tonight
22:41 the prime minister of Australia would be born in Tyrene.
22:46 And it happened 700 years later.
22:49 You'd all say: "Wow! That's pretty amazing! "
22:52 But if I told you not only would he be born here
22:55 but he would suffer and die here and then that he would be
22:59 sold for 30 pieces of silver here and then he would be
23:02 crucified here... And if we make this analogy applicable to Jesus
23:07 that was said of Jesus before crucifixion was ever invented.
23:10 Well you think: "That is absolutely amazing! "
23:13 Don't you think? And of course you can say
23:16 "Well Charissa, you've just used the Bible to prove Jesus.
23:19 Don't you think that's circular reasoning? "
23:22 In a way, but the Bible isn't written as a circular book.
23:26 You and I need to remember and I have just pointed out
23:29 that these things were written by 40 different authors
23:32 over a period spanning 1,500 years.
23:35 Hundreds of years before Jesus ever came on the scene
23:38 and they were making prophecies about the Messiah
23:41 which came true.
23:43 And then you have to admit that it adds an element of truth
23:47 to it when Jesus says: "I'm going to rise on the third day"
23:50 and He does.
23:52 No one else can do that and no one else has done that.
23:55 One summer a little girl... she came home...
23:59 She'd never been to church, but a vacation Bible school was
24:02 visiting her town, and so she went.
24:05 She came home and she was so excited.
24:08 She came in the door and she said: "Mom, Mom,
24:11 you wouldn't believe it. I've just... I learned about
24:14 Jesus today. He's a real person... not a swear word! "
24:18 There are many people today who don't know the real Jesus.
24:22 They don't know the real Jesus that you and I have seen here
24:26 from prophecy tonight.
24:27 And friends, as we take another look...
24:29 we're going to take another fact of Jesus in tonight...
24:32 the Bible makes a very interest- ing reference to Jesus Christ.
24:36 In Isaiah 53:3-7 watch how it refers to Jesus:
25:32 Jesus is referred to here by the prophet Isaiah
25:37 as a Lamb. And again in the book of Revelation we find
25:41 exactly the same reference: Revelation 13:8.
25:51 Here again Jesus is referred to as "the Lamb
25:55 slain from the foundation of the world. "
25:57 What on earth does this mean?
25:59 Why does the Bible refer to Jesus as "the Lamb? "
26:03 Well friends, the Bible says here in Romans 6:23
26:16 When Adam and Eve sinned they were separated from God
26:20 and God had to send them out of the Garden of Eden.
26:23 And when He sent them out, their vitality began to decrease
26:28 and they began to die because that's what sin causes,
26:31 it causes death.
26:32 And the Bible tells us in Genesis 3:24
26:45 Very sad. God had no pleasure in evicting Adam and Eve
26:49 from that garden. And when He did, He had a word of hope
26:53 for them; He had a word of promise for them.
26:56 Notice what He said: He said in Genesis 3:15
27:12 Now what does that word "bruise" there mean?
27:15 It means crush, and it's a lot more serious
27:18 to have your head crushed than your heel crushed.
27:22 In other words, God was telling Adam and Eve
27:25 back then in the Garden of Eden "Listen, there is coming One
27:29 who will crush Satan... who will gain the victory over the enemy
27:34 of this planet. " And we will look more at that enemy
27:36 tomorrow night. And to remind them of this wonderful promise
27:40 of hope and restoration, God instituted a sacrificial system
27:46 back there in the very beginning.
27:49 Why? What were they to do?
27:50 Adam and Eve were to take a pure, spotless lamb
27:54 and they were to slay that lamb and offer it as a burnt
27:58 offering. And when they did that
28:00 they were showing faith in the Lamb of God who would come
28:04 and die for them to offer them eternal life.
28:08 You see? And of course in the very next chapter
28:11 we see Abel and Cain. They offered sacrifices to God.
28:14 What happened?
28:28 Why didn't God respect Cain's offering?
28:31 Because Cain offered Him the best of his produce.
