In Matthew 17 the Lord tells His disciples “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” This news was not taken well and we are told the disciples were “exceedingly sorrowful.”
After all, the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, the Saviour of Israel, the promised One. How could anyone kill Him? An even more important question was why would He let them? They had seen him calm a raging storm with just a word, cast out demons, heal every disease and He was telling them that men would kill Him.
But what about their plan?
This must have thrown a kink into their plans. What about the peace of Israel? How would they be free from the oppression of the Romans? The Messiah being killed was not a part of the plan. Well, their plan anyway. Yet for eternity God had been waiting for this moment. He had planned something so masterful that the disciples could never have comprehended something so wonderful.
Fast forward several days
Two disciples were on a lonely and dejected walk 7 miles back home from Jerusalem to Emmaus. The hopes and aspirations of the people who followed Jesus of Nazareth had been destroyed. Their “so-called” Messiah had been hung on a tree. The shame of the whole event had saddened their hearts.
Then, a stranger came along side. This was no ordinary stranger. “Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning the Messiah (Himself).” Their hearts burned as he talked. He spoke of the Messiah’s glory and God’s plan.
Never the same
Once He was revealed to them they understood. This encounter would change their lives forever. Never would they be the same. All the hopes and dreams they had were nothing compared to the wonder of God’s plan in salvation. Not only was the nation of Israel to have a Saviour but the whole world!
It was just too amazing to take it all in. Their sad conversation had turned to hearts burning with passion for a life of devotion to their Saviour.
Fast forward a few weeks
The Lord Jesus had spent some time with his disciples. He had prepared them for their work once He was gone. Those last few moments were precious. Not just for the disciples but for the Lord Himself. He was to return to His Father and be our representative in Heaven. The first man in the glory.
These are the powerful words we read in Luke 24 “Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.”
What a change!
From exceeding sorrow to great joy. That’s the change the Lord Jesus brings. That’s the result of a Saviour who came with love and grace, not with a strong arm of oppression. Are you rejoicing in the Lord today? Is your heart full of great joy because of what the Lord has done? We have found the Messiah, the Saviour of our souls and our lives will never be the same!