Third Sunday of Easter
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
April 21, 1996
CONSIDER ALL THE THINGS THAT INTERFERE WITH OUR ABILITY TO SEE AND BELIEVE IN CHRIST.
The disciples were simply overwhelmed by the tragedy they had witnessed.
They could not reconcile the cross with any kind of victory...only defeat.
They could not reconcile the Old Testament prophesies with what they had witnessed in Jerusalem.
They were, downcast, in despair, defeated, and leaving town.
We can become so overwhelmed by personal tragedy that we too are unable to see Christ.
We can forget God's promises of strength, comfort, and peace...and end up wallowing in despair and unbelief...a true spiritual blindness!
We can and often do forget that in all of life's circumstances, God is at work for our blessing,
ILLUS: Looking, but not seeing...like me when Linda tells be to find something in a closet...
What else can divert our vision from Christ and cause our vision to fail?
We can be blinded by what the world values:
Career & success, can consume our lives and leave room for nothing else.
Material possessions, can replace God as the number one priority...Christ and His Church can get out of the way.
Satisfaction of our fleshly appetites can easily lead us away from where we see Jesus.
Sometimes our spiritual vision fails when we substitute something else for a diet of Christ and His Word:
Christ becomes less clear when we choose to worship at the altar of recreation, rather than at the altar of the Lord.
Sadly, we sometimes see to bring our offerings to our analysis rather than to listen to the Lord.
Some gather in the house of some organization or movement rather than in the house of the Lord.
THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES WE TOO CAN SEE JESUS AND KNOW HE IS ALIVE AND SO ARE WE!
It is not a coincidence that Jesus began by speaking of the Old Testament writings concerning Himself:
He could simply have revealed Himself to His companions.
But He wanted to reveal Himself as He would continue to do so in the future ...as He does today!...We needed to learn how to see Him!
Notice the description Jesus uses of His disciples..."fools" for not knowing the content of the Scriptures. (vv. 25-26, 27)
Do you depend on the pastor, to know the Scriptures for you?...Don't be foolish!
Do you not care that there is much to learn about God?...Don't be foolish!
Don't you know that the greatest treasures of this life and the next are waiting for you as you come to study and know His Word? Peace... Joy...Contentment...Life!
Did you notice the other effect of listening to the Scriptures?...Their hearts burned within them!
There is an intellectual and emotional recognition of the truth!
God is keeping His promises!
Victory is at the end of the road!
That burning was the clear understanding that this news was for them personally!
How easy it is to think that the forgiveness of God in Christ is a "generic" forgiveness that does not specifically apply to MY sins.
How easily it is for us to convince ourselves that MY sin is not forgivable, even if the sins of other is!
The death of Christ is not to be discounted and made ineffective...It is God's raw justice for sin.
He specifically died for you and for me!...For my sin and for yours.
It is an incredible affront to God to even suggest that the death of His Son was not sufficient for your sin or mine.
Finally, did you notice what the disciples did when the message finally hit home?...They started talking about what God had done to other people!
When you've got news that Christ is risen from the dead, you simply have to share it!...It's not containable...It's explosive!
Faith is for sharing...It's not a secret to be kept nor a blessing only for us.
God desires all people to have life now and forever!
We are the honored instruments of that blessing to the world...This is not an exclusive "club", it is for all who will be called to faith!
We are the fully forgiven people of God. We have received the total forgiveness of all our sins and we no longer must tread life's way burdened by sin that Christ has already carried to the cross for us. We have been given sight to see Christ and through faith to understand the world around us and see the world which is to come. Now, we can see that no other endeavor of life can compare with giving that precious gift of life eternal to others! Let us cease our foolish blindness and share Him who is the light of the world! Amen.
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