Whose Agenda? (19-04-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 119:103-105
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Bible Reading: Luke 24:17-25
Jesus asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"
They stood still, their faces downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem
who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
"What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said,
but they did not see Jesus."
He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
I had a conversation recently with a couple of guys about whether it was better to go through life as an optimist or a pessimist. One of them suggested that it was better to be a pessimist because then you were less likely to be disappointed when things don’t work out. That seems to be the case here with these two disciples on their way to Emmaus on the first Easter Afternoon.
Luke tell us that, as Jesus came up to walk with them, their faces were downcast. The reason, we are told, is that their hopes and expectations had been dashed. Jesus, who they described as a prophet and who they had hoped would redeem Israel, presumably by liberating them from Roman occupation, had been crucified.
And all of this, in spite of the fact that they had heard the witness of the women who had gone to the tomb at dawn, found that the body had gone, and seen a vision of angels who had told them that Jesus was alive.
I wonder if the root of their angst was to do with agendas; they had one agenda for Jesus, and Jesus had another. God’s plans are always for our good, but they may not always coincide with ours. Let us not be downcast when this is the case but let us live in hope and look to Jesus.
Then there is the question of evidence; the scriptures that Jesus said point to him, and the witness of others. The resurrection of Jesus is beyond reasonable doubt and Jesus describes those who ignore it as foolish. Strong words! Pray for those you know who are ignoring the evidence.
Lord Jesus, when my face is downcast, remind me of your sovereignty and the transforming power of your resurrection.
Thine be the glory.