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On the first Easter morning, the resurrected Jesus had an encounter with two ordinary disciples. Three days earlier, he had died on the cross, dashing the hopes of all of his followers. Now, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus has a conversation that gives insight into the nature of true hope.

We All Hope for Something

Everyone is looking for hope in this world, and Jesus’s first disciples were no exception. They had followed Jesus for three years and saw him forgive the unforgivable, touch the untouchable, and love the unlovable. And then he died on the cross, and their hopes seemed dashed.

Luke 24:17-18 [Jesus] asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

Like Jesus’s first disciples, we have hopes and dreams. We hope an investment, a job, or a relationship will work out. But so often, our hopes let us down. Hope is dangerous.

[Related: Yakhal – “Hope” | Hebrew Word Studies #7]

Hope Is Dangerous

When we put our hope in something or someone, our hearts go there also (Matthew 6:21). This is what the disciples did. They hoped Jesus would be a military king to usher in an earthly kingdom.

Luke 24:19-21 “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” [the disciples] said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

We put ourselves on the line for the things we hope for. We give people, hobbies, and money control of our hearts when we put our highest hopes in them. When Jesus died, his disciples’ hope of a restored Jewish kingdom died…until they opened their eyes and realized who they were talking to.

[Related: 5 Bible Verses on Hope]

Jesus’s Resurrection Is Our True Hope

As the two disciples walked to Emmaus, something happened to change their perspective. Their eyes were opened to Jesus.

Luke 24:27, 30-32 …Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself… As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

We can make the same mistakes as the disciples. It’s easy to walk through life and miss the one that we are walking with – the hope of the world – because we’ve placed our hopes in the wrong things.

Our hope this Easter is that you have your eyes opened to see the true hope of the world: Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What are some of your hopes and dreams? Why do you hope for these things?
  3. What are some of your hopes that have been fulfilled?
  4. Read Proverbs 13:12. What are some hopes that have let you down? What happened?
  5. Read Matthew 6:21. How can it be dangerous for us to put ourselves on the line for the things we hope for?
  6. Read Luke 24:27-32. What things caused the disciples’ eyes to finally open and see Jesus? How can these things open our eyes more? How can they open the eyes of those who don’t yet follow Jesus?
  7. What are some things that have caused you to take your eyes off of Jesus? What steps should you take to keep your eyes on Jesus?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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