River Church NOLA
Jan 6 The Gospel Story ...
  • Beautiful One
  • This Is The Day
  • We Are Hungry
  • The Gospel story is a 52-week series takes us on a chronological and inspiring journey through God’s Word. From the first book of scripture, Genesis, to the close of Revelation, “The Gospel Story” outlines the narrative of God’s wondrous work of salvation history.

    Genesis to Revelation is a narrative of God’s work of Salvation in our history

    The entire Bible, from the Garden of Eden to “a new heaven and a new earth,” points to and speaks about Jesus. The passages we will look at shares the story of Christ, providing biblical context and important applications along the way. History is not about us, but the God of history can use us to fulfill his grand, universal plan.
    We will dip in and out of this throughout the year.
    Today, we will look at the Beginning. Once again, I want to remind you that all scripture points to Jesus birth, death, burial and resurrection.

    All scripture points to Jesus birth, death and resurrection

    As we read and study these scriptures, let me also tell you that the story of the universe is not about us… it’s about the glory of our great God.
    Background: Jesus had just been crucified and risen again. So if you think our news is explosive, you should have been around Jerusalem then.
    Luke tells the story of two disciples who were walking away from Jerusalem… away from other followers of Jesus to Emmaus. This story shows that the disciples did not have a great understanding of scriptures and Jesus admonished them for this. In this story He will explain the importance of his life, his death, and his resurrection and how it fulfilled the prophecies.
    Luke 24:13–14 NLT
    13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.
    This event occured on the same Sunday as Jesus resurrection. Two followers of Jesus were leaving Jerusalem and walking 7 miles to the village of Emmaus. Little is known about these disciples . One was Cleopas (24:18) and the other we know was not one of the 11 disciples.
    While they were walking along they were talking about everything that had happened. They probably took part in the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem… they may have heard the crowds calling for his death… They may have seen Jesus around town during this time… doing miracles… They may have witnessed Jesus carrying his cross. They must have witnessed Jesus execution and figured … it’s over and were heading home.
    Think about this…
    God seems to specialize in allowing our dreams to die, only to bring them back to life in surprising ways.
    Job’s fortune and even his family were restored to him many times over.
    Abraham and Sarah were blessed with a child long after nature said it could not happen.
    Then Jesus died, but was resurrected. The hopes and dreams of many including these two dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus, seemed to have died when Jesus died. They did not understand that the cross was part of the plan to make a way of Salvation for all of us.
    Have you lost hope in God’s deliverance and maybe even his goodness? Learn from these two and allow God to redeem your situation and give you hope again.
    Luke 24:15–16 NLT
    15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
    These two followers of Jesus were deep in conversation and Jesus was on them suddenly.
    Has something like that ever happened to you? me - several times… Walgreens
    It looked like the man (Jesus) was walking the same way they were, but they were so engrossed that they didn’t see him coming. But they assumed he was just like them… leaving Jerusalem.
    It was Jesus, but God kept them from recognizing him. I don’t know why, but he did. God does this in other places as well.
    16 - After the Resurrection, Jesus was not recognized at first. (John 20:14 & John 21:4) Here He kept these folks from recognizing him until He was ready to reveal himself to them. (24:30-31)
    God kept them from understanding until the full reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus could be understood.
    Luke 24:17 NLT
    17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.
    Here Jesus, who walked up from behind them and overheard their conversation, asked them what they were talking about. You all do know… that Jesus knew what they were talking about… right?
    The word for discussing means an exchange of ideas… They were not just discussing what had happened, they were sharing their thoughts on what it all meant… especially since Jesus was dead.
    When Jesus asked them the question, they stood there with their face downcast… they had not been able to make sense of it and were still upset about it.
    We do the same thing with anything we don’t like. Have you ever listened to the WWL after a Saint’s loss? People are pontificating what happened and why. These guys had been doing the same thing and just like after the NOLA No Call, they were dejected as we were.
    Then one of these guys, Cleopas,
    Luke 24:18 NLT
    18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
    These guys assumed that Jesus had been in Jerusalem and knew about all that had happened. If he had been there, he would surely would have known what had happened. How could he not have known because the news about all that had happened had spread like wildfire. And because it was the Passover week, Jewish Pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire would have known about his death. This was not a small insignificant event, it was something the whole nation was interested in.
    These disciples knew that the tomb was empty, but they didn’t understand that Jesus had risen, and they were filled with sadness. Despite the women’s witness, which was verified by other disciples, and despite the biblical prophecies of this very event, they still didn’t believe.

