Category Archives: Mark Avery

After Easter

By Mark Avery — General Manager and Editor at Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore in Overland Park, Kansas.

Resurrection Sunday is past. How quickly the routine changes back to normal. How sad that so many people who are close to the Easter celebration fail to participate in resurrection power.

I was privileged to preach the Easter sermon this year, yet now I am wondering. Not wondering about the content of the message, for it was accurate biblically and doctrinally, but I am wondering from a practical point of view.

The gospel is intensely practical. The good news of Jesus Christ changes lives. Yet some people know the story without knowing the reality of serving a living Saviour.

The very day after Easter, Jesus walked to Emmaus with a couple of men. They did not recognize Him, and He asked them some very probing question. In their responses, they stated that they had heard that Jesus had risen from the grave, but for reasons I do not understand, they did not bother to check out the reports. They did not go to the grave.

Then upon talking to Jesus and finally recognizing Him, they hurried back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the resurrection.

How sad. We talk about Easter and proclaim our belief in the resurrection, yet too often our lives fail to reflect resurrection power. I am asking God to make a difference in my life. Easter should not be just an annual observance. Easter should be a way of life!

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Stranger on the Road to Emmaus

By Mark Avery — General Manager and Editor at Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore in Overland Park, Kansas.

It was Easter! The first one! Only the two men walking toward Emmaus did not know that Jesus had risen. Discouraged and near hopeless, they trudged along, wondering what had gone wrong. What should their next step be?  

The only stranger 
That’s when He joined them. Cleopas and his unnamed friend didn’t recognize Him. And no wonder. Apparently He was the only stranger in Jerusalem and had somehow missed the significance of the events of the previous week. As their conversation continued, this stranger butted in. The two friends couldn’t believe how little this man knew about events that has so dramatically affect their lives. 

Catching this stranger up on current events, they expressed their now dashed hopes that this crucified man would have been the long-awaited Messiah. They even talked about reports of an empty grave, visions of angels, speculation about a resurrection. Makes you wonder why they didn’t investigate.  

The thorough explanation 

That’s when the stranger interrupted again. Surely they must have been impressed with the stranger’s knowledge of the Old Testament as He started in the Books of Moses and continued through the Scriptures giving a thorough explanation of Himself and the events recently experienced.  

Finally, arriving at Emmaus, a seven-mile walk from Jerusalem, they prepared to end their journey. The stranger appeared to continue His trip until they urged Him to stop for the night. Then as they prepared to eat, the stranger took charge. Recognizing His actions, their eyes were opened.  

The open eyes 

This was no stranger. He was Jesus! He had walked with them. Talked to them. Now they understood. Their load had lightened. Their hearts were glad. They saw Jesus! Alive! Ministering! And just as suddenly He was gone.  

The fourteen miles 

Immediately they started back to Jerusalem. Despite the seven-mile hike they had just taken. Despite the lateness of the time. The seven miles back to Jerusalem were not as challenging as the seven miles to Emmaus. Their hearts were light. Their spirits excited. Their friends at Jerusalem had to be told.  

Earlier reports were accurate. Jesus was alive. Death and the grave had failed. Life reigned.  

Jesus lives!

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