May 2022

Living Hope

Jesus is alive. This is fact. But it’s also the truth. He actually rose from the dead, presented Himself in His glorified body to His disciples and as many as 500 others and walked around for 40 days before ascending to sit at His Father’s right hand to pray for His people while He waits for the signal to return to Earth again.

Can you imagine the chaos and turmoil of the days immediately following His crucifixion? How the disciples, who had hoped He was going to be their salvation from Rome, truly felt? They were afraid, and they were in hiding. Jesus had told them the truth about His purpose to bring the Kingdom of God and what it would cost Him to bring salvation to the world, but they clearly didn’t fully grasp what He was telling them. And now they didn’t know what to do or how to move forward. They were also shocked and deep in grief for their beloved Teacher.

Suddenly, Jesus was standing in the room with them. What a gloriously terrifying moment that must have been for them. They didn’t know if they were hallucinating or if they were seeing a ghost. It was too good to be true, wasn’t it? Then He spoke, “Be at peace. It is I. Look at my scars. More than that, come and touch them. Give me something to eat, so you can know for sure I’m not a ghost.” (Luke 24:36-43)

Can you place yourself there? Can you imagine those moments? What would you feel? What would you think? Could you overcome your logic and reason to embrace the impossible? Jesus didn’t stay dead, and nothing would ever be the same.

Where do you place your faith? What do you believe? Is Jesus, Himself, alive to you? Is He the One you love and serve? Before you answer, consider the possibility that you may be serving ideas and interpretations rather than the actual person of Christ. Most likely we are all guilty of this error in some ways, in some places, of our hearts. Relating to a person is easier and harder than standing on an idea.

Have you ever wondered why we speak of memorization as knowing something “by heart”? Don’t we memorize, commit to memory, with our minds? The thing that is important enough to remember is the thing we must know by heart. When we are saved, we say, “Jesus came into my heart.” He isn’t an idea formed in the mind. He isn’t a set of writings to be interpreted by human thought.

He is living and breathing and singing and shouting and praying and laughing. He is in the Father’s joy, and He is eagerly waiting for us to be there with Him. In the meantime, His Holy Spirit is here to remind us of all that Jesus said and did. Here to comfort and to guide and to reveal the Holy Scriptures to us in a way that transforms our minds and hearts. Here to make Jesus known to us. Here to help us pray, so that when we pray we know we truly commune with God.

Lord, You are worthy, You are holy. I am here in Your presence and realize I want to hear Your voice. And, I’m a little afraid to actually hear You. What will it mean? What will it require? But still, I know You to be good, and I trust Your character. Be real to me. This is my hope. You are my hope — the gleam of light that is dawning before the full sun blazes. I know that what can’t stand in Your light will burn away. I am as a moth to the flame, but I believe that what remains, however small, will rise to be with You forever. Speak Lord. I am listening.

Until next week, beloved, cling to Jesus, your living hope.

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