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28th April 2023


Encounters with the Risen Christ

Encounters with the risen resurrected Christ change us forever meaning life can never remain the same.
Jesus’ through His resurrection power sends us forth as His worshippers & witnesses.
He fills us with peace & joy whilst allaying our doubts & fears through the gift of faith.
Between the two previous encounters we have explored another powerful encounter took place on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35).
Jesus opened the spiritual eyes of two disciples, stirred their hearts, brought Scripture alive & unlocked their understanding.
What happened through that encounter will be our focus for today.


Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
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?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem,
and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed,
and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road,
and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:30-35


The risen Christ comes alongside (unlooked for & unnoticed) two distraught disciples whose hearts & hopes were broken & shattered.
They could not understand why Jesus had died & were likely fleeing Jerusalem for safety.
They are also struggling to believe & accept Mary’s, & the other women’s testimony, that Jesus has risen from the dead & is alive.
Jesus, who they do not recognise, listens to their troubles & then engages in conversation.
He explains through exposition of the Scriptures (the Law & Prophets) how the Messiah had to suffer.
As Jesus is explaining all this they arrive at their intended destination & invite Jesus to dine (abide) with them.
Through Jesus breaking the bread the recognition comes & the transformation in them begins.
Jesus vanishes & they immediately hurry back to Jerusalem to inform the other disciples.
They have encountered the risen resurrected Lord & everyone must know.

A number of things happened through this powerful encounter with the risen Christ.
Revelation burst forth & broke in as they travelled along the road. What a bible study that must have been!!
The disciples’ hearts were warmed as Jesus opened & unlocked the scriptures (Psalm 119:130).
Their hearts were greatly stirred & responded to Christ revealed in the Scriptures. That is how spiritual understanding came.
The Living Word (Christ) revealed by revelation illuminating the written word (Scripture).
There was a renewal & restoration of the disciples’ faith & hope.
Recognition of who Jesus truly was came through the breaking of bread as their eyes were opened.
The risen Christ brought to life the spiritual senses of these disciples.
They had been trying to rationalise & intellectually understand all the events surrounding the death & resurrection of Christ.
Jesus showed them it had to be something that sprung forth from their hearts (spirits) rather than originate in their minds.
The things of God are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14) & not received by the natural man. Spirit rather than soul & body.
We believe in our hearts (Luke 24:25) which can take us places our heads just cannot go!!

Again, in an amazing act of grace the risen Lord Jesus met these disciples exactly where they were at.
He didn’t leave them there though as He deepened their spiritual understanding & spurred their spiritual senses into life.
Beauty in place of brokenness & an everlasting hope to banish their despair. So good.
We too need that revelation that comes from our risen Lord. We too can encounter Him through the breaking of bread.
Like them as we abide (spend time) with Him our belief (faith) will grow & we can commune & converse with Him as we journey together.
The breaking of bread we experience in Communion provides opportunity upon opportunity to encounter the risen Christ.
Jesus can, & will, do the same for us as we continually abide, believe & commune with Him. Hallelujah!!
Keep engaging in encounter upon encounter.

For Reflection

  • Am I more heart or head orientated? SELAH
  • In what ways is Christ’s revelation breaking into my life right now?
  • Meditate upon how you recognise the risen Christ.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the power of Your great love & grace,
That in your goodness & mercy You renew & restore me.
Jesus thank you that draw alongside me to impart light & life,
That Your love draws me deeper into fellowship & friendship with You.
Holy Spirit keep revealing unto me the Living Word through the written word,
Teach & train me to be alert & attentive in my spirit, with all my spiritual senses.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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