“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. ” Luke 24:19 - 21As I sat with these verses I was struck by the phrase "but we had hoped...." They were hoping he was the king redeemer they had been told about by the prophets. The one that would vanquish Israel's enemies and sit as the ruler over all of Israel.
These are the words I scrawled across the pages.
"We had hoped..."
Oh, how lost we get when we put our hope in the wrong things. We miss God working when we expect Him to show up in a particular way. We close the door to possibilities when we place our hope in specifics and details and not in Christ alone.
Sometimes we put our hope in theology, what we believe about God instead of who God really is. We see God as a set of rules or a judge who is deciding if we deserve saving. We try to measure up but when we know we can't we give up trying, we give up on God because we can never merit God's favor.
Sometimes we our hoping for happiness and a good life. We put our hope in the Prosperity Gospel that says if I do right, if I do good, God will bless me. But what happens when illness strikes, when jobs are lost, when pain sneaks in. What happens when our faulty hopes are dashed.
Sometimes we put our hope in ourselves, in our ability to create the life we want, the family we want, the home we want. We hope in our ability to control our circumstances and our wold. What happens though when we can no longer keep all the plates spinning, when our bodies give way or our hearts get lost along the way. What happens to our faith when we lose all hope in ourselves.
I've been tangled up in all three of these at different times in my life but am ever thankful that now my hope is in Christ alone.
Hope that is shaken at times but ever there.
Where do you find your hope?