Last Sunday we baptized 46 people in our Second Service. Each and every one, from the youngest to the oldest, from the individuals to the families, came to the water by faith. Water baptism is the grave in which we bury our old man with Christ and are raised to walk in the newness of life.
I want to thank all of you who made that water baptism such a special Church family time. Brenda and I talked about it all week and were so proud to see the Church acting like the family of God that we are. May God bless you each one of you so that you are never afraid, alone or lonely. You are a part of a great and growing family at Church on the Rock and I am so proud to be your pastor and a part of your Church family.
This morning I want us to turn to a passage in the last chapter of Luke, specifically Luke chapter 24, and read a few verses which detail an event that took place on the evening of that first resurrection Sunday.
While you turn allow me to catch us up to the point where we will begin to read and set the stage for our Word from God today.
o Born of the Virgin Mary, (God bless her forever and throughout all eternity), - Jesus
o Was, is, and will ever be the only begotten Son of Almighty Jehovah, who is God, - Jesus
o Offered Himself as a willing sacrifice for the sins of mankind on the cross of Calvary, - He
o Died for you and me and He was buried, - Jesus
o Descended into hell bearing your sin, your sorrow, your sickness and your sentence of death in His own body, - He
o Defeated the devil and made a show of him openly, destroying him who had power over death, - then Jesus
o Took possession of the keys of death and hell, - He
o Set the captives free, - then He
o Rose from the dead three days later,
o And showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs to more than 500 people.
It was on the same day in which He rose from the dead that two of His followers were distraught as they walked on the road that led from Jerusalem to Emmaus, about a 7 mile journey. As they walked they talked about the recent events and how the Jewish religious leaders had conspired together and convinced the Roman government to crucify Jesus.
All hope was now lost for these two followers. Once they thought Jesus might be Messiah but now that He had been crucified, was dead and buried, they no longer held to their hopes that He would be their Savior. These two were sad as they walked and talked of their disappointments.
Jesus, the resurrected Messiah, joined them on their journey and began questioning them about their conversation. These two were amazed that anyone could not know what had taken place in Jerusalem only three days before. They did not recognize Jesus as He began to take the scriptures and explain the recent events in light of God word concerning the suffering Messiah. Still they did not realize He was speaking about Himself.
As they neared the village of Emmaus they remembered their manners and asked Jesus to turn in and share the evening meal with them. Jesus would have passed by and left them with only the Word if they had not insisted He come with them to their home.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
It happened suddenly … that all of the sudden realization that Jesus is alive and that He is right there with you and that He is victorious over sin, sickness, sorrow and even death itself. It’s a sweet surrender that humbles us and breaks through our confusion and all of the sudden we find hope restored, trust renewed and things we thought impossible, now seem possible once again. This is the miracle which comes from knowing Him.
What about your hopes? What about your dreams? What about your expectations? What about your disappointments? What about your fears? What about your loneliness; hurt; sin; sickness; pain; sorrow; worry; or loss? What about those things you once believed possible that now seem impossible? What about your brokenness? Have you found that sweet surrender? Or are you bound by lost hope and past hurt … surrender …
You see there were 4 things Jesus did that evening that opened their eyes and changed their lives forever. These were the same 4 things they had seen Him do over and over again. Verse 30 says:
Luke 24:30 Now it came to pass, as Jesus sat at the table with them, that -
1. He took the bread
2. He blessed the bread
3. He broke the bread
4. He gave the bread
Took; Blessed; Broke; and Gave … They had seen Jesus do this so many times … Like when He fed the 5000 …
Luke 9:16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.
And just 3 days earlier at the Last Supper:
Matthew 26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
When these two men recognized Jesus, He had accomplished His purpose and left them and vanished out of their sight. They hurried back to Jerusalem to tell Peter and James and John and the rest of the Disciples what had happened. Luke 24:35 is a record of what these two reported:
Luke 24:35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
That sudden awareness that Jesus is alive and that He is the answer and all you need. That sudden surrender as we humble ourselves before His greatness and confess that He is Messiah, King of Kings and Lord or Lords!!! They came to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread …
Perhaps this is one reason why Jesus later recounts the importance of us taking Holy Communion. He encourages us to have a humble spirit as we offer ourselves to God on the altar of sweet surrender to His will. Note:
1 Corinthians 11 NKJV
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
We are admonished to examine ourselves before receiving the sacraments. Allow me to ask … Are you surrendered to God’s will for your life? You see, Almighty God took Jesus, the Bread of Life, and blessed Him as no other had ever been blessed. Then God the Father broke Him with stripes on His back, a crown of thorns on His head, nails in His hands and feet, a spear pierced His side, and Jesus died alone.
But, it was through that brokenness that the Life of Christ was multiplied and given to whosoever will believe on Him as Savior, Messiah and soon coming King! Do you believe? Have you surrendered to Him?
Is it possible that we too cannot be fully given until we are truly broken?
Brokenness is that realization that we need help and we need Him. We have the opportunity to remember the sacrifice of Christ. Each time we partake of the communion sacraments we do show the Lord’s death. I encourage you to receive communion today with renewed hope and sweet surrender to God’s will. Jesus is alive … He can help and He can heal. Let’s remember what He did for us.
Are you ready to partake of the Body and the Blood of Christ? Ok, let’s surrender it all to Him right now!