28:35 Cain had a green thumb. He grew the best vegetables
28:38 you could ever find; had the most wonderful mango trees.
28:42 And he had brought the best of his produce to offer to God.
28:45 But it wasn't a lamb
28:47 and it did not show faith in the Lamb that God would send
28:52 and so God couldn't accept it.
28:54 Because Hebrews 9:22 says:
29:00 No remission for sin without the shedding of blood.
29:02 And friends, when God was leading His people
29:06 out of Egypt back there in the book of Exodus -
29:09 out of Egypt and to the Promised Land - He instructed Moses
29:12 to build a sanctuary and a tabernacle that was to mirror
29:16 the one that was in heaven. And here in this sanctuary
29:20 God... He taught these people many ceremonies
29:23 which were to teach them more about Jesus.
29:25 And one of those ceremonies which He instituted on their
29:28 journey from Egypt to the Promised Land
29:31 was a ceremony called The Passover.
29:34 Sounds very complicated, but basically
29:37 on the 14th day of the 1st month
29:40 the people were instructed to slay a lamb.
29:42 And then they were to put the blood of that lamb on the
29:46 doorpost of their home because it was a reminder
29:49 that when they were leaving Egypt and that angel of death
29:52 had passed over and the first- born of every family
29:56 had been killed, that angel had passed over the home
30:00 of those who had placed the blood of the lamb
30:03 above the doorpost. It was to remind them of that.
30:06 Now question: did the blood of the animal that they slaughtered
30:10 back then, did that have anything to do in saving them?
30:13 No! Only the blood of Jesus could save us.
30:17 But again it showed that they had faith
30:21 in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
30:24 The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:26
30:32 And again, Hebrews 10 and verse 4:
30:40 Jesus had to do that.
30:41 How do we know that Jesus was that Lamb of God
30:45 foretold in the Bible?
30:47 Because one day John the Baptist was preaching
30:49 by the river Jordan. And as he was preaching
30:52 He suddenly stopped. And he looked off in the distance
30:56 and coming towards him was a man. And as He came closer
31:00 and closer the Bible tells us that John exclaimed... he said:
31:11 Friends, this is the real Jesus.
31:15 This was the mind-blowing corroborating evidence
31:19 that Jesus was sharing with His disciples there on the road
31:22 to Emmaus. He needed them to see that His death and His
31:26 resurrection weren't meant to be the destruction of all their
31:29 faith and all their hopes. It was to be the very evidence
31:33 upon which their faith was to rest.
31:37 And friends, as the disciples listened to Jesus on the road
31:40 their hearts began to throb again with excitement.
31:44 They must have said: "Wow! It suddenly makes sense.
31:48 We get it. Jesus had to die.
31:51 He had to suffer so you and I, we could have eternal life. "
31:55 And this thought thrilled them.
31:57 And you guys... you are very excited. I know you are.
32:00 You're just keeping it all to yourselves.
32:02 Friends, Christianity is Jesus Christ.
32:07 God didn't drop a scroll of theology from heaven
32:11 and say: "Read this and that's the gospel. "
32:13 No. He came Himself.
32:15 The Bible says:
32:41 The greatest sermon that was ever preached
32:44 was never written down. It was never filmed;
32:47 it was never aired to the world.
32:49 But we know who preached it. We know when He preached it.
32:52 The day after the cross... the day of the resurrection.
32:55 And we know to whom it was preached.
32:58 A pastor... he went to visit an elderly man in his home
33:02 and they began talking about Jesus.
33:04 And he was telling him all these wonderful things about Jesus.
33:07 And he said: "You know, Jesus Christ... "
33:09 to this old man sitting in his chair he said:
33:11 "Jesus Christ is the greatest Man who ever lived.
33:14 He's the most gracious, loving person who ever walked
33:18 upon the planet. " He said: "I tell you something
33:21 and it will startle you. According to the Bible, "
33:24 he said, "and the historic Christian faith, Jesus of
33:29 Nazareth, that carpenter of Galilee, He was more than a Man.
