April 8, 2015

Pentecost Countdown, Part 1

Road to Emmaus

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We want to begin our new devotional series called Countdown to Pentecost. We want to look at the Scriptures that follow the resurrection up to the day of Pentecost to get a better understanding of Yeshua's (Jesus') relationship with His disciples, His teachings, and all that He commanded at this time. Because the drama of the crucifixion and the resurrection is over, we think that nothing else is important for us to know regarding the Scriptures, but Yeshua had a lot to say to His disciples before He left them, and we are going to take a closer look.

Today we want to look at the road to Emmaus. In Luke 24 beginning at verse 13, we find two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus discussing with each other about all that had taken place over the last couple of days. You can imagine how they felt after seeing all their hopes shattered before them, when a man caught up with them and began to talk with them. He asked, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" They stopped walking, for they were surprised to find someone who did not know all the events that had taken place over the Passover. In verse 18, Cleopas, I'm sure, spoke with a surprised tone in his voice when he asked the man, "Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" The man asked, "What things?" So they began to tell him how Yeshua the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word, was crucified. The man, intently listening to their story, continued walking with them.

In verse 21, they began to feel more comfortable with him and then they began to tell him their hope and dream: "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened." I'm sure the man felt their pain and their extreme disappointment, for you see, the redemption of Israel is what the prophets spoke of when they spoke about the Messiah, that he would come and redeem them and deliver them from all their enemies. Without the redemption, how could this man truly have been the Messiah sent from God? He had to have been a false prophet!

In verses 22-24, they continued speaking, with yet a little ray of hope: "But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." I'm sure the man who walked with them that day must have seen the true hearts of these men, men who wanted to believe but just did not understand. Do you ever find yourself in this position when you want to trust and believe God, but your own understanding steps in the way and causes you to doubt, and that doubt brings on fear and anxiety? It is a downward slope that leads to hopelessness and causes some people to even stop walking with God.

Verses 25-32 continue on and we find that the man walking with these two disciples of Yeshua could not let this doubt continue; and he says to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" He continued to explain the Scriptures to them. By this time, they had reached the village and the two pleaded with the man to stay on with them and eat with them. So he did; and at the table, he took some of his bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave them some to eat, and their eyes were opened and Yeshua, the one who walked with them that day, was gone. Simply amazed and astonished the two said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?"

When we find ourselves puzzled and confused, worrying and full of distress, even doubtful and hopeless, we must continue to keep walking with God. We must start by telling Him what is truly on our hearts and then we must turn to the Scriptures and see what they have to say about our situation. I tell you, you will find your answers there no matter what the circumstances are and then trust God, no matter if we understand or not. For He is in control, and He will never leave us or abandon us. No matter what, stay in the word and stay in prayer and stay believing, for truly God is walking with you and He will open your eyes to see truth.

Here are just a few Scriptures that may help in your time of need:

Anxiety and Worry

Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 16:7; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 6:31-34; Philippians 4:6-9,19; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Peter 5:7

Comfort

Psalm 23; Lamentations 3:21-26; Matthew 5:4, 11:28-30; John 14:16-18; Romans 15:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Confidence

Psalm 27:3; Proverbs 3:26, 14:26; Isaiah 30:15; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 3:11-12; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 10:35; 1 Peter 2:9

Difficulties

Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 5:8, 12:7, 11; Revelation 3:19

Disappointment

Psalm 43:5, 55:22, 126:6; John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Discouragement

Joshua 1:9; Psalm 27:14, 43:5; John 14:1-3, 27, 16:33, 19:25-27; Colossians 1:5; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 John 5:14; Revelation 22:1-4

External Pressures

Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Peter 5:7; 1 John 5:4-5

Faith

Romans 4:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11:1, 6, 12:2; James 1:3-6; 1 Peter 1:7

Fear

Psalm 27:1, 56:11, 91:1-2, 121:1-8; Proverbs 3:25; Romans 8:28-29, 31, 35-39; Philippians 4:19; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18; Jude 24-25

Forgiving Others

Proverbs 18:19; Matthew 5:44-47, 6:12,14, 18:15-35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13

Guilt

Psalm 32:1-2; Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 2:9-17

Loneliness

Psalm 27:10, 91:11; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6

Suffering

Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 1:29, 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 1:6-7, 2:19, 4:12-13, 16, 5:10

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