‘The Heart of Easter’ – Week 3 – ‘Burning Hearts’

In the bible, the heart seems very important. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard it carefully because it is the ‘wellspring of life’. The heart is the place where Ezekiel tells us (36:26) God will work out his promise in the new covenant. ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’ In physical terms it pumps life around the body. In spiritual terms it is the same. Jesus tells us that it is ‘out of the heartcome evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander,’ influencing everything (Matt 15:19-20). Over the Easter period we are taking the opportunity to look at three different situations and see a little of what was going on in the hearts of those who observed or followed Jesus, especially during Holy Week and immediately afterwards.

easterBurning Hearts:  In our third week we consider the changing responses of the people who encounter the risen Jesus, even if not realising at first that it was Him. Please re-read the whole of Luke 24 (especially verses 13-38) and note the new feelings and responses that emerge once they are helped past the ‘being slow of heart to believe’ we covered last week.

In verse 31b-32 we find this: ‘Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us”’? Their reaction is understandable. The danger and distance of the road forgotten they run back to Jerusalem and find the 11 (Note: a general term for the group of the apostles – who we know weren’t all there at the time) and hear ‘The Lord has risen indeed and appeared to Simon (Peter)’. And they got a chance to tell their story. The women were right (how often is that true!!). Their hearts are warmed, their spirits enlightened, and their old hope replaced with new hope.


  • We are not always good about talking about how we feel. If you have taken the step of inviting the risen Christ in, reflect for a while on how you felt about Jesus when he first broke through in your life? Can you describe times when you felt your ‘heart burn within you’?
  • What are the areas you need Jesus to break through?
  • What are the things that ‘in your joy you are still disbelieving?’ (See V:41)
  • What are the things we can do to keep our hearts burning?
  • Pray for others on their journey that their eyes may be opened and they may encounter ‘heartburn’ without over-the-counter remedy.

The world has been turned over. The changes are many. The Cross, the very instrument of despair has become an object of glory. The resurrection of Jesus Christ has become the source of living hope. A new birth (John 3:3). A new beginning (2 Cor 5:17). The disciples can rejoice again (and do). Even Peter can smile. It is good to close in his exuberant words:

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”. (1 Peter 1:3)

Charles Nelson, 26/03/2009