‘WHY ARE YOU SAD?’
“And He said unto them, What manner of communication are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad (Greek = skuthropos = gloomy, of mournful appearance)?”
Jesus often had to ask the disciples things like “Where is your faith?” And this question is like unto that. Why were they so sad, mournful?
Many today take the gospel message, and seem so sad, seem so gloomy
as they preach. Many congregations look like they are in a funeral service of someone who died unsaved. Why are some Christians so sad? We have a risen, and soon to return Lord. We have the Holy Spirit of Promise with us every moment. We live in the last days, so our time here is short. Why the gloom? We have the greatest message of eternity. And we should be overflowing with joy, bubbling with excitement as we tell the world how Jesus still lives, and loves them, and has provided salvation for even the worst of sinners.
Some have concluded, that the next location that Jesus had indicated on His itinerary to visit was Emmaus. These two wanted to be there, to tell the people that Jesus was coming. And Jesus was, He found these two disciples, traveling the same road as He. If He had indicated that this was the next locale to visit, why were not the rest of the disciples walking this same road?
And these two, were on the road, on the right pathway, but still in debate and sadness:
“And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, Art Thou only a stranger in Jerusalem and hast not known the things which
are come to pass there in these days?
And He said unto them, What things?
And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him.”
The two wonder how this Person could be sojourning in Jerusalem, and not know of Jesus’ crucifixion. The word had obviously spread quickly, and was the talk of the town.
The reason for their sadness is explained:
“But we trusted (not past tense) that it had been He Who should have redeemed Israel; and beside all this, Today is the third day since those things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company (Note here, that of the 70 there were some women and the ones who reported to the other disciples are herein identified as part of the seventy) made us astonished (Greek = existemi = put our of wits, to amaze) who were early at the sepulchre. And they found not His body, they came saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.”
Cleopas, one of the two disciples here, is matter of fact about Jesus’ body being gone, but he is cautious in expressing the vision of angels and a wish to believe. Peter and John had not yet seen Jesus, when this was occurring, and this fact that it was a vision of angels that was their basis for believing bothered Cleopas:
“And certain of them, who were with us, went to the sepulchre, and found it, even so as the women had said, but Him they saw not.”
This is the main worry of Cleopas, why did not Peter and John see the Lord? This part saddened them. If only Jesus had been seen, and then they could trust better, they thought.
Many things sadden saints of today. Unsaved loved ones, unanswered prayers, abuse from others, friends that fail or forsake, financial burdens, health concerns, conviction from sins, backslider-itis.
This was a third day of weeping, and tradition said that after a death, there should be three days of weeping, and then four days of sadness or lamentation. These two were only barely past the ‘weeping’ part. And they were mildly rebuking Jesus for questioning their sadness that He questioned.
Many today want to rebuke others who question their sadness and lamentations. And Christians do get sad. Our countenances show our unhappiness. The two on the road to Emmaus were looking and talking very sadly. Confused, unsure, doubtful.
Sorrow is better than laughter, For by sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better.”
So, not all sadness is wrong. If there were no sadness for sin, there would be no repentance. We need ‘godly sorrow’. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, while they were killing many of the 70. Jesus wept when He arrived at Lazarus’ tomb.
Jesus shows them a cure for their sadness. He ‘opened to them the Scriptures.” And this cure was a ‘heat’ cure. For afterwards they said,
“did not our hearts burn within us?”
Jesus showed them in the Scripture that ‘these things’ (Hurts, trials, persecution) must come to pass. But the Bible also taught of a resurrection, and final victory had been assured.
“Then He said unto them, O fools (Greek = apoetos = dull, foolish, slow learners) and slow of heart (mind) to believe, all that the prophets have spoken; Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, He expounded (explained thoroughly) unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
This was not a short sermon given here. Jesus used all the prophets, and showed all the Scriptures concerning what had just occurred.
What did Jesus teach and preach here? It was a vital message, with truths that many today do not learn. We need to look at some of the many passages the Lord brought up in this sermon.
The FIRST PROPHECY of the Scriptures:
"And I (God) will put enmity between thee (the devil) and the woman (Eve), and between thy seed (the Antichrist) and her seed (Jesus Christ); it (Jesus Christ, the Promised Seed of Eve) will bruise thy head (the devil's), and thou (the devil) shall bruise His (Christ Jesus') heel."
When death first started to take effect on mankind, the Lord promised eventual victory. The devil may have scored what seemed like a victory in the garden, but God promises that He is already at work, and has already foreseen eventual victory over the devil and his cohorts.
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
Genesis 3:15 also shows a promise of a "virgin birth" for the Promised Messiah. It refers to the "seed of woman" and does not mention a "seed of man." the virgin birth is one of the most attacked doctrines, but it is well documented in Scripture.
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
The idea of the virgin birth, is that the Lord was not simply a man, but was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and thereby could be one of the Eternal Godhead, in the form and image of mankind. The name "Immanuel" means "God with us" and emphasizes what God wants us to realize from the virgin birth.
