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From The Pastor

March 29, 2018 | by: Rev. John Hartman | 0 comments

Posted in: Children & Family

"Stay Until the End”

 With the Miami Heat trailing 94-89 in a potentially decisive Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, many Heat fans at American Airlines Arena decided they'd head out early. You know, beat the traffic, -- no need to stick around to watch the last 30 seconds of a tough loss for their hometown team. Guess what happened? A couple of missed free throws by the San Antonio Spurs, and a couple of three-pointers by the Heat, and this game was going into overtime, where the Heat eventually prevailed to force a game 7. Many of those fans were not around to see the unbelievable finish. Many decided not to stay until the end. 

 Luke 24 tells us about two Easter travelers who are on their way out of town, and back home to Emmaus, because they thought the game was over. They didn’t know it at the time, but they had missed the victory! And then a wonderful thing happens, — the victory comes to them. As they are trudging along on their trail of tears, a stranger [Jesus] walk along side of them and asks, “What are you talking about?” And they say, “About the things that have been happening this week in Jerusalem. Where have you been? The things concerning Jesus!” Today they would probably say, “It’s all over the internet. It’s been on all the cable TV news shows. Have you been living in a cave or something?” It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t simply rip off his disguise and say, “Look! It’s me.” Instead, he lives with them inside their despair and doubts.

 Finally, after three hours, they reach Emmaus and the two travelers say to the stranger, “Stay with us.” During that dinner they finally recognize that it is Jesus. Instantly Jesus disappears from their sight. The two Emma’s travelers get up from the table and run all the way back to Jerusalem shouting as they go, “He’s alive! Jesus is alive!”

 Our Easter joy celebrates the living presence of Jesus Christ with us. On Easter we shout at the top of our lungs, “Jesus is alive! He’s here! We never have to be without him again!” And so just remember, when things look bleak, don’t go home early. Stay around for the victory, because the tomb is empty. Jesus Christ is alive! 

 Happy Easter! 

 Pastor John 

 Quote of the Week

 “Two thousand years ago, in the Middle East, an event occurred that permanently changed the world. Because of that event, history was split. Every time you write a date, you’re using the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the focal point." 

 Rick Warren, Pastor Saddleback Church

Rick Warren, Pastor Saddleback Church