Are Christians blind to the reality of Christ, just like the two disciples on their road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus on the cross? Executive pastor Bobby Chaw preached last weekend (Apr 22-23) on the ways to find and experience Christ Jesus.
“Since this is the first weekend after Resurrection Sunday, I thought I’d share something related to Easter,” said City Harvest Church’s excutive pastor, Bobby Chaw on the weekend of Apr 22 and 23, 2017.
Drawing from Luke 24, Chaw highlighted to the congregation that Jesus appeared before the disciples on “first day of the week”.
“This reminds me of Day One of creation,” Chaw said. “God created heaven and earth; He separated light and darkness, and called it day one.”
In the same way, Luke 24 marks a new beginning for the disciples. “No matter what situation we may be going through in life, the Spirit of God is still hovering above us. It may look dark and void, with no form, but God speaks in that darkness.”
Luke 24: 1-3 says that the women who buried Jesus came to the tomb on Resurrection Sunday but they could not find him. “Where can we find Jesus?” asked Chaw.
THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
The story of the road to Emmaus holds the answer to this question. Luke 24:13-16 centered on the two disciples who were likely to have been part of the 70 disciples sent out by Jesus to heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God in Luke 10. After Jesus’ death, they gave up on the mission and left Jerusalem for Emmaus. Chaw told the people that Bible scholars have been unable to find a location called Emmaus that fit the description in the Bible—it was as good as a road to nowhere. But even when the two disciples were faithless, Jesus was faithful and showed up to lead them back as they were going away from the presence of God (Jerusalem).
The Bible says in Luke 24:16 that the disciples’ eyes were “restrained”: they were unable to recognize Jesus when He stood before them.
“But Jesus did not undergo any transformation—the problem lay with the disciples,” Chaw pointed out. He elaborated that the word “know” in the verse is the word epiginōskō in Greek. It means “knowing a person; having a personal relationship”. While the two disciples might have known Jesus from afar, they did not have a personal relationship with Him. They could describe in detail what Jesus did but they were not able to identify the One standing in front of them.
“The disciples probably had wrong expectations of Jesus,” explained Chaw. “They had thought that following Jesus would bring them to a place of comfort, a position of power and influence, and a place of financial stability. But instead, they experienced persecution and tribulation.”
Chaw further elaborated that if there was no death, there would be no resurrection. The good news here is, death is not final and death is not fatal.
“Death and failure are transitions,” Chaw pointed out. “With death, you can experience the transition in life, from lesser to the greater.”
Chaw quoted from John 12:24: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” He encouraged the church to persevere in Christ as resurrection happens after death.
Chaw taught the people about three places where one can find Jesus.
When the people of God dialogue with the Word of God, Jesus is there. Luke 24:15 says, “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.”
Chaw encouraged the congregation to spend time studying and memorizing the Scriptures, to ask questions when reading the Bible, to have a dialogue with the Word. “Don’t leave the Bible under your bed! Dialogue with the Word of God and it will come alive for you. You’ll find Jesus walking with you.”
Another way to find Jesus is to reach out to the stranger. When the disciples and Jesus reached the village, they compelled Jesus to stay in their home. Chaw reminded the people not to be too busy with their work but to “find a need to meet it, a hurt to heal it”, a motto of CHC. He encouraged the congregation to meet up with people without agenda, or to go on mission trips and serve others—this way, they would feel more alive in Christ.
Lastly, Jesus is always found in the assembly of His people. Chaw shared a personal experience he had. After an exhausting day, he attended a cell group meeting with a heavy heart. But as the cell group played games, prayed together and fellowshipped over food, Chaw felt Jesus’s presence in the gathering and that revived his heart. He quoted Matthew 18:20—“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them”—and reminded the congregation that it was important to be in the company of other Christians when one is feeling down because Jesus promised He will show up.
Chaw concluded the service with Luke 24:32, “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’” He encouraged the congregation to find Jesus in the Word, reaching out to people, and assemble with other Christians whenever they are disappointed.
Lim Kai Li, 21, a School of Theology student said, after the service, “I’m reminded of how great our Lord truly is. When we’re on the road to nowhere, He will quickly guide us back. Even when we’re faithless and can’t see, He still remains faithful. I’m encouraged to dig deep into His words, encouraged to keep reaching out. Not just asking the people around me, but compelling them to come.”