33:35 He was the eternal Creator.
33:37 He was the Creator of the universe.
33:39 The omnipotent, omniscient, almighty God. "
33:43 Instantly the man sitting opposite him
33:46 his eyes filled with tears and he said: "You know,
33:50 I have never really been to church in all my life, "
33:53 he said, "but I have always thought that that is how
33:56 it should be. That God should be like Jesus. "
34:00 Jesus is the most beautiful person you can ever encounter
34:05 and He is God.
34:07 And before they knew it, these two disciples on the
34:10 road to Emmaus that day, the time had just gone,
34:13 the sun was set now and they found themselves
34:16 outside the motel there in Emmaus.
34:19 And the Bible says:
34:30 Now this might sound absolutely strange to you tonight
34:35 but I really dislike calling people on the phone.
34:38 I dislike calling people on the phone because I always feel bad
34:41 that I'm going to be interrupting them in something
34:43 that they're doing. So I don't call people.
34:45 I e-mail people. If I have to call them, I always
34:47 rehearse what I'm going to say before I speak to them.
34:51 And that's always not really a good thing to do
34:53 'cause they never do what they're supposed to do
34:55 on the other end.
34:56 But friends, I'm so glad Cleopas wasn't like me.
35:00 I'm so glad he wasn't afraid to ask Jesus to stop...
35:04 to come in with him. Because if he had not asked
35:06 he would never have known who walked with him
35:10 on the road that day.
35:12 And by the way, friends, if you want to really encounter Jesus,
35:15 if you want to develop a personal relationship
35:18 with Jesus Christ, invite Him into your heart.
35:21 Invite Him in. Because when we relate to God as a person
35:24 then we develop a personal relationship with Him.
35:27 He is not an intellectual issue to be debated in a hotly
35:31 sterile academic arena. He's a real person
35:34 you can have a friendship with.
35:36 The Bible tells us in Luke 24
35:53 This is an incredible scene that the Bible here tells us about.
35:57 They went in and it was time to eat.
35:59 And so Cleopas, he gets the bread and he takes the
36:02 bread basket and he is just about to begin to break
36:05 the bread because he is the host here in the home
36:08 when suddenly Jesus takes it from him.
36:11 And He blesses that bread and then He begins to break it.
36:16 And Cleopas as he is watching all of this he's kind of
36:19 surprised because he is the host and Jesus has just taken over
36:23 his role. But as he watches Jesus closely
36:26 he realizes that He is doing everything that they had seen
36:29 Jesus doing. And then as Jesus breaks that bread
36:33 His sleeves fall back and Cleopas sees
36:36 the print of the nails in His hands.
36:39 And then at that moment, bang... Jesus disappears.
36:43 And suddenly there are two jaws on the floor.
36:47 Wow! Can you believe it? The subject of our conversation
36:52 has been walking beside us the whole time
36:55 and we didn't see it. And friends, the Bible goes on
36:58 here in the book of Luke:
37:21 Ah, friends. These two men... they're not the same two men
37:24 any more, are they? I mean they get to Emmaus.
37:27 They realize that Jesus was with them all along
37:30 and they don't even unpack their bags.
37:32 No, they just make a straight U- turn and go back
37:35 to Jerusalem. It didn't matter that the street lights
37:38 weren't working that night. It didn't matter that the
37:41 sun was down and that the road was rough.
37:43 No, they were excited. Their hearts were ignited!
37:47 And as they were rushing back to Jerusalem
37:49 they kept repeating over and over again
37:52 "He is risen! He's alive and we know it
37:56 because we encountered Him on the road! "
37:59 Friends, Napoleon Bonaparte... he was a warrior for most of
38:04 his life, and he was a greedy man filled with ambition.
38:08 But at the end of his life he was exiled to the island
38:12 of St. Helena. And there history tells us
38:15 that he picked up a Bible.
38:17 He began to read that Bible.
38:19 He poured over and over and over the scriptures.
