Sermon Topic: You’ll never Walk Alone
I have always had a love for music. I sang in the glee club and school choir both in junior and senior high school. I also was selected to sing in the “All City Choir,” which was very difficult to get into. You had to audition for it and be selected by the music teacher that was over that department. One of the songs that we sang probably for a theatrical play that our school chorus put on was:
“You’ll Never Walk Alone.” It was written by Rogers and Hammerstein. The words are as follows:
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At he end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.
Nowhere in this song is it mentioned that the Lord is present to walk with this person throughout the storms in his or her life. But as Christians, we can take heart because of the promise that we have from the Lord himself, when He said: “I will never to leave you or forsake you.”
Our Lord assured His disciples on several occasions that he would be betrayed by one of his own, He would suffer and die. However, though He must leave them, it would only be temporary. He would not leave them comfortless or without enablement. He promised them that He would come to them through the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit for fellowship, guidance, comfort, and strength. He also promised that by abiding in Him they would experience His life to become fruitful disciples, men with a mission and purpose in life (see John 13:33-14:3, 16f, 15:4-8, and then, 16:12-13).
Included with these promises, He also gave them specific revelation regarding His death and resurrection, both of which were essential to these promises. Yet, after His death we find the disciples sad, gloomy, fearful, perplexed, scattered, defeated, and running in retreat with no sense of mission or purpose. They were men in desperate need of the Savior’s touch; they needed His comfort and direction.
This event, which is so important to the Christian faith, has a tremendous amount of historical evidence to support its reality. One such evidence is the post resurrection appearances of Christ. Let’s consider why the Lord intentionally made his presence known and felt to particularly his disciples. Here are some of the reasons for the appearances of the risen Christ.
1. Certainly one of the Lord’s reasons for appearing to men after the resurrection was to show Himself alive to give evidence of His accomplished victory as the resurrected and glorified Savior.
2. But these various appearances did more than that. Through these appearances the Lord taught his disciples and us a great deal about Himself, His relationship and ministry to all believers during His physical absence from the church.
3. Christ’s appearances also teach us the truth of His availability and companionship and how that works in and for us even though He is physically absent.
4. Christ’s appearances also teach us about ourselves, our needs, and tendencies. Here He shows us our need of His fellowship for an understanding of Scripture, for faithfulness as His disciples, and for the ability to handle the pressures of life.
Our text comes from a portion of Scripture recorded in Luke 24:13-24, but we will firstly focus on a conversation between two of Jesus’ disciples in verses 13-15. Following the narrative about the resurrection in verses 1-12, which leaves us with Peter going home and marveling at all that had happened after finding the empty tomb, verse 13 begins with what I believe to be a very special word, one designed to catch our attention.
Though some Bibles do not translate it, this section begins with the word “behold.” This is the Greek idou, an imperative of the verb @oraw, which means “to discern.” It is a kind of demonstrative particle designed to focus our attention on an important lesson to be gleaned from what follows in the actions of the two disciples in retreat. Its implications are that they were feeling some kind of way as a result of what had taken place with Jesus just a few days ago. Suddenly, as they were conversing with each other, there was the arrival of the risen Savior who came along side to minister to them.
Rather than proclaiming a message of a victorious and risen Savior, we find these two disciples in retreat, leaving Jerusalem, scared, dejected, and perplexed. Here was a walk of sadness and gloom, of frustration and doubt; a walk filled with deliberation and discussion, but without answers and understanding, and thereby, without comfort; going, but without sense of mission and purpose.
The text tells us they were conversing “about all that had taken place.” Their conversation was centered on the death, burial, and reports of the resurrection of Christ, a very wonderful topic of conversation and one which should have brought joy, hope, a sense of victory, and purpose. But instead, it brought sadness, retreat, and a sense of loss.
Have you ever gotten a hold of some good news that should have brought some peace, comfort, relief, and joy to your situation? But instead there was still a sense of foreboding, disbelief, sadness, anxiety wrapped up in what could really be good news; a second chance at employment, marriage, deliverance from a terrible situation, bankruptcy, etc. All the indicators are present to give you hope, but you cannot seem to get past the trauma of your immediate past.
To further describe the nature of their conversation, Luke uses the word, discussing. “Discussing” in verse 15 is the Greek sunzhtew, “to search, or examine together by discussion.” Quite clearly, in their disappointment and perplexity over the turn of events, they were looking for answers, they wanted to understand, and they were searching. It is the same word used in Mark 9:10, “And they seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead might mean.”
But let’s take note of a couple of things because this is so much like all of us.
1. Their conversation was woefully inadequate and their deliberations impotent because, as the passage will show in the verses that follow, they had been indifferent to the Word and as a result, they were ignorant of its truth. Their deliberations and discussions were not founded on the Scripture or on what the Lord had taught them.
2. Aren’t we often just like this? We can get together and reason and discuss, but just being together to talk, share our experiences and ideas for the purpose of comforting one another, cannot truly answer the main problems and questions of life or give us peace.
3. We need something more, much more. We often hear about support groups, and they can be helpful, but they will always be inadequate and without God’s answers unless founded on the Word of God and fellowship with the Savior.
What then was their need? It was Fellowship with the living Christ. So what happens next? Someone graciously and lovingly enters the scene. The Savior Himself comes along side. Let’s look at verse 15. “And it came about that while they were conversing” introduces us to a significant time element which shows us that right in the middle of their plight of perplexity, the Lord Himself came on the scene. The pronoun “Himself” is an intensive pronoun which meant it is emphatic drawing our attention to His personal involvement in their need. This fact plus the word, “approached,” the Greek engizw, “to draw near,” brings out the personal interest, availability and ministry that the Lord Himself always has in our lives.
Here, then, we see the love and desire of the Savior to draw near and to draw us to Himself, to make the things of Christ (or His life) dear and real to us. The purpose, of course, includes bringing comfort and change to our countenances, but more importantly, He wants to change our lives and make us like Him. Really, the issue is never a matter of His presence, but of our awareness of His presence.
This is part one of my message for The Post Resurrection of Jesus, I thought it was important enough for me to share it here. I will post the rest tomorrow.
And as usual: Don't forget to say your prayers.