This weekend we celebrate hope. Not just a slogan, not hope in a person or organization, but hope in God. This hope is more like a promise or guarantee. It’s a hope that changes everything. It didn’t seem that way in the beginning, though.
The first day began with disbelief and ended with despair. Jesus’ followers watched as He was tried and executed for no apparent reason other than jealousy. They had given up everything to follow Him, and now He was gone. He promised to make them fishers of men and to establish a new kingdom, but then He died. The beating, the cross, the nails, and the spear all seemed to come from nowhere and take Him without warning. They were helpless to stop it and their hearts were stricken by grief, but that was the first day and it would not last long.
The second day was again marked by fear. Jesus’ followers hid all day, windows were closed and doors were locked. The sound of footsteps outside sent shivers down their spines as they tried to fight back against panic. If the Pharisees would do that to Jesus they might do the same to those who follow Him. So, they huddled together and waited for the Sabbath to pass so that they could finish preparing His body for burial. They were confused and afraid, but that was the second day and it wouldn’t last long either.
The third day began early and at first was more confusing and raised more questions. His body was gone, what happened, where was He moved? Then the rumors of sightings began to circulate. Had their grief driven them crazy? By evening they were exhausted. Again fear had driven them to huddle in a locked room, but then hope came in. Locked doors and windows would not stop Him. It was Jesus! He is Alive! That moment changed everything for this small group of disciples, and it has also changed everything for us. We have a hope that will not fade no matter what may come because Jesus walked out of that tomb. Because of this Hope we now have a Purpose, we know that we are Not Alone, and for us the Grave will not be the End. This weekend we celebrate Hope!
*Photo courtesy of bela_kiefer and FreeDigitalPhotos.net