Nationwide church attendance is up about 25% on Easter Sunday. Which leads to the question, “Why?” What is it that draws us to church on Easter? Is it the Easter egg hunts? Is it the annual sing-along to the Hallelujah chorus? Is it the cash incentives? (Got your attention with that one right? You’re thinking — where is that church?)
- A world where good people die too far too young.
- A world where people lose hope and contemplate suicide.
- A world where children die because they don’t have food or clean water.
- A world where relationships bring tension and wreck families and bad stuff happens.
This weekend at Calvary we are looking at a Easter story that many know as the “Emmaus Road.” The Emmaus Road symbolizes Good Friday Living — a place where dreams have died, discouragement is your companion and “what-if’s” season your conversation. It’s the road of hard times, dark days, and confusion. It’s also the road where we begin to wonder if God even has a clue.
So here is the essence of the Emmaus road story. Two of Jesus followers are walking the seven mile stretch from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are sad, discouraged, confused. Their leader has died and with him their hope. At some point the resurrected Jesus sneaks up on them, but they are “kept from recognizing” that it’s Jesus. Jesus asks them, “What’s wrong?” They answer… “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
I think that is so hilariously ironic. It makes me chuckle. They think that the only one who REALLY knows what is going on — is REALLY the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on.
I just wonder how often we still treat Jesus the same way? In the midst of our tough times, we think Jesus is the only one in the world who doesn’t know what’s going on, when really he is the only one who really does know what’s going on.
So let me ask you this… if Jesus really does know what’s going on and he really does care… if you believe that, how will you view your particular “Good Friday” set of circumstances?