April 4, 2021

The Shepherd's Corner

He is risen!  Yes, Jesus is risen!  The empty tomb and the many appearances He made to His disciples for the following 40 days are inarguably proofs of His resurrection.  One of the appearances He made was to a couple of His disciples, who were on their way to Emmaus, a small town 7 miles from Jerusalem.  They did not initially recognize Him because it was not the time for them to see Him as He was but when they sat down together to dine, suddenly the veil from their eyes were lifted, and they recognized Jesus.  He is risen!

What’s interesting in this story is that when they arrived in Emmaus, “Jesus continued on as if He were going farther,” as written in Luke 24:28.  Consequently Cleopas and the other disciple urged Jesus to, “Stay with us for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over.”  So, He relented and had dinner with them.  He, then, “took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them,” just like He did at the Last Supper the night He was arrested.  And that was the moment that these their eyes were opened to see Him.  He is risen!

For years Henry Francis Lyte served in Brixham, England, as a pastor.  Every Sunday the church was half-empty; even those who attended seemed to be elsewhere during the service.  He was now feeling discouraged; he had failed to bring these people closer to God. He was an old man now, tired and ill.  Prognosis from the doctor was not good—he only had a few months to live.  It was, then, he read this plea from Cleopas, “Stay with us for it is nearly evening . . . .”  

Suddenly he was no longer discouraged; words began coming and he wrote them down on paper, words that became that famous hymn, “Abide with me, fast falls the eventide/The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide . . . .”  There is hope.  Jesus is risen!

0909Pastor Paul

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