It’s audio devo day! Jesus wants to minister hope to your heart today as you listen to His words. The beautiful extra benefit of these audio devotionals is the prayer and ministry time both before and after the brief teaching. 🙂 So grab your coffee, sit back, and soak in His presence, listening here:
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“And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:52, NKJV).
This verse comes at the end of the last chapter of Luke. This is the glorious conclusion of the story. However, just a few short verses earlier, in the same chapter, the characters of this story had been heartbroken. What happened here? How did they move from grief-stricken to blissfully joyful in the space of just a few dozen verses?
Of course, you and I know the story. This week we celebrate mightily the most magnificent truth of all: Jesus is alive! However, the men and women in Luke’s story were entirely unaware of the ecstatic ending coming. Let’s invite Holy Spirit to insert us into the story, in those hours before He resurrected. I don’t think we could fully grasp how devastating it was to watch Jesus die. But let’s try for a moment to imagine how crushed these followers of His were feeling.
If you read Cleopas’ words, leaning into Holy Spirit, you can at least catch a glimpse with your heart: “But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel” (Luke 24:20-21, NKJV).
Can you hear the intense disillusionment in the tone of Cleopas’ voice? “We had hoped.” Past tense. That on which he had staked his hopes was no more. All joyful expectation of the future was extinguished.
In his words, we can hear the shattered heart of humanity.
Around the globe right now, much of the population of the earth is walking around with a heart as heavy as Cleopas’. But God! I believe that this Easter weekend, Holy Spirit wants to meet each one of us just like Jesus met Cleopas that day.
Through their encounter with the risen Jesus, Cleopas and his unnamed walking companion experienced a massive transition…
…From this: “But their eyes were not open that they might have knowledge of him” (v. 16, BBE).
…To this: “Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him” (v. 31, GW).
God opened their eyes… and they went from brokenhearted to euphoric. Let’s look a little closer at how this process unfolded.
First, Jesus came alongside them and walked with them. He asked questions. He listened to their woes with profound compassion. Then, He spoke. And His speaking made all the difference.
Maybe today we, too, are shuffling down the road of life with our heads down, feeling defeated and overwhelmed by all that has occurred on our planet. Maybe we don’t even recognize how close the Lord’s presence is, right by our side. Maybe all the prognostics of the world we love falling apart has weighed our hearts down so much that we can’t see straight.
But today, the risen Christ is here to encounter us. He is here to intercept our journeys. He is here to walk intimately with us, to talk with us, to listen to our hearts with the most profound compassion we have ever experienced. He is here to show us with the glance of His eyes how deeply He cares about our troubles.
And He is here to speak to our hearts. Dear one, His speaking will make all of the difference. His speaking will breathe into us resurrected hope… and make our hearts burn within us for joy.
Are you ready? Jesus has something extraordinarily special to communicate to you today… through His close companionship, through His intimate presence, and through the tenderness of His voice. Lean in… even now, He is opening your eyes to who He is, to the power of His resurrection, to the living hope that is yours in Him. Listen. Listen as He speaks these words to your deepest heart:
Has Holy Spirit spoken to you in new ways this Holy Week? Has celebrating such a sacred time in quarantine given new meaning to the hope of Jesus’ death and resurrection?