Hope

In Luke 24, we’re told about 2 people walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. This is the only time they appear in scripture, so we basically know nothing about them. In fact, for one of them we don’t even have a name; the other is called Cleopas. Luke tells us that as they walk to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday, they are talking about what has happened that weekend. Soon, they’re joined by an unknown companion; well, unknown to them – Luke tells us it’s Jesus. And Cleopas & his companion begin to tell Jesus what happened that weekend, and then they say: “We had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel” (verse 21).
We had hoped…

Hope is in our blood. It’s part of what makes us human, what sets us apart from other creatures: We’ve got to have hope to go on – to live life in any meaningful way. And oh how we need hope right about now.

For some, right now, their hope is centered on getting through this virus – keeping their health, their job, getting life back to “normal.”

But Hope is bigger than that, isn’t it? Sure we want this virus to move on, for treatments to work, for a vaccine to be developed, for life to go back to “Normal” – whatever that means.

We’d like for that to be the case. But that’s not our Hope.

We are Easter people. This means we are people of hope. And our hope does not depend on “flattening the curve.” Our hope doesn’t rise or fall with the stock market. Our hope doesn’t depend on Washington, or New York, or Frankfort – or how we feel, or what others think of us, or even what we think of ourselves. These all have a role to play, and we definitely care how things turn out. But our hope isn’t tied to any of the metrics that change daily, even hourly.

No. Our hope is that Easter day was Resurrection day – a day that changes EVERY day. Which means, we are Day After people – for we live every day after Easter in light of what happened on Easter.

And no matter what comes, we can face trouble or hardship, fear or famine, the coronavirus or the uncertain or the unknown – because of what happened yesterday. For the resurrection changes everything.

When Cleopas and his companion returned to Jerusalem, they were not the same people who had left Jerusalem earlier that day. They were people whose eyes had been opened. Whose hope had been realized. Who could now face every day because of what happened that day.

For Jesus is alive. And no day has been the same since.

Author:

I’m Jeff Dye. After 16 years on staff at a healthy, outreach-minded church, I currently have a ministry called The Paraklesis Project. In the New Testament, “paraklesis” means encouragement — which is what I seek to bring to churches of all sizes through speaking and consulting.

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