Sunday, April 8, 2012

With Hope

I think sometimes we take our knowledge of hope and of Heaven for granted. It's easy to grieve what's missing in this moment because our limited human minds have trouble understanding eternity.

If you tell a child he has to wait until Christmas to get what he wants, he may grieve what he doesn't have now. Christmas might as well be an eternity away. Better yet, Christmas might as well not even exist. Who wants to wait that long? As we get older, 8 months away really doesn't sound that long, but spiritually, we can all be like children. "But how much longer?!?!?! Might as well be never!"

Maybe we don't say it, but sometimes we act it.

I've been thinking a lot about last Easter (read last Easter's post here). We'd just said hello and goodbye 3 days before, and I was still in the hospital after the C-section. My spirit is still willing and my flesh is still weak, but I'm so thankful that we still have the hope of Heaven.

As we were getting up to attend sunrise service this morning, I thought of how miserable the walk to the tomb must have been. After facing significant loss, I have a better understanding of the heartache that must have been felt.

"Luke 24:1-12
Jesus Has Risen

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened."

The women had forgotten Jesus' words until reminded. I don't think they had ever really grasped what it was that Jesus was telling them about eternity, or maybe they just thought of it as something that was so far into the future they didn't even need to think about it. They didn't even realize what hope they had! They weren't much different than us, were they?

One of my very favorite passages in the Easter story though, isn't about them. It's about Peter. Peter, who had denied Christ and broken His heart. Peter, who felt defeated. Peter, who had doubts about his hope.

The passage above says the apostles didn't believe the women because their words seemed like nonsense. "Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb." Oh, how I wish I knew what was going through Peter's mind. I look forward to asking him some day!

Some commentaries say that Peter wasn't thinking of the resurrection but I have to believe as he wondered, or marveled to himself, he felt his hope begin to rise. Even if he didn't fully understand Jesus' words until Jesus, Himself appeared to the disciples and "opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45), I believe he was starting to understand just how monumental what he'd just experienced actually was. I believe he was beginning to grasp the hope that Jesus so clearly represented.

I'm so thankful we have hope. I can't say that enough. This world may separate us one way or another, but Thank God, I still believe that Heaven is real, and we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. I still believe.

Happy Resurrection Day, Heaven is Real!!!



Anonymous said...

I am so thankful for God's wonderful love. He sacrificed so much, so that we have the wonderful gift of salvation.

Robin Lands

Andrea said...

Like you I see Easter with new eyes, the eyes of a mommy who has also lost her child. And like you, I must cling to the hope that was given to us the day Jesus rose again.