Ever have an expectation that goes 180 degrees in the wrong direction? When life doesn’t deliver on our expectations, it is easy to lose hope. I know of two hopeless disciples who were walking down a dusty road on their way to a village named Emmaus. They were experiencing an avalanche of emotions: grief, doubt, frustration and sadness (Luke 24:13-17). Their words came out slowly and soberly. Their walk was more like a trudge with heavy steps. “I cannot believe it. He is gone! What are we going to do?”
Just then, a stranger (spoiler alert: Jesus enters the scene, but they are unaware;) comes up from behind and says, “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help overhearing you. Who are you talking about?” They stop and turn. The three stand in silence. Finally, one of them breaks the awkward impasse and asks, “Where have you been the last few days? Haven’t you heard about Jesus of Nazareth? They killed him. He is gone (Luke 24:18-20).” These two sincere disciples spoke of how the last nail had been driven into their hope’s coffin. “BUT WE HAD HOPED that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel (Luke 24:21).”
“BUT WE HAD HOPED … .” How often have you heard those words? “We had hoped the doctor would discharge him.” “We had hoped the surgeon would get all of it.” “I had hoped I would pass the exam.” “I had hoped I would have felt better by now.”
In a sense, my friend, we can be on the same road wondering, “Where is Jesus?” Especially living in a pandemic, our visibility can be so cloudy and our perspective so limited that Jesus could be walking next to us and we wouldn’t even know it. Yet, He doesn’t leave us there. Jesus, the Living Word, opened God’s Word to His disciples and spoke of those things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27).
The result: their hearts raced, their lives revived and their hope returned (Luke 24:28-36). The reason: JESUS LIVES! That is what Easter is about. The disciples thought He was dead, but He was alive! Friend, He is risen. The resurrection of Jesus is not just about Him coming to life, but about you experiencing new life, the true life.
On the cross, Jesus eradicated the power that destroys life — sin. He paid the penalty of what ends life — death. With the resurrection, He paved a path for you and me to experience the fullness of life. A life that is overwhelmed under the Niagara Falls of His love, power, truth, peace, goodness, righteousness, comfort and joy!
“We had hoped … .” Nope. We have hope! Why? HE IS RISEN!
- Dr. Bernie Cueto, Vice President for Spiritual Development