Hello Project Ezra! Thanks for joining us again this week, as we seek to honor and glorify God through the reading of His word and the sharing of His gospel. This week’s suggested reading is Luke chapter 24, one of the accounts of Jesus Christ’s appearances after His resurrection. I decided on this chapter after going through it during my daily readings, when I noticed what I believe was a theme running through the experiences of those mentioned in the chapter. The Jewish leaders, the two men on the road to Emmaus, and the disciples and those who were with them, did not either see or understand what was happening because they had false presuppositions that colored their beliefs. Each group had specific expectation, either of what the Messiah would look like, or what He would do. In the case of the Apostles, Jesus had actually TOLD them He would die and rise in three days, yet instead of waiting at the tomb to rejoice at His resurrection, which would have made sense based on His statements, they were cowering in fear, and in hiding. In the same way, our presuppositions can blind us and those we meet to the truth, particularly to the truth of our own sin. So, using these circumstances as an example, let’s encourage people to examine their presuppositions carefully, and to listen to their God-given conscience, so they may see themselves, and God, in truth.
All for His glory,
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND THE PROJECT
READ LUKE 24
Tells the story of Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection
Many people who witnessed the life and ministry of Jesus Christ saw Him after He rose
But for various reasons they either didn’t see the truth, or didn’t expect what happened
Missed what was right in front of them. They were either unable, or unwilling, to see the truth
In the end, all were without excuse
Praying you will not do the same
Jesus Christ the most unique, and often the most misunderstood, individual who ever lived.
He created controversy throughout His life, and even through His death
Many of those who saw Him missed who and what He truly was, because they were blinded by presuppositions and personal agendas
The Jewish leaders blinded by jealousy and greed
They expected a Messiah that would be like them, a legalist
They were so focused on the law that even when seeing great miracles, they tried to silence Him, because He didn’t fit their agenda
Claimed the body stolen from the tomb, a story carried down to this day.
They knew it wasn’t true, but maintaining their power and pride were more important than the truth
The eleven disciples and those with them didn’t believe despite being told specifically what would happen by Jesus Himself, time after time
They had been told by Christ that He would be handed over to the Jews, would die, and would rise on the third day
That didn’t fit their traditional framework. They though Jesus would be made king, so when He was
killed they despaired and hid themselves, and wouldn’t even believe the eyewitness testimonies of friends
Jesus had to appear to them in person before they believed
Two on road to Emmaus did not understand because like many in Israel, they had a false idea of what Messiah would do
They expected a conqueror/redeemer to free them from the rule of the Romans
Didn’t see the truth that Jesus came to free from the bondage of sin until He explained it to them again, though it was clear from Isaiah 53 and other passages.
Have you missed the truth of who Jesus is? Many in our day have.
If you are to be made right with God, you need to reexamine your presuppositions, the beliefs you use to test truth.
God’s word is very specific regarding the truth about who He is, and who Christ is.
Not one god, or one prophet, among many. There are not many roads to God
One name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Not a matter of opinion, a matter of truth
No other faith will do, and your sincerity doesn’t matter!
Christ is totally unique. God in human flesh (John 1)
Lived the perfect life, and because the perfect sacrifice for sin
We need that sacrifice desperately, because all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
Blinded by sin, but our conscience bears witness
Listen to your conscience in light of God’s law, and see what it says about your true condition before Him
GO THROUGH THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
God good and holy, and we are not
A good God and just judge MUST punish sin
We are deserving of nothing but judgment
The Bible says the punishment we deserve for our sin is eternity in hell
Hell is not a place where you will be allowed to enjoy the pleasures of sin, and is not ruled by the devil
It is ruled by God, and Satan doesn’t want to be there either. It was created for his punishment
Hell is described as a place of fire and outer darkness, where sinners will be separated from all of God’s goodness and will be under the weight of His wrath for eternity
That is what I deserve, and what you deserve, but I don’t want to go there, and I’m sure you don’t either
That is the bad news. But the gospel is good news, a message of hope
The good news is that though we are dead in sin, we can be made alive in Christ, who died that sin could be paid for and we could be set free (Colossians 1, 2)
Scripture tells us without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22)
By Jesus Christ’s broken body and shed blood our sin is paid for
Jesus, God in human flesh, came to earth 2000 years ago, and lived the perfect life we could never live
Then He willingly went to a Roman cross, and when He was on that cross the wrath of the Father was poured out on Him, so it did not have to be poured out on us.
Then He rose again from the dead, as He had prophesied, three days later
He proved who He was, and demonstrated His power over death
As He said, He had the authority to lay His life down, and He had the authority to take it up again (John 10:17-18)
Now He sits at God’s right hand, as our advocate (1 John 2:1-2)
If we will do as the Bible says, repent and trust in Christ alone, then when we stand before God on judgment day instead of seeing our sin, He will see Christ’s righteousness laid to our account.
But more than that, we will be transformed by God. Our hearts and desires will be changed, and we will be conformed to Christ’s image (Romans 8:28-30)
When we repent or our sins and put our trust in Christ alone our heart and our desires change
Salvation is a supernatural act of God
Apart from God we are spiritually blind, not capable of understanding or knowing God (John 9:35-41)
But through repentance and faith God opens our eyes, changes our hearts (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
We all need to be born again, made new creations in Christ (John 3, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
If you have not done this, or are not sure, please do so today
Find a place to be alone with God, or call out to Him right where you are
Confess your sins, turn from your sins, and trust in Christ to save you
Do it today, while God has graciously given you time.