Tag Archive | jesus christ

Waiting and wondering on Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday – or Holy Saturday – is that in-between time. The worst has happened. Jesus has been crucified. The hopes of many have been dasheIMG_6347d. The disciples are confused, disappointed and frightened. They retreat behind closed doors and withdraw into their fear, scared to look ahead, afraid to hope.

The two disciples who walked along the road to Emmaus were walking the long way home from Jerusalem to Emmaus, talking about all that had happened in Jerusalem on Good Friday. They were joined on the road by a Stranger, who wanted to know what they were talking about. Surprised that he didn’t know – wasn’t it the talk of the town? – they told him that Jesus had been crucified. They confessed, ‘But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel’.

The One they had put their trust in had disappointed them. They were confused and disappointed and were retreating – going back home. They didn’t understand what had happened. Things hadn’t turned out as they had hoped. Had they been wrong all along? Confusion and disappointment ate at their broken spirits and their hopes were dashed. They must have wondered what was going to happen next. Some of the women had said they had been to Jesus’ tomb but his body wasn’t there. They couldn’t work out what it all meant.

So the Stranger began to talk to them about the Scriptures. He explained their meaning as they walked that long way home. And – I love this part – when they reached their house, the Stranger ‘acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.”’ He wasn’t going to impose – He never does – but always  waits to be invited.

And so it was that, in the breaking and blessing of the bread, they recognised the Stranger. Was it his hands as he broke the bread? Was it his voice as he blessed it? And just as suddenly as he had appeared, he vanished.broken bread

But it was enough. They knew who he was. They knew what he had been talking about. Now it all began to make sense. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And immediately they set out to return to Jerusalem to share the good news.

We live between the ‘now’ and ‘what is yet to be’. We have put our faith in God but so much of what we read in the Bible belongs to the ‘what is yet to be’. Our lives are often filled with disappointment. Our hopes are dashed. Often we are confused; often we are frightened. Sometimes we don’t dare to look forward. Sometimes we are afraid to hope.

Some of us have hopes that have been dashed. Life hasn’t turned out the way we had hoped it would. We are struggling with broken health or broken relationships or some other loss. Some struggle with the loss of mental health. For them, just to get out of bed in the morning is a huge act of faith – a heroic thing. What they had hoped for hasn’t happened. Can they dare to hope?

Some of us have questions related to our faith that make us afraid to hope. It’s all too good to be true. What if it’s all a lie? Can we really base our lives on it? Does it really work? Does it make sense? Our faith is wavering. Can we dare to hope?

We all live in a broken world, a terribly frightening world. We don’t know what’s going to happen next. It doesn’t make sense. Can we dare to hope?

As we wait and as we wonder, let’s give the Stranger time to draw alongside us. He won’t impose but, if he’s invited, he will come. Things might begin to make some sense. And even if they don’t, the presence of the Stranger will bless us in our brokenness.

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What does the resurrection mean right here, right now?

Paul Tripp suggests 5 things we need to remember about the resurrection as we assess our lives right here, right now.DSC_0034_3

No.1 The resurrection of Jesus guarantees your resurrection too. Life is not a constantly repeating cycle of the same old same old. No, under God’s rule this world is marching toward a conclusion. Your life is being carried to a glorious end. There will be a moment when God will raise you out of this broken world and sin and suffering will be no more.

No.2 The resurrection tells you what Jesus is now doing. Jesus now reigns. I Corinthians 15 says that he will continue to reign until the final enemy is under his feet. You see, your world is not out of control, but under the careful control of One who is still doing his sin-defeating work.

No.3 The resurrection promises you all the grace you need between Jesus’s resurrection and yours. If your end has already been guaranteed, then all the grace you need along the way have been guaranteed as well, or you would never make it to your appointed end. Future grace always carries with it the promise of present grace.

No.4 The resurrection of Jesus motivates you to do what is right, no matter what you are facing. The resurrection tells you that God will win. His truth will reign. His plan will be accomplished. Sin will be defeated. Righteousness will overcome evil. This means that everything you do in God’s name is worth it, no matter what the cost.

No.5 The resurrection tells you that you always have reason to give thanks. Quite apart from anything you have earned, you have been welcomed into the most exciting story ever and have been granted a future of joy and peace forever.

Taken from Paul Tripp’s book ‘New Morning Mercies’, available from Amazon.