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“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened unto us the Scriptures?” — Luke 24:32


When Jesus rose from the dead, it was a glorious victory! Death had been routed, sin nullified, and Satan’s power crushed. Yet that splendid, objective fact of His victory still needed to be made the personal, subjective victory of each sinner. Until the end of time, His goal will be to make His victory our victory–and this He does by opening unto us the Scriptures!

Jesus began that work right away on Easter afternoon. In the eyes of the two disciples walking to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to be an ordinary traveler. When He approached them, their eyes were “held” so that they could attentively listen to Jesus expound unto them the Scriptures.

Notice, it is the Word that mattered! It was more important for them calmly and soberly to consider what Jesus had to say to them, than for there to be an emotional outburst on their part.

The disciples wanted to believe the report of Jesus’ resurrection, but they were slow to accept it. Human reason, fear, and emotion said that there was no way the bruised, pierced, lifeless body of Jesus was going to leave the tomb and walk again with them.

Isn’t that also what our reason, fear, and emotion say to us when we gaze into the casket of a loved one, a believer who has succumbed to the ravages of cancer, old age, or some other malady?

Even then Jesus has the answer. He always has the answer!

What was the first thing that Jesus did? He scolded them, didn’t He? “O fools, and slow of heart to believe . . . ” (24:25). When we hear Him scolding them, we also hear Him scolding us. When Jesus scolds us, it really stings, doesn’t it? That is good, though, for then He truly has our attention.

What does Jesus do when He has our rapt attention? He takes us back to God’s Word. “He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (24:27).

Burning Hearts

When they drew near to the village, the disciples wanted this wise traveler to remain with them. There was no way they could get too much of what He had to offer them!

Isn’t this the way we feel when reading our Bibles, and the Holy Spirit reveals something that we had not noticed before? It is the same feeling we get when we hear a sermon that really hits home. The disciples described this well when they said, “Did not our hearts burn within us . . . while He opened unto us the Scriptures?”

Even though Jesus had vanished from their sight, from that point on they truly saw Jesus by remembering and believing the risen Savior’s Word.

There is no substitute for the Word of God. The victory Christ accomplished through His Passion and Resurrection becomes ours when the Holy Spirit works in our hearts through God’s Word. Our saving connection with Christ is created and preserved only by the Word.

When our feelings and emotions are taking us on a wild roller coaster ride, so that we can’t tell which end is up, what is the one thing that can give us clarity, calmness, direction, and comfort? It’s God’s Word. We cannot afford to have it mingled with error. We dare not permit it to be diminished.

Emotions are an important part of who we are, and they naturally are a part of our Christian experience. What a joy it is to hear the resurrection story! It can make us feel so enthusiastic and energized that we want to share the gospel with others. Emotionalism, however, is no substitute for the faithful preaching, teaching, and hearing of the Word of God. At times our emotions, no matter how well intended, may lead us off course. God’s Word never will.

In Luke 24 Jesus clearly shows how important the Word is. It is through the Word that He abides with us even now. If we are one day to rise and abide with Him in Paradise, then it will only be through this Word. We must cherish it, hold on to it, follow it, and keep it safe.

Let us take the time to walk with Jesus and listen to what He has to say to us.

–Pastor Delwyn Maas