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What Do You Hope For? – Lent Day 40

Friday, March 30

What Do You Hope For?

Mark Pietscher

Day 40—Read Luke 24

 

Early that first Easter Sunday morning, when the women took spices to the tomb they were prepared to find a corpse, but what did they hope for? The disciples did not believe the women’s story, but what did they hope for? Only Peter had enough hope to get up and run to the tomb. The two men on the road to Emmaus could not make sense of the death of Jesus. They were experiencing great disappointment that their hopes, work, and dreams had fallen flat. Even when the resurrected Jesus stood among the disciples they were startled and frightened – they still did not believe. With Jesus’ death on the cross, their hopes were shattered and once again reality failed to live up to their expectations.

We all have high hopes for how our lives will turn out, hopes for the kind of people that we can become, or the kind of excitement and fulfillment that we can experience. And yet, we live in a fallen world, where reality rarely seems to match our hopes and desires. I see the hopes for the kind of person that I’d become, one who can be considered a good friend, a loyal neighbor, a person of character, a sacrificial spouse, a caring and inspiring leader. But there is also  disappointment in myself as well. I haven’t become as thoughtful as I’d hoped, as faithful as I’d hoped, as caring as I’d hoped.

But what is it that Jesus came to do in my life? Is it just to fix my life and make me a better person? Certainly, it is far grander than that. Jesus came to reconcile me into relationship with a Holy God. This salvation is not at all based on what I could or could not do, but it is offered to me only because of what Jesus did on the cross. And because of this Gospel, I know that regardless of the ups and downs of my life, regardless of what wins and losses I may experience  in this life, in the end, God will lead me by His power beyond death to continue in this eternal relationship with Him. This is the kind of hope that does not fade over time. Even now as I live in this fallen world where so many things,
including myself, seem so broken, God is inviting me to put my hope in His promises. Compared with all of the disappointing realities of life, this Gospel really indeed is the only true source of hope that does not disappoint.

As we sit here just before Easter, what do you hope for? What do you expect? Remember that the promises and truth of Easter Sunday are greater than any dashed hope or unfulfilled expectation. Fully place your hope in this salvation that is worthy of all your hopes and expectations.

 

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