    Today the Resurrection still catches people by surprise

    Today the Resurrection still catches people by surprise. In spite of two thousand years of evidence and witness, many people refuse to believe. What more will it take?
    For these disciples it took the living, breathing Jesus in their midst. For many people today, it takes the presence of living, breathing Christians.
    Are you willing to be that witness to others?
    Luke 24:19 NLT
    19 “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people.
    Here Jesus asked what things had occured. They answered Him that a man… a prophet named Jesus who was powerful in word and deed… They had heard Jesus speak and teach and seen him do miracles and even though they understood him to be a prophet, they had hoped that he was much more … that he was the Messiah… the one who would redeem Israel.
    The Jews of Jesus day were looking for a conquering Messiah that would restore Israel to it’s greatness. We still misunderstand the point of Jesus death and resurrection. We look to him to save our nation. He did not come to save the US, he came to save the world.
    But they had left Jerusalem and missed the best part. Have you ever recorded a show and the last 2 minutes didn’t record for some reason… you don’t know what happened. These guys left Jerusalem early so they did know about the resurrection… only the death of Jesus. They knew the tomb was empty, but did not know some of the disciples had seen Jesus.
    Luke 24:20–21 NLT
    20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
    It’s notable that these two followers knew who really killed Jesus. Although the Romans did the actual execution, the Jewish Leaders were the ones who had him killed. They even tried to blame it on Rome when the crowd turned on them, but it didn’t work.
    The disciples on the road to Emmaus had hoped, along with others, that Jesus would be the one to rescue them from Rome and restore Israel to greatness.
    Rescue here means to redeem or to buy back. To redeem someone meant you paid the price for his or her freedom.
    Most Jews of the day thought the prophecies pointed to a military redeemer. They did not realize that Jesus, the Messiah, had come to redeem people from the slavery to sin. So when Jesus died, they lost all hope. They didn’t understand that Jesus death offered the best kind of hope.
    Notice that they mention the fact they were on the third day. They may have still had some hope because Jesus mentioned that he would rise on the third day several times. But as far as they knew, nothing had changed… Jesus was dead. They had knowledge enough to have believed but didn’t.

    The Gospel is light, but only the Spirit can give sight. AW Tozer

    Luke 24:22–24 NLT
    22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
    These two followers had left Jerusalem hopeless and depressed even after hearing an amazing report. Two women had gone to the tomb and found it empty. They had heard the words of the Angels who told them Jesus is alive and ran to tell the rest of the disciples.
    Some of the men including Peter and John (Luke 24:12; John 20:3-4) verified what the women said and saw that sure enough, Jesus body was gone. But these disciples were still stuck in gloom and left the city still believing all their hopes were crushed.
    Their reaction typifies our tendency to ignore the things of God, even when there is clear evidence.
    Look what happened next. Jesus admonished them.
    Luke 24:25–27 NLT
    25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
    Have you ever thought about why Jesus called the disciple foolish? Even though they knew what the prophets had said, they failed to understand Jesus’ suffering was His path to glory.
    The Prophets had said the Messiah would suffer these things and then enter glory. The disciples (probably us to if we had been there) did not understand why God didn’t step in and save Jesus from death. They were so caught up in the world’s idea of Jesus as a military hero, they were unprepared for the reversal of values in God’s kingdom.... that the last will be first and life grows out of death.
    Jesus took them from the promised offspring in Gen 3:15 to the suffering servant in Isa 53, to the pierced one in Zech 12:10, and to the messenger of the covenant in Mal 3:1. Jesus re-introduced these disciples to the OT.

    Jesus is the thread that is woven throughout the Bible and he is the central them of the entire book.

    Jesus pointed to the Authority of God’s word and the error of only using what you want to use. I know none of us ever do that right? Jesus basically explained all of the scriptures to them and showed them how what happened to him fulfilled everything that had been prophesied about the Messiah. What a witness?
    Look at what Jesus was doing and let’s learn from it as we seek to witness to our friends and family.

