Scripture Reading: Joshua 11:1-12:24 / Luke 24:1-35 / Psalm 51:10-19
If you were old enough to remember the show, “Hew Haw”, you’re probably familiar with the famous sad song of Buck Owens and Roy Clark. They sang the song with long faces and great travail… “Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me.” They would then tell of their comical woes and try not to laugh while doing so.
I still smile when I think about that comedy sketch but some people’s sadness is so overwhelming, they can’t laugh the sadness away. Sadness is an emotion associated with loss, grief, helplessness or sorrow. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not, often times will call a man cold when he is only sad.”
Such was the case for two disciples who were walking on the road to Emmaus. They were discussing the crucifixion of Jesus and the report of the women who said Jesus was not dead but alive. Other disciples even checked out the tomb and it was empty. They were confused, did not know what to believe, in a state of doubt and were extremely sad. As they were walking, Jesus approached them but they were kept from recognizing Him.
Jesus asked, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” Their sadness and despair was very apparent as “they stood still, their faces downcast.” (Luke 24:17) They shared the events of the last 3 days and their struggle with report of the resurrection. Because of despair, they were blinded to the spiritual realities that were happening around them. They were living in the past while Jesus was walking with them in the present!
Jesus called them foolish and “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (vs.25) They were without understanding, slow to comprehend, doubtful and unbelieving. Doubt is the state of suspense where the mind is not made up either to believe or reject whereas unbelief is a definite attitude of refusal. Jesus begins to share about the Passover Lamb in Exodus and the Anointing Sacrifice in Leviticus. He continues to share scripture and prophecy highlighting God’s divine purpose, plan and promise for His life, death, burial and resurrection.
Their hearts leaped within them and as they arrived at their house, “they urged him strongly, Stay with us…” (vs.29) They wanted this stranger to stay. Their hearts burned within them and their sadness was dispelled! Jesus was waiting for an invitation and when they ate with Him, their eyes were opened and recognized the resurrected Christ. How Christ longs for us to invite Him in our lives so He can turn our sadness into joy and our despair into hope. Jesus is always on the journey with you and is always sympathizing with you… He’s waiting to reveal Himself to you!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!