Saturday, November 28, 2009

Open My Eyes, Lord...

Imagine the worst weekend of your life. What would it look like?

Sportsfans might say that watching their team lose was terrible. Gardeners might say that a windstorm wrecking their beloved flowerbeds was a disaster. Of course we quickly acknowledge that those kinds of things are shallow and self-centered, considering the natural disasters that befall people in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes.

But for a couple of people on the road to Emmaus, the weekend they'd just experienced (Read Luke 24) was the worst weekend of their lives. The person they'd put all of their hopes and dreams on, the one who was to be the one to redeem Israel had just been brutally murdered on a cruel cross outside Jerusalem.

That's why their faces were downcast. That's why they looked so sad that even a stranger asked them what was going on.

Foolish creatures! Slow of heart to believe. That's what Jesus called them.

They really had no reason to be sad. The death they had witnessed was the path to life and glory! It had been predicted in Isaiah and in Daniel - and these disciples were familiar with the Scriptures. Not only that, but their Lord had reminded them of the things he would suffer just a few days before he was arrested.

Matthew Henry comments,
"Ought not the Christ (the Messiah) to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Was it not decreed, and was not that decree declared, that the promised Messiah must first suffer and then reign, that he must go by his cross to his crown?"

Had they never read the fifty-third of Isaiah and the ninth of Daniel, where the prophets speak so very plainly of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow?

These disciples' eyes were kept from recognizing Jesus as He walked along and talked with them. Their hearts burned within them, but they didn't not see who He really was, until this:

Luke 24:30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

All of a sudden, their eyes were opened. All of a sudden, they knew. And all of a sudden, sadness and despair turned to incredible joy. The one they were pinning their hopes on was still alive! All of the things they feared had come to naught.

It makes me wonder how many times I look at the world around me, and don't see it as it really is. I read Maclean's Magazine and wonder how God can let corruption rule in so many arenas. I listen to the rhetoric about global warming and H1N1 and see that so-called experts refuse to tell the truth in an effort to get more power and control and money, and I worry about what my children and grandchildren will face with global economies and global governments that are soon going to take effect.

I really have no reason to worry. The same Jesus who appeared to the disciples in a locked room, and opened their minds to understand what had just happened in Jerusalem is alive and well, and on the throne.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

The worst weekend of your life doesn't have to be a disaster. The most difficult trial you face is designed for you by the same God who can open minds and cleanse hearts. If you have had your mind opened and your heart cleansed, you are a child of the Living God.

You really have no reason to be sad.

You really have no reason to worry.

And if by chance you are reading this and have not put your trust and faith in the living God, read the gospel of Luke. Jesus is the Only One who can open your mind and cleanse your heart. He is the one to turn to. Seek Him while He may be found. He'll welcome you:

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Then you'll really have no reason to be sad. You'll really have no reason to worry!

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