Saturday, March 30, 2013

We Had Hoped

 He said to them, “What things?” “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied, “a man who, with his powerful deeds and words, proved to be a prophet before God and all the people;
and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened. Furthermore, some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back and said they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” ---Luke 24

There is an expectant waiting beginning with Good Friday and culminating on resurrection Sunday. The initial watchers, witnesses and followers of God had only a mustard seed of hope. This day we wrestle as they did. We say, “We had hoped,” but here we are strolling on Saturday with downcast hearts. We say “we had hoped,” but reconciliation doesn’t come. We say, “we had hoped,” but our pride and arrogance drives a wedge between our hearts and intimacy with Christ. We say, “we had hoped,” and the wish doesn’t come true.

We walk with Jesus without clearly seeing. We hold onto the promises of scripture often with trembling in weakness. We keep walking then comes a moment, a whisper, an inkling of truth, a fiery flash of hope. It is late on Saturday, perhaps even early Sunday. We hold onto the hope.

Jesus opens Himself up to us and we say with the travelers, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?” Christ has risen as the prophets foretold. What we had hoped fades into shadow as true reality is touched for all our hopes save one are a momentary light affliction. ‘For we have been given fullness in Christ;’ our hope fulfilled.

“Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. Now during the blessing he departed and was taken up into heaven. So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple courts blessing God.---Luke 24

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