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The Hope of All the World

“Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.”
N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

The Prophecy

This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:
“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
    He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not fight or shout
    or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
    or put out a flickering candle.
    Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
And his name will be the hope
    of all the world.

Matthew 12:17-21 NLT

His completed work

Jesus was walking with two of His followers on the Road to Emmaus, and they had not yet recognized Him. When Jesus asked them why they were so sad and discouraged, they replied, “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” These two followers had lost their hope because Jesus had not fulfilled their national expectations.

In that story, Jesus takes those two disciples on an exploration of the Old Testament, the Law, and the Prophets, to explain all that was said in the Scriptures about Himself, especially about how He had to suffer to bring about His Kingdom. Jesus had to live as one of us, die, and then be resurrected to complete the work of salvation on our behalf.

In the resurrection, they understood the grand story of Scripture. And in the resurrection, we find our hope, understanding our place in that grand narrative.

It is not wishful thinking

Our hope is not wishful thinking. Instead, we are promised a future glory, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). The initial experience of salvation creates the hope, the confident assurance of our complete transformation when we will see God in all His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are being renewed day by day, fixing our eyes on what is unseen because what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Our hope is our anchor

God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

Hebrews 6:17-19 NLT

Our hope doesn’t disappoint us

We have a confident hope of what God has reserved for us in heaven (Colossians 1:5). This hope strengthens us in times of difficulty, doubt, or despair. We cling to the One who is our Hope because we have already experienced His love shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5).

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys—we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this, in turn, will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.

Romans 5:3-5 Phillips

Our prayer

Today, we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus – the linchpin of our faith. And we pray as the Apostle Paul prayed, that God will give us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we can grow in our knowledge of God. We pray that our hearts will overflow with the Light of understanding so that we rejoice in our confident hope, looking forward to that rich and glorious inheritance. May we find comfort and strength in this hope so that everything we do and say will bring Him glory!

O Christ, our hope, our heart’s desire,
redemption’s only spring!
Creator of the world art thou,
its Savior and its King.

O Christ, be thou our lasting joy,
our ever great reward!
Our only glory may it be
to glory in the Lord.

John Chandler, 1837


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