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Hope, Sweet Hope

Jesus had died, the dream of Israel at the time was dashed, their deliverer had seemingly failed, and all hope had disappeared. Hearts were broken, and thoughts of sadness and even despair filled those who had followed and believed in Jesus. What now?!

Praise God, the grave was only a temporary dwelling for a few days, and Jesus rose from the dead victoriously, conquering sin and death! But not everyone had heard or had confirmed the news of His resurrection shortly after it had happened.

In Luke 24, we read of a discussion on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:14: “and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.” Amazing as they chatted, Jesus drew along side them, but He kept Himself from being recognised. Luke 24:17 says, “And He (Jesus) said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.”

Jesus engaged them in conversation and uncovered the reason for their sadness, Luke 24:21 “But we had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.” The men went on to explain that they had heard reports that He had risen from the dead, but it seemed they weren’t sure what was happening. Jesus then reveals Himself, Luke 24:25-27 “And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

What a conversation that must have been! Jesus explaining the scriptures concerning Himself was a surprise for the two Jesus was talking to. What a moment of faith-building and hope being restored!

There are really valuable lessons and points of encouragement in this passage. The reality is that each of us is on a journey, and sometimes, on that road, we encounter seasons of sadness and even hopelessness. These two in the passage had hopes that were gone and were sad until they had a fresh encounter with the living Jesus.

Not everything will turn out the way we hope or expect in life. But today, we can be encouraged that Jesus will join us on that journey. Sometimes, we don’t recognise that He is there. For example, in Luke 24, we may feel our hopes are crushed, walking in sadness, and even feeling disillusioned and disappointed. But allow the fact of His resurrection to lift your heart and spirit today. You don’t ever walk alone; you will never have to. Jesus is always working to the bigger picture. He will meet us where we are at and He can and will restore hope as we encounter Him. He gives life, grace, strength and hope to His people. You can trust Him in every season and trust Him for a hope-filled future! He is with you always!

Lord Jesus, I thank You for rising from the dead! I thank You that no matter what season of life I find myself in, You are there and journeying with me. I thank You that no matter the situation, You can bring peace and hope, for You have conquered sin, death, and the grave. You are my redeemer, deliverer, and constant hope. I love You Lord Jesus. Amen.