38:22 And after reading that Bible, he wrote this in his journal...
38:27 He said:
39:07 The words of Billy Graham:
39:20 Friends, in closing tonight let me tell you this story.
39:24 In the recent earthquake that happened in China
39:27 in 2008- in May of 2008-
39:30 a woman was found in the rubble of an apartment that had fallen
39:35 down. And when the rescuers found her
39:37 they found her body as though she was in a position
39:41 like she was kneeling. She was on her knees
39:43 and hunched forward.
39:45 And they, you know, the rescuer came and they tried to
39:49 see if there was any life.
39:51 And they called out to her, they shouted out to her.
39:53 He took his baton and he banged it on the ground.
39:56 But there was no movement, no sound, no life.
39:59 And the rescue team that came to find her were very
40:03 disappointed. There was so much death all around them.
40:05 And so sadly they left the scene and continued on
40:09 to see if they could find life somewhere else
40:12 in all the rubble.
40:13 But as they were walking away
40:15 the leader of the team, he had a light-bulb moment
40:18 and he had an idea.
40:20 And so he left the group and he rushed back to the woman.
40:24 And then he reached his hand beneath her body
40:27 and he felt something warm.
40:31 And so he shouted out to the rest of them: "Come back!
40:34 Come back! There's life; there's life. Come back! "
40:37 So the team rushed back to where he was.
40:40 And he reached beneath the rubble and they began to dig
40:43 away at the debris. And as they did
40:46 they managed to pull out a little baby boy.
40:50 And this is actually a picture of him right there.
40:52 You can see him on the screen. They pulled that little baby
40:55 boy out of the rubble. He was sleeping at the time.
40:58 And as they pulled him out they were so excited.
41:01 It was so wonderful to see life amidst so much disaster
41:05 and death. And the baby... They took the baby to the
41:08 company doctor and he inspected the child.
41:11 And as he opened the blanket which the baby was wrapped in
41:15 a mobile phone fell out.
41:18 And he picked it up, and there on the screen
41:21 were these words. It said: "My dearest child,
41:25 if you are able to survive
41:27 you must remember that I love you. "
41:31 And he had seen many births and deaths in his life
41:35 but needless to say when he read that
41:38 and he looked at that little life that had been saved
41:41 because the mother... She had given her life
41:43 to shield her son.
41:45 He broke out in tears. And as that phone
41:47 was passed around the company everybody shed a tear.
41:51 Friends, 2,000 years ago the Bible tells us that Jesus...
41:56 He bent over to take a blow for you and I.
41:59 The Bible says He was wounded for my transgressions.
42:03 He was wounded for our transgressions.
42:06 He was bruised for our iniquity.
42:08 The chastisement of our sin was upon Him
42:11 and with His stripes we are healed.
42:14 And He has left a message for you and I...
42:16 a message that has stood the test of time and that continues
42:20 to be relevant to us tonight.
42:23 He says: "My son, My daughter,
42:26 remember that I love you.
42:29 I have given My life for you.
42:32 I shed My blood for you. "
42:35 With those outstretched hands on Calvary that was the message
42:39 that He had for you and I tonight.
42:42 Will we accept Him? Will we give our lives for Him?
42:45 Will we accept the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God
42:49 as our own? I pray that we do.
42:51 Would you bow your heads with me tonight?
42:53 Our Father in heaven, we thank you, Lord,
42:56 for the story of Jesus.
42:58 Oh please, write on our hearts every word.
43:01 We thank you, Lord, that You appeared to those two disciples
43:05 and You revealed Yourself through the Bible.
43:07 Lord, as we have seen You revealed through prophecy
43:10 again tonight, we pray that our faith might be strengthened.
43:14 May we leave this church excited
43:17 with a message of hope that You are risen, You're alive,
43:20 and we know it because we've encountered You tonight.
43:22 Bless us now as we journey on into this week.
43:25 For we ask it in Jesus' name, Amen.


Revised 2014-12-17