Take a walk down the road to Emmaus in Luke 24, and you will find a pair of lost disciples. Exasperated and frustrated, they exclaimed to the stranger who joined them that it had been three days since Jesus was crucified and “…we were hoping that it was He (Jesus) who was going to redeem Israel…” (Luke 24:21) They had hoped that Jesus would be the One to rescue Israel from the oppressive hand of the Roman government. They had hoped He was the Messiah, the Chosen One of God—but that hope vanished as their eyes witnessed the One whom they thought to be the King of Israel end up dying on a Roman Cross.
How could He possibly be the One now?
Even more confusing was the testimony of some women in their company who had visited His tomb that morning who... “When they did not find His body, …came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.” (Luke 24:23)
At this point, the stranger began to take them all through the Scriptures predicting the Messiah would suffer and then be raised to enter into glory. By the end of the day, while enjoying a meal together, their eyes were suddenly opened and they realized the stranger among them was their risen Lord, Jesus.
He is risen indeed. He is alive. Our Hope is ALIVE!
This past year has been a year full of change and uncertainty. It has been a year of firsts for all of us in many different ways. Last year at this time, Karen and I suddenly lost our son Jeremy in a car accident. We had seen him come back to the Lord and had been hoping that our son would experience full relief from his disability and become useful in ministry.
But our hope was realized in a different way. He was indeed freed from his torments, at peace with the Lord in His presence—but the Lord has also used him mightily by producing a profound work in us of compassion and patience.
What the disciples had been hoping for was realized in a different way as well. It wasn’t the immediate release of that oppressive hand, but an eternal release as Jesus’ death and resurrection would restore them to God for eternity.
Because our hope is alive, we too can live. We can live through seasons of grief and loss and desperation. We can continue through uncertainty and instability and change. We can hold firm to the hope we have—that beloved anchor of our souls, through drought and storm, tempest and trial.
Because He is alive!