Herald Journal Columns
May 5, 2003
Pastor's Column

Did you have a burning heart this past Easter season?

By Rev. Martin Schoenfeld, St. James Lutheran Church, Howard Lake

It was Easter Sunday.

Two disciples were walking on a road to a village called Emmaus, which is about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about all of the events that had recently taken place when Jesus came up and walked along with them, but at first they did not recognize Him.

Jesus asked them what they were discussing. They told Him about the things that happened in Jerusalem in the past week. Then in Luke 24:27 it states that, "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself."

Jesus began with Moses. This is another way of saying He began in the book of Genesis, for Moses had written the book of Genesis.

Jesus began with creation. I imagine that He had told them how the Lord God had first created everything perfect and holy and how Adam and Eve were created in the image of God.

But Adam and Eve rebelled against God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Sin came into the world, and with sin came death. The image of God was lost and each human being would be lost eternally if it were not for the grace of God.

Jesus may have pointed them to Genesis 3:15 where God first promised that He would send someone to deliver humanity from Satan.

The Lord Jesus then went through the Old Testament and highlighted various passages and sections which spoke concerning the coming Messiah.

Later, when Jesus was breaking bread with the two disciples they recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight. Utterly amazed, in verse 32, they did have to admit, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

For us in this season of Easter may it be the same. Just as Christ came to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, so also our risen Lord comes to us in the Holy Scriptures.

He desires that we would study the Scriptures and see for ourselves the great things He has done for us. He desires that we begin with Genesis and see again how the Lord had created everything good and perfect (Genesis 1:31).

He desires that we confess that we have been born in sin and commit many sins each day of our lives (Psalm 51:5, 1 John 1:8-10, 1 Peter 1:18).

Jesus wants us to rejoice that he has gone to the cross to remove all of our sins from us so that we may receive forgiveness (Matthew1:21, Hebrews 7:27).

Finally, he also desires that we too would believe that he has risen from the dead and has therefore granted to us life eternal through faith in him (John 14:19. Galatians 1:16. Romans 6:23).

Again this day I challenge you to be in the Word of God so that you too may be able to say, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us . . . and opened the Scriptures to us?"

I continue to challenge you to be in the Word of God so that you too may rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus and your own salvation as you grow in the faith, which God has given to you. This season of Easter is an exciting time.

May God in his grace grant each one of you burning hearts from spending time with Jesus in His Word ­ the Bible.

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