How the Resurrection Changes Your Monday

When Jesus drew alongside two travelers on the road to Emmaus on resurrection day, he addressed their fearful hearts by opening up the Scriptures to them. Mike McKinley helps us see how our own hearts can also be set on fire by our understanding of God’s big plan in the resurrection…

Many people experience a surge of passion and joy when they first become followers of Christ. This “first love” (Revelation 2 v 4) is fueled by a delight in God’s love and the new sensations of freedom from guilt and sin, and certain hope for the future. But let’s face it: as time passes, it is easy to let that fade. What was once mind-blowing and heart-burning becomes, well, just “nice.” What once sent you to your knees in thanks and opened your mouth in praise now just becomes a background fact, taken for granted. The demands of following Christ can feel like a burden and the sacrifices can seem to outweigh the benefits. The ongoing battle with indwelling sin is discouraging and painful at times. Life goes on, with all its difficulties and disappointments. No wonder the flame of our first love feels as if it is flickering sometimes!

And when that flame flickers, lots of lesser things seem to have a greater ability to make my heart burn within me. I am very passionate about my favorite football team, my family, my favorite music, and so on. Those things take up residence in my heart; they fill my daydreams and my spare time. They thrill me. But I am capable of listening to a sermon, reading the Bible, singing a hymn, and praying to God without much passion at all. It shouldn’t be so. I can’t help but think that part of my problem is that when I am unmoved by the things of God, the suffering of Christ for me—the great plan of redemption that God has included me in—is not the reality that controls my heart.

It is interesting to see the way that Jesus responds to a similar problem faced by the two dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus: his diagnosis of their problem is instructive for us. He tells them that their problem is that they have been slow to believe the prophets. It’s a strange comment.

It turns out that the specific thing that the prophets spoke about, the one thing that Cleopas and his friend didn’t believe, was that the Messiah would

“have to suffer all these things and then”—only then—“enter his glory” (v 26).

You can see how Jesus has put his finger right on the issue: they failed to understand what God’s King would be like. Not only had they defined what “glory” would look like (fleeing Romans, victorious Jews)—they had not even begun to get to grips with the fact that suffering had to precede glory. Here the disciples are, wondering how it can be possible that the Messiah would be a victim of such violence, and Jesus comes along and tells them that not only was it possible, it was mandatory!


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