The following was preached at IC Chapel services this Easter Monday, based on Luke 24:13–35.

These two guys were obviously stuck in the past. I mean, I guess we would be, too. When you have something so devastating happen to you, it’s only natural that you find yourself returning to it, again and again. You find yourself thinking about it over and over, of running through all the details in your mind, of trying to figure out what exactly happened. And more troubling, trying to answer the question, why? Why did it happen? You see, these two guys had hoped that Jesus would be the one to rescue Israel from the Romans.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’ve had our hopes dashed—smashed to pieces, in fact. We thought things would go one way, and they went the other. We jumped this way, and the ground beneath us moved that way. What do you do when the world around you falls apart?

For these two guys, Jesus came into their lives . . . sideways, so to speak. He came in alongside them and joined them in their conversation as they were stuck there in the tragedy of Jerusalem. They wanted to stay back there in Holy Week, but he pointed them forward to their future with Him: “‘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.”

When your world comes apart, Jesus would point you to Himself as well—that it was necessary for Him to suffer on Your behalf; and that He has paid for all of your sins—for all of the past, as terrible as that might be. And because He has paid for the past, has taken care of it all, your future is secure with Him. No matter what.

In fact, it’s more than secure. With Jesus, it’s better. Those two guys were hoping for a rather limited future, actually—a redeemer who would kick out the Romans. But what they got instead was a real Redeemer—one who shed His own blood for them, and then was raised on the third day for their justification. Only the Lord Himself could have come up with that future!

And that is your future on this Easter Monday, year of our Lord 2011 . . . a future with the promise “that all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Rev Jon D. Vieker