    Jesus style of witnessing

    1. Jesus walked along with them, joining them in their activity and context.

    2. Jesus talked with them, inquiring about their discussion.

    3. Jesus utilized the truth of scripture to deal with their unbelief.

    4. Jesus shared a meal with them for the sake of their friendship.

    Luke 24:28–29 NLT
    28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them.
    As they got to Emmaus, the disciples were home. Jesus would not have stayed with them if they had not invited him to stay. They had been impressed with all Jesus told them and wanted to continue the conversation, but they also knew it was dangerous to travel at night and common laws of hospitality caused them to invite him to eat with them and stay the night. So he did.
    Luke 24:30–31 NLT
    30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
    Usually the host would take the bread and break it, but Jesus took it upon himself to offer the prayer and give out the bread. When he did, their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
    These two were not at the last supper so that’s not what sparked their memory. This was the exact time God wanted them to recognize Jesus. He had previously kept them from understanding (Luke 24:16) and now He opened their eyes through the teaching of the Word (Luke 24:27) breaking the bread. His mission was now accomplished with these two disciples so he vanished.
    Luke 24:32 NLT
    32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
    When Jesus disappeared, the two disciples were left to discuss how they felt something different in their hearts as they spoke with Jesus and he taught the scriptures to them. Jesus presence had changed their mood from despair to delight. They experienced some relief and excitement as Jesus walked them through the scriptures. When they realized who he was, they realized what He had done, not only with his teachings, but also in their inner beings… their hearts.

    One of the marks of a true Christian is the way a person’s heart is changed by the Holy Spirit indwelling you when you invite Jesus into your life.

    Your cold dead heart slowly begins to warm and come to life. John Wesley said his heart was strangely warmed. The Emmaus disciples said their hearts burned inside them.
    Does your heart burn for him? or Has it grown cold due to neglect or sin? This is why we are doing 21 Days of Prayer…
    Look at this,
    Luke 24:33–34 NLT
    33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
    Evening was coming on, but these disciples could not wait to share the good news. They knew where to find the other disciples because they most likely just left them that morning. (Luke 24:22-24)
    Jesus appeared many times after his resurrection.
    Mary Magdalene - Mark 16:9-11; John 20:10-18
    The other women at the tomb - Matt 28:8-10
    Peter in Jerusalem - Luke 24:24; 1 CO 15:5
    Two travelers on the road - Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35
    Ten disciples behind closed doors - Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25
    All eleven disciples (including Thomas) - Mark 16:14; John 20:26-31; 1 CO 15:5
    Seven disciples while fishing on the Sea of Galilee - John 21:1-14
    Eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee - Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18
    A crowd of 500 - 1 CO 15:6
    Jesus brother James - 1 CO 15:7
    Those who watched Jesus ascend into heaven - Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-9
    Paul mentioned that Jesus appeared to Peter alone (1 CO 15:5). Jesus showed individual concern for Peter because Peter felt unworthy after denying his Lord. But Peter repented, and Jesus approached him and forgave him. Soon God would use Peter to do great things and launch the church.
    After hearing the other disciples tell them that Jesus really was risen then the two disciples told them everything that happened to them on the Road to Emmaus and how they recognized him when he broke bread.
    Luke 24:35 NLT
    35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.
    Why Jesus chose certain people to appear at first and not others is unknown. Peter apparently needed an extra personal encounter; Mary Magdalene’s love and devotion accorded her the opportunity to see Jesus first. James, Jesus half brother did not believe through mush of Jesus ministry.
    Whatever the reason for Jesus to have spent a lengthy time with these two disappointed followers on the road to Emmaus, the story stands as a beautiful story of Jesus’ compassion and love for those who, when discouraged and confused, need his presence and wisdom to comfort them.
    Wrap up
    What Jesus did here was to show that the central theme of the scriptures was Him. All the scriptures point to Jesus and the plan to redeem man from sin.
      • Luke 24:13–14ASV

      • Luke 24:15–16ASV

      • Luke 24:17ASV

      • Luke 24:18ASV

      • Luke 24:19ASV

      • Luke 24:20–21ASV

      • Luke 24:22–24ASV

      • Luke 24:25–27ASV

      • Luke 24:28–29ASV

      • Luke 24:30–31ASV

      • Luke 24:32ASV

      • Luke 24:33–34ASV

      • Mark 16:9–11ASV

      • John 20:10–18ASV

      • Matthew 28:8–10ASV

      • Luke 24:24ASV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:5ASV

      • Mark 16:12–13ASV

      • Luke 24:13–35ASV

      • Luke 24:36–43ASV

      • John 20:19–25ASV

      • Mark 16:14ASV

      • John 20:26–31ASV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:5ASV

      • John 21:1–14ASV

      • Matthew 28:16–20ASV

      • Mark 16:15–18ASV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:6ASV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:7ASV

      • Luke 24:35ASV

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