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Close Encounter of the God Kind (2 of 5)
Sermon Series: Easter
Good morning, brothers and sisters. My name is Cleopas. I am a Jewish man who lived during the time of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible doesn't share anything about me, but that's okay with me. My personal background is not important; what is important is my personal experience. I want to share with you an experience I had that has affected my entire perspective in this life and the life to come.
Scene 1: The Meeting (24:13-16). One day, my neighbor and I traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Passover is a week long religious festival that celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. While we were there, remembering God's goodness to our people, we learned that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified. After the death and burial of Jesus, I was traveling home with my neighbor to my hometown of Emmaus. Over the course of the seven mile walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus, we were sadly rehearsing the death and burial of Jesus. At points the conversation actually became rather heated. I was tired, frustrated, and emotionally spent. This was one of the most discouraging conversations of my life. I was incredibly disappointed with the events that had transpired. I had so much confidence in Jesus of Nazareth. I genuinely believed that He was God's Messiah who would bring peace to the world. I was confident that He would set the Jewish people free from Roman oppression. I assumed I was living in the age in which God breaks into history. Needless to say, when I learned about Jesus' death and burial, my hopes were dashed!
As my neighbor and I continued to debate and commiserate, a man appeared and began walking with us. The man seemed to appear out of nowhere, but we didn't think much of it. We were caught up in our own discussion. We assumed that he caught up with us as he too traveled back from Jerusalem. What was a bit odd was the stranger never i ...
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