A LIVING HOPE
Read Luke 24:13-35
But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel | Luke 24:21
Spoken by two of Jesus’ disciples as they departed from Jerusalem after Jesus’ crucifixion, these dejected words reveal their hopelessness. Instead of rescuing Israel from Roman’s iron grip, Jesus had died shamefully at their hands. And so the hope that they had pinned on Jesus seemed completely lost.
As our world battles the coronavirus, many people are searching for hope. The news seems to go from bad to worse as we try to deal simultaneously with both the health crisis and the economic fallout caused by it. Everyone is longing for some good news, some way to make sense of the disaster, some hope.
In this story, Luke reveals just such a hope — one that goes far beyond anything that the disciples were expecting.
The despairing disciples encountered the risen Jesus on the road heading out of Jerusalem. “But they were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). In an exchange dripping with irony, the pair described all that had happened regarding Jesus and his death. Then it is Jesus’ turn, as “he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
Still confounded, the disciples invited him to stay with them. Finally comes the climactic scene at the table when Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:31). Notice how this event harkens back to the Fall in Genesis 3, where sin enters the world and corrupts all of God’s creation:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree… she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband… and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked” | Genesis 3:6-7
Just as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and had their eyes open to their shame and guilt, here Jesus offered his baffled disciples bread to eat and opened their eyes to his true identity. The Greek phrase here carries with it not just the sense that they merely recognized Jesus, but that they comprehended Jesus in all his significance.
Whereas the disciples originally hoped that Jesus would restore Israel, he reveals to them that their hopes were far too small. Finally, they recognize that Jesus is the sovereign Lord who has come into his full authority and returned to restore his creation.
This is the hope that anchors us through this crisis. Our hope is not just that we will recover and return to “normal.”
Such a hope is far too small.
Rather, the hope that we hold onto is that Jesus, through the power of his resurrection, intends nothing less than a complete restoration of all God’s creation.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. | 1 Peter 1:3
AUTHORING + DESIGN CREDITS
✍️ Credit :: Matt Rhodes
📸 Credit :: Matt Rhodes
🎨 Credit :: Matt Rhodes