Luke is trying to show us two things in this passage: that the resurrection of Jesus really happened, and that we can know Him personally.
1. The resurrection happened
• Look at the evidence – the combination of hundreds of eye witness accounts of seeing the resurrected Jesus and the empty tomb.
• The books written about the named witness accounts were circulated while these witnesses were still alive – these people could verify at the time that these were true.
• The gospel writers used female witnesses as sources – counter-cultural as women didn’t count legally as witnesses in those days. Why would they quote female witnesses unless they really did see Jesus?
• All the disciples lost faith in Jesus and abandoned Him – but then they became bold, world-class leaders and witnesses, willing to die for their faith.
• If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is dead and worthless and nothing else in the Bible matters. But if He did, it changes everything – it means Christianity is alive and well!
• If you have questions about Christianity and what the Bible teaches, first start at the resurrection.
• The resurrection is the only explanation for the explosion of the early church.
2. You can know Jesus personally
• Because of the resurrection, Jesus can walk with us.
• We are taken from despair to joy and hope of a resurrection – eternal life.
• These 2 men in the passage despaired because they didn’t recognise Jesus – suggests spiritual blindness. Jesus came as ordinary, when often we are expecting something spectacular or an incredible sign before we believe.
• Jesus is closer than you think!
• You need to be vulnerable – come to Him in humility and recognise that He is near.
• These 2 men also despaired because they didn’t realise what they really needed to be redeemed from. For them it was to be freed from the Roman oppression – to have a change of circumstances.
• Jesus sets us free from spiritual bondage – we are all slaves, addicted to whatever we substitute for God in our lives to give us fulfilment (success, relationships, money, drugs, etc).
• When the thing we use to relieve stress in our life becomes the source of stress itself, we are trapped. And only Jesus can set us free.
• Religion won’t save us – we need a new heart!
• If we can’t admit the depth of our slavery and bondage, we can’t walk through the gate to true life and joy.
• Come to Jesus as a sinner, not a sufferer. Don’t come to Him just to fix your external problems and change your circumstances.
• It’s because of the cross that we can be forgiven and set free! And the cross is only the beginning.
• The Bible is all about Jesus – every great hero is about Him!
• Jesus sees us at our absolute worst – and yet loves us and has died for us. He doesn’t reject us but pursues us and welcomes us in.
• Anyone can come in! Jesus has opened the door and all you need to do is walk through by believing in Him.