Their hearts had been broken three days earlier. What they had believed in and hoped for died a slow, agonized death, nailed to a dirty cross in the middle of Golgotha’s Hill.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.
We find two melancholy men trudging along the road to Emmaus, two men who were about to have the encounter of their lives with the living and resurrected Lord. Prevented by Providence from recognizing Jesus, they began to tell their unidentified companion everything about their hope in the one called Jesus of Nazareth, whom they wanted so desperately to be the promised One to redeem Israel. But their hope was hung spread-eagled on cross beams, beaten and bloodied, until he breathed his last.
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went tin to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
(Luke 24:25-32 emphasis added)
From broken hearts to “burning hearts”—that is the change that encountering Jesus produces, regardless of our current circumstances. I don’t know where this finds you, but I do know Jesus wants to have an encounter with you . . . today and every day. Our Master is always on the lookout for opportunities to minister, even when we are not looking for Him. He sought out the women at the well. He sought out a tax collector in a tree. He sought out a dead friend. He sought out a denying Peter. He sought out a doubting Thomas. He sought out two melancholy men on the road to Emmaus. He sought out a Pharisee on the road to Damascus. And He is seeking you out today.
Perhaps He is speaking to you today for the very first time—or at least the first time you’ve heard the call. By His Spirit He is drawing you to Himself to cover you in His redeeming blood and to forgive your every sin—past, present, and future. Yes, your sin is great, but your Savior is far greater, and He is able to save to the uttermost. You simply cannot sin yourself beyond His reach. Or, as my beloved Pastor Tullian recently wrote on his blog, “God’s willingness to clean things up is infinitely bigger than our willingness to mess things up.”
Could it be that today—today—salvation has come to you? Are you hearing Jesus’ invitation to become a member of His family of faith for the very first time? Take a walk through the Romans Road to get a crystal clear picture of that so-great salvation:
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
If you have walked this road for the very first time today and placed your trust in Jesus as your Savior, please let another Christian know. Please let me know! I would love to tell you how you can build this relationship with the God of the universe into something fruitful and lovely.
But perhaps you already have a personal relationship with Jesus, but today you do not sense this “holy heartburn.” Run to Him! Let Jesus proclaim the grace of the gospel to you once again. His patience is unwavering. His forgiveness is unlimited. His love is unconditional. And it is all this for you! You are the object of His heart’s desire. Let this truth minister to you today and every day.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!