Their heads were down and their posture was dejected. Their gait was labored as if they carried an invisible burden – perhaps even the weight of the world. Their conversation was low, words heavy with grief and despair. Then a stranger came among them – obviously, from a far-away land for he did not know about the recent dramatic events. Events that were heartbreaking to them. They sadly told him the story of the prophet who had come and raised the expectations of a subjected people, giving them something they had not had in many, many years. They told the stranger, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). This Jesus had given them hope. Hope – like oxygen – is essential to maintain a healthy life. Yet it is a fragile thing that can be easily destroyed by a gathering storm cloud, a discouraging word, or, for these grieving disciples, a cross and an empty tomb.
I understand their sadness – I expect you do too. Because we have all hoped for things that never came to be. We hoped for a good report from the Doctor only to be met with a sad look in his eyes. We hoped for an opportunity that passed us by. We hope our wayward child will come to their senses. We hope the baby to settle down and finally go to sleep. Yet the prodigal still wanders, and the baby cries through the night. We hope for an end to the struggles, the pandemic, the violence, and hatred. Yet hope seems so far away.
Perhaps that is because we are hoping for small things, for temporal things. There is only one sure hope in all the universe: hope in God. Not in an outcome, but in God Himself. Because hope in God is vast and limitless. it is deep and high and wide and eternal. It is boundless and breathtaking.
Redeem Israel? Such a small hope. God had bigger plans. Jesus is the One who redeemed the whole world! Beloved, isn’t it time to hand your small hopes over to the Lord and put your trust in the limitless, boundless, eternal God?