The "seed" of the devil is mentioned, and is a prophecy of the "son of perdition", the "man of sin", i.e. the "Antichrist." Genesis 3:15 prophesies of a final struggle. Right after the first battle of Satan against man, wherein Satan seemed to win, God wanted all to know, that the war is not over, and the eventual winner is already foreknown. God will win!!!
Between the first battle of Genesis 3, and the last battle of Revelation 20 is a history of struggle. These two disciples had just witnessed the "bruising" of the heel. This refers to the crucifixion of the Lord. Jesus explained in this sermon the reason for the crucifixion, the victory of the resurrection, and the guarantee of the defeat of the devil because of this event.
I am sure that the writings in Isaiah were brought up to explain that bruising, and in Isaiah 53 we read:
"...wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities."
This bruising is a victory, not a defeat, by being bruised for our iniquities, the Lord secured out victory too. We do not need to fear any defeat by the devil. We are winners with Jesus. A bruising of the heel is not a fatal blow, but the bruising of the head is a fatal one. Jesus was bruised because of our sins, but He rose again. Satan will be bruised and his will be a total defeat... and he will eternally be defeated.
Another of the many passages the Lord undoubtedly showed these two disciples was the passage about ABEL'S SACRIFICE.
This sacrifice prophesied of the Lamb that would shed His blood for man's sin. Cain's sacrifice prophesied of man's works totally being unable to atone for sins. The act of murder against Abel by Cain prophesy of the antagonism, hatred, and abuse of those who have a religion of works against those who sustain a faith in a Lord Who gave Himself for mankind.
The typology in the life of ISAAC had to be preached here by Jesus. The son of promise, i.e. Isaac, is a type of Jesus, Who is also the Promised Seed, Who was promised long before He arrived. Isaac came in God's time, not man's. We long and await the Promised Lord to come, as Abraham long awaited the promised son, Isaac. When Abraham took Isaac to the mountain site where Jesus would someday be crucified, a lamb was provided so Isaac did not die. This illustrated Jesus as the Lamb of God Who would die for our sins.
Another illustrated lesson in the sermon of Jesus was JOSEPH. He was the deliverer who saved those who rejected him many years earlier. Jesus will save the rebellious nation of the Jews during the tribulation, and bring them safely into Petra, wherein He shall deal gently with them to bring reconciliation. Jesus showed Joseph as a type of the rejection that Jesus had just encountered in the trial and crucifixion.
The PROPHECIES in ISAIAH were written almost 800 years before Jesus came in His first coming. Yet, so particular, and so minute are these prophecies, that it could not have been guesswork, or accidental. Jesus preached this sermon from ‘all’ the prophets, so Isaiah certainly was one of those. The truths written by Isaiah about the Messiah were so contrary to the prevailing ideas of the times that it is certain that these are not forgeries. The people were looking for a Messiah Who would free them from poverty, persecution, and troubles. Isaiah presents a Messiah Who came to suffer, die, and be persecuted.
Someone has figured that the 36 details about the Messiah in chapter 53 of Isaiah have a 1/68,719,476,736 chance of fulfillment by one person. Jesus fulfilled all of them in His first coming. Yet, there are many more prophecies by Isaiah, and these are astoundingly accurate.
Isaiah tells us that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and this virgin would bear a Son Who would be deity, i.e. One of the Trinity.
"Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
The fact of the deity of the Messiah was unknown to most people of that day. Even when Jesus did come, some were ready to stone Jesus for even suggesting that He could forgive sins. They wanted, and expected a Messiah Who was merely a gifted man. Yet, Isaiah knew that the Messiah would be "God with us." (Immanuel).
He refers to the Messiah as the "Mighty God" in Isaiah 9:6-9, and calls Him the "Everlasting Father" which means the "Father of eternity."
The coming of a forerunner, before the coming of the Messiah was also known by Isaiah. Isaiah told of John the Baptist, and obviously saw in his vision the ministry of such a prophet.
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
John the Baptist was this forerunner, and it is said of him:
"For this is he spoken of by Esaias."
It is revealed by Isaiah that the Messiah would be born into the family of David:
"For unto us a child is born... unto us a son is given... of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David."
"And there shall come forth a rod, out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of His roots."
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would live a humble life:
"...as a root out of a dry ground... no form nor comeliness... borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows... oppressed, and afflicted."
The Messiah would reside in Galilee:
"...in Galilee, of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light."
The Messiah is foreseen by Isaiah to have a mission to the Gentiles. This was contrary to most in the days that Jesus came, and even the disciples had to have special visions and revelations to encourage them to take the gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles. Yet, Isaiah knew that the gospel would be given to the Gentiles.
The answer to these disciples is the same answer to us, when Jesus INTERROGATES us, with ‘WHY ARE YOU SAD?’ The Lord has the same answer, for to remind us of us being now in the last days, when Jesus will soon return, should put a smile on our face whether we are sad for some crisis of the day or not. We know we are soon to see Jesus come back and take us to heaven for seven years, and then we return and rule and reign with Him for a thousand years, and then we go to the new earth for eternity to abide with Him. If the disciples on the road to Emmaus were not to be sad, for they lived when the Savior came the first time, and died for their sins, why should we be sad even in these last days, when that same Savior is coming back to take us to heaven?