Where can we find hope? This month we find ourselves in communities consumed by illness, fear, and loneliness. Current events have stripped away the illusion that we were ever in control. We have come face to face with simply how fragile each one of us is. For the first time in a long time, for some of us, we are seeing reality for what it truly is.
I heard someone say recently: “I wasn’t planning on giving up quite so much for Lent!” With the new opportunities for solitude with the Lord, I am reminded of the God who wrapped himself in flesh and skin, embracing the frailty of humanity, walking the earth and befriending us as Jesus (I wonder how he would have washed his hands).
He journeyed with his twelve disciples, growing tired at the end of a long day, frequently needing to draw away from the demands of his work and ministry to eat, to sleep, to pray. When we all go to heaven I may ask him if he ever caught a cold or a flu?
Jesus was a man with a tender heart—and in touch with his emotions, some of them very deep: misunderstood by family who were embarrassed of him (Mark 3), grief at the death of a close friend (John 11), compassion on those lost without the truth (Matthew 9), and betrayed by his best friend (Luke 22). His earthly journey among us was not easy.
Jesus died feeling completely alone; even his Heavenly Father turned His back on Jesus (Psalm 22, Matthew 27); his friends had fled. He was broken. Frail. Alone. Is there anything that you are bearing right now, that you can’t bring to the Man of Sorrows?
No. He took all our grief, our shame and guilt, our anxieties, our fear … and He left them on the cross.
Three days later comes the best news in the world: “He is risen” (Mark 16)! Jesus conquered death and rose victorious! Jesus lives and reigns today, having disarmed that which previously ruled over us, triumphing over them (Colossians 2)! In His Spirit, we also are strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father (Colossians 1).
This is our Living Hope! May we abide in Him who rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1); the One who became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5); the One who gives us peace (John 14); the One who will make all things new (Revelation 21).
Contributor: Faith Cheng