Lifelines November 04, 2018

There is great power in hope.  It keeps us going through the toughest of times and brightens heavy hearts with the knowledge that better days are ahead.  Our God is One of great hope.  He wants His children to be a family of hope and has provided all that is needed to bring that about.  An empty tomb stamps the certainty that hope is alive.

The two men trudged the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-35).  Recent events provided plenty of conversation for the pair when a stranger approached wanting to know what they were talking about.  Sadness was written all over their face.  We all know the look of despondency at the death of a dream.  It is evident.  It starts way down inside and colors everything about us; the way we stand, walk, talk and look.  Their hope had been nailed to a cross.  It was dead.

They misunderstood.  Their concept was faulty.  They anticipated a redemption of Israel that measured up to their thinking.  They thought wrong, and it was devastating.  The basis for their hope had been snatched out from under them.  What about us?  Do we have a firm foundation for ours?  It will crumble if it is not based on all the facts.  They were bewildered by what had happened to the Lord.  Disillusionment and discouragement set in.  What they would soon learn proved to be much better than anything they ever imagined.

Jesus confronted them with their hesitation to believe all that their Scriptures had taught about Him.  They had the right information in their hands, but it never quite made it into their heads and hearts.  That can be true of us, too.  Knowledge left on the pages of the Bible serves no purpose until it becomes part of us.  All of it essential in nourishing our hope (Romans 15:4).

Biblical hope combines desire with expectation and fuels the engine of an optimism that draws attention.  Our neighbors notice a difference which opens a door for conversation.  Christians react differently, and people want to know why.  Even death is seen from an eternal perspective.  Grief does not cease to exist.  It just isn’t the same because we see beyond the temporary horizon of a heartbeat.

Jesus came to draw back the curtain of limitations that accompanies this world.  We see flesh and blood.  He showed that we are more than that.  He commanded demons, healed sicknesses and raised the dead to demonstrate His authoritative power over every realm of creation.  His dealings with the visible revealed His power over the invisible.  He forgives sins, the great hope destroyer.  He and the devil have faced off.  Death ruled for a weekend.  Resurrection reigns forever.

That tomb makes all the difference.  As long as it is empty, hope lives for all time.  The two on the road lost hope because they only had a partial picture.  Let’s not make